Fishing Report: Steelhead action heats up despite cold

Panfish action hit-or-miss on inland lakes
Matt DeYoung
Feb 7, 2014

HED: Steelhead action heats up on Muskegon River

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Pretty much all the inland lakes have ice. Bluegills have been hit-or-miss because of the numerous weather fronts. The best bite was in the morning or evening.

St. Joseph River: Has shelf ice and the ramps are extremely icy. There are steelhead in the river if anglers can get to them.

Branch County: Marble Lake was producing some good size bluegill and crappie. Pike and perch were also caught. Bluegill and perch were caught on Matteson Lake. Those fishing Randall Lake caught good numbers of small panfish and pike including two fish over 30 inches.

Duck Lake: In Calhoun County was producing some pike for those spearing.

Kalamazoo River: Also has steelhead but like most of the rivers in southwest Michigan, shelf ice and icy ramps are preventing access.

Gull Lake: Is producing some smelt, perch and the occasional lake trout.

Gun Lake: Is producing walleye, perch and bluegills. For walleye, try east of Murphy's Point or Robbins Bay. 

Round Lake: Was producing a few pike for those spearing.

Muskrat Lake: Catch rates were fair for bluegill but the crappie were slow.

Muskegon River: Has good steelhead fishing with most fish being caught in the deeper holes.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Torch Lake: Has ice. Anglers are catching whitefish and herring on the north end near Eastport.

Green Lake: Continues to produce smelt for those hook and line fishing at night near the Betsie River or the Music Camp. Deep snow and slush make travel difficult.

Crystal Lake: In Benzie County has excellent smelt fishing at night in 45 to 50 feet of water. Use Hali jigs with wax worms. Look for perch along the weeds in 25 to 35 feet of water. Try tear drops tipped with a minnow or wiggler.

Lake Cadillac: Is producing some panfish and pike. Lots of snow and slush in some areas is making travel on the ice difficult.

Lake Mitchell: Is producing the occasional pike and crappie.

Lake Missaukee: Is producing a few perch and crappie. The better fishing is usually along the weed beds on the west side of the lake with a minnow or spike.

Manistee River: Steelhead are in the river however not many anglers are pursuing them.

Note: The 2013 Annual Report for the Fisheries Division is now available online. This report provides a way for citizens to learn about the state's fisheries and the work our staff completed during the Fiscal Year 2013.

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