DNR reports few fishing updates

REED CITY — The DNR says very few updates have come in recently and not many fishermen are out.

“It’s been kind of quiet,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “A few guys were fishing on the pond over the weekend here, and they were doing pretty good The wind was the main killer.”

“It’s been dead,” Greg Clark, of Schafers Bait and Sporting Goods in Weidman, said. “The ice is pretty bad.”

“There’s some stuff going on but the warm wave we’ve got is kind of putting a hit on the ice,” Travis Bohy of Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare, said. “The ice is sketchy for a lot of guys. Guys going out have been getting pretty good panfish bite. Conditions are deteriorating rather quickly; guys going out should be cautious and make sure they have some kind of an ice scraper or some type of traction control because the ice is real slick.”

Woody Raymond from the Sanford Sport Shop agrees.

“There’s no ice, it’s just about done,” he said. “I had a couple of guys that went below the dam today. There’s ice that’s very unsafe. They canceled the crappy tournament this week. Ice is just not safe. This would have been the 30th year. It’s the last Wednesday of every February. They have it at Wixom.”

Here’s what the DNR states in its latest report regarding Saginaw Bay, the Saginaw River and Houghton Lake;

“Saginaw Bay: It is recommended that no one venture out onto the ice because of flooding, rising water levels and quickly deteriorating ice conditions. The rain, warmer temperatures and snow melt are creating dangerous conditions. Those looking to go ice fishing should head to the northern part of the Lower Peninsula or the Upper Peninsula.

“Saginaw River: It is recommended that no one venture out onto the ice on this and other rivers in the area because of flooding and rising water levels. Conditions are not safe.

Houghton Lake: Anglers are still fishing however extreme caution needs to be used when traveling across the ice. All the fishing and spearing holes have opened up and are much bigger now. Caution needs to be used near the rivers and creeks, near the pressure crack that runs across the East Bay and another one off Long Point near the entrance to the North Bay. Anglers caught crappie, bluegills, walleye, pike and perch on minnows. If the bite slows, try switching to wax worms. The better bite was early morning and again about 4 p.m. Be sure to bring ice cleats for easier travel across the ice.”

In northwest Michigan, the Big Manistee River had reports of steelheads being caught.

“Water levels are starting to recede,” Dan Barkman of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston said. “Water color is still off a little bit but fishing has been good.”

“The spring steelhead run has begun for the Big Manistee,” Rob Eckerson of Pappy’s Bait Shop in Wellston, said, “namely Tippy Dam. We have high water at the moment, but we are fishable. It actually has crested. Bear Creek, a tributary of the Big Manistee, also has fish in it. There’s been some early spawn activity in that as well.

“On ice fishing, the conditions are in question because of the weather. All-in-all, we probably have 14 inches of ice in most places. The edges are of concern, getting on an off. Ice fishing productivity has been OK. They’re getting perch, panfish and a few pike here and there.’

Portage Lake continues to produce lake herring, the DNR added.

“In the Betsie, there’s a good number of fish, trout and steelhead,” Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co. in Manistee said. “In Bear Creek, the water is high and dark. It will be tough fishing. Few guys are getting out on Manistee Lake for a few perch. They’re getting good number of smelt.”

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell has some spots where there is flowing water and should be avoided since they deteriorate first. Colder temperatures should help shore the ice back up.

Per Marquette River also had reports of steelhead being caught after the rain and warmer temperatures.

“They’re getting steelhead and trout fishing has been pretty good on Crystal,” Desyre Shelton of the Benzie Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia, said.