Northern Michigan Fishery Updates

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Northern Michigan fishery update compiles successes and shortcomings from across the Northern Michigan fishing map. Find fast facts about nearby fisheries below, and get out into Northern Michigan’s outdoors!


Fisheries in Northern Lower Michigan

The inland lakes still had ice but it was deteriorating with the extremely warm weather.  Anyone venturing out now needs to use extreme caution.  Shoreline ice was thin and some reported water running down the holes which will only weaken the ice more.  Much colder air by the end of the week should restart the freezing process.  On Lake Michigan, a couple boats were out trolling along the shoreline and in the harbors.  They caught steelhead, brown trout and a couple small chinook salmon. 

  • Frankfort: Surf and pier anglers are still getting a few fish.
  • Betsie River: Steelhead fishing is still viable, although few are doing it.  Reports have not been great but fish are being caught.
  • Lake Cadillac: Still had ice however it was deteriorating.  Anglers need to use extreme caution until colder weather has a chance to shore the ice back up. Be sure to use a spud to check the ice in front of you.  Those that have been out reported good fishing.
  • Lake Mitchell: Still had some ice however it was melting.  Extreme caution needs to used.  Those jigging or using tip-ups have caught fish.
  • Lake Missaukee: Is producing some pike and walleye.
  • Manistee: Pier anglers and those surfcasting are getting a few fish.
  • Manistee River: Steelhead are still available in both the Big and Little Manistee even though it has not been a banner fall run.  Try spawn, wax worms or plugs.
  • Ludington: Surf and pier anglers are still getting a few fish.


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Fisheries in the Upper Peninsula

In the northern sections, the recent warm weather did weaken the ice.  Heavy snow added weight and caused ponding on the surface.  Anglers are reminded to use extreme caution and don’t forget the traditional safety gear such as a spud, ice pics, a throwable flotation device, a rope and the buddy-system. Anglers in the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula were ice fishing on the inland lakes however no sleds were heading out, foot traffic only.  Lakes around Newbery with yellow perch and panfish are being targeted. The next couple weeks are showing temperatures that will slowly improve ice conditions.

  • Portage Lake:  In Houghton County was producing a good number of walleye and pike.
  • Lake Gogebic:  Was also producing a good number of walleye and pike.  Anglers are jigging and using tip-ups.
  • Little Bay De Noc:  Had enough ice north of Gladstone that anglers were traveling on ORV’s and snowmobiles.  The warmer weather and rain made conditions sloppy.  Anglers have been fishing for yellow perch in the Butler Island area and walleye in the central and northern parts of the Bay including the First, Second and Center Reefs.  There was some ice but more open water south of Gladstone.  

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