UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released their weekly fishing report for the Upper Peninsula, along with a new fishing tip.
Marquette: Fishing has been slow. Those going out of the Lower Harbor caught a few splake or a couple Menominee however most caught nothing. Night anglers have caught burbot. Most were using minnows for splake and burbot or a single egg and waxworm for whitefish. Those heading out to the “Bubbler” in the Upper Harbor had minimal catches. The lucky ones caught a coho or two along with the odd Chinook or brown trout. Anglers reported large schools of Menominee swimming in the area but had difficulty catching them. As the weather warms, the ice will become very unstable especially near the river mouths. Both the Carp and the Dead River had open water at the mouth. Above the Upper Harbor, there was only a couple hundred yards of ice before it turns to open water.
Au Train: Fishing here was nonexistent. There is nowhere to park or find access because none of the roadside parks or boat launches had been plowed. In front of the Au Train River the ice has been pushed up and the large piles have made access difficult to impossible. Anglers should avoid the area.
Little Bay De Noc: Travel on the ice continues to be a problem. Most were only using snowmobiles due to the deep wet snow. Walleye fishing was slow. Fishing in the Ford River area never really took off this year. The only consistent bite was near the mouth of the Escanaba River and just past the ship docks when jigging rapalas or setting tip-ups with large sucker minnows in 30 to 45 feet. Catch rates for perch improved near Kipling with some nice jumbo fish caught in and around 30 feet. Several nice pike were also taken on tip-ups with minnows in 28 to 34 feet.
Munising: Ice conditions continue to hold. The top six to eight inches in most areas is mainly frozen pack ice. Ice conditions out near Wood Island are mainly pack ice so travel out there is not recommended especially if you are not familiar with the area. Fishing was poor over the last week.
Anglers tried everything including jigging Swedish pimples with or without a single egg, minnow head or smelt. Lake trout anglers also had poor catch rates. The only action to report was the night anglers catching burbot off Christmas and Sand Point or the couple coho caught in Trout Bay. Most were using cut bait or dead minnows on the bottom. Anglers were marking smelt that were suspended but they would not bite.
Fishing Tip: Targeting walleye at the end of ice season
Walleye are a popular target for many ice anglers, particularly as the season wears on. Pursuing these aggressive fish can be a great adventure, especially if you follow some of these tactics.
Focus on using jigs with spoons or minnows or tip-ups with live bait to see the most success. You might want to use a few tip-ups and then jig around that same area.
Think about the depth of water as well as the time of day. Walleye fishing through the ice usually begins and ends in shallow water areas with deep water more productive during the heart of the winter.
Learn more about walleye fishing during Michigan’s winter by their page at Michigan.gov/Fishing.