|Keweenaw Bay: Ice anglers had slow catch rates the last couple of days when the ice was good to fish. Warm temperatures have hit the ice hard and recent high winds have blown a lot of the ice out. Shore anglers have managed to catch a couple Coho and the occasional brown trout and lake herring. Some boats have made their way onto the bay but floating ice chunks are still around. Rivers in the area have started to open up or are close to doing so. Few fish have been caught but anglers reported no fresh fish have moved into the rivers yet.
Cedarville: Anglers reported that there was about 12″ of ice in Musky Bay. The access site to Musky Bay had a small section that was usable but conditions are changing fast. Fishing was good for yellow perch while anglers have been doing a lot of sorting. Anglers jigging minnows and waxworms reported some success harvesting 7-13″ perch with many between 7-11″ in Musky Bay and off Pleasant Point. Anglers fishing in the Cedarville Channel reported having success catching yellow perch.
Hessel: The public beach access site was still usable but conditions are changing fast. Anglers reported that about 10-12″ of ice was on the center and west side of Hessel Bay but around the islands and in high current areas the ice is starting to open up. Anglers were jigging minnows and wax worms with success catching smelt, lake trout, splake, and yellow perch. The perch harvested this week have been up to 12″ with majority of the harvest sizes being between 7-10″. Anglers have also been catching 28-32″ (8-11lbs) lake trout and 15-20″ splake jigging minnows with spoons.
Michigan’s numerous piers and breakwalls offer great fishing opportunities throughout the year. Anglers often participate in this activity to target a variety of species, with trout and salmon being two of the most popular.
If you decide to partake in this type of fishing you’ll need a high-quality rod and reel. Technique-wise you’ll want to vary the depth and speed of your retrieves and consider fan-casting as opposed to casting perpendicular to the pier/breakwall.
There are lots of bait options to consider, including spawn bags with steelhead, trout or salmon eggs; live alewives; or night crawlers. You’ll also want a long-handled net to aid in landing your catch!
As always, take plenty of safety precautions when fishing piers and breakwalls.