Benzie, Grand Traverse, Manistee, and Wexford County
Long Lake in Benzie County has continued excellent conditions. Pike have been very active. From daylight until around 10:00 a.m, and picking back up from 12:00-2:00 p.m. have been the best hours for bites. Golden Minnows on tip-ups have been working well.
Upper Herring Lake Walleye have been less aggressive lately, biting in the morning at first light, and in the evening during the last hour of daylight. Tip-ups have not been working well, but jigging rods have been effective. Small blues on tip-ups have enticed nice jumbo Perch – but not in great numbers.
Ellis Lake, Lake Dubonnet, Spider, and Arbutus Lake are locked up tight due to the recent cold snap. Most of the snowfall on these lakes has frozen. Crappie and Bluegills are biting at the brighter times of the day due to the amount of snow cover. Pike have been active in the shallow flats and weedy contour lines, mostly biting on Sucker Minnows.
Long Lake in Grand Traverse County is being fished in most areas. We encourage all anglers use their best judgment when venturing out on this body of water due to inconsistent conditions. The anglers that have had recent success have been targeting Walleye and Perch. The Walleye have been found in 16-25 feet at low-light. Most of the Perch and Walleye being caught during the day have been found in 25-35 feet of water. Blue Minnows on Perch Rigs and Jigging Rapalas have been most successful. Tipped jigs with minnow heads entice the bite.
Skegemog Lake Perch bite has picked up in the last week. Mature fish are showing pre-spawn feeding patterns. Anglers have reported larger fish and consistent numbers of females. The best fishing is yet to come!
Portage Lake in Manistee County is still producing great fishing. Mature Perch have been feeding in 17-25 feet of water. These fish are picks and have been caught on both small and large presentations. Big Blues on tip-ups, size 12 treble hooks with light fluorocarbon leader have been effective. Some anglers have had success with small tungsten jigs.
Lake Mitchell has been consistently out-fishing Lake Cadillac. Anglers utilizing subtle depth changes and depressions are finding pan fish. Small tungsten jigs with 1-2 lb. test tipped with spikes and wax worms have proven successful. The best depth for active fish on Mitchell has been 10-11 feet. Pike have been more scarce. Most Pike have been found between 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in the shallow flats with weed cover. Larger sucker minnows on tip-ups have been effective.