Traverse Bay Fishing Report: December 2014

Traverse Bay Fishing Report

Traverse Bay Fishing Report

Some years, December brings us ice anglers the gift of Christmas bluegills on local puddle lakes or arms of larger lakes or canals. First ice panfish action is red hot! Don’t miss out on Santa’s gift this December if he arrives early. Look for panfish on the edges of weeds both the insides and outside edges during first ice. A great first or early ice tactic for pans is the use of plastics since the action is fast. There is no time to go finesse on them. If you haven’t used the newer plastic baits, it’s time that you start! I promise you will not be disappointed. Run and gun, drill holes until you find a well. Since there is little to no pressure up to this point in the season, these fish are susceptible to a variety of soft plastic baits; flies, and medium sized jigging spoons. I prefer to not use bait this time of year, simply put it just gets in the way but tip them if your still not confident.

Known brush piles and blow downs can harbor large crappies this time of year. Personally I would race to them as soon as the ice is safe. It’s a great way to pull a wall-hanger. Please take only one to mount, keep the brood stock of both big bulls and crappies intact. They are a valuable resource and often are not as tasty as smaller ones.

Smaller lakes can often harbor large pike as well and it’s often the first few anglers that capitalize on some of the largest pike of the season. Once the pressure starts, the flags often remained pinned down. Tip-ups and jigging spoons are the ticket for first ice pike. If you haven’t tried aggressively jigging for pike it is a worthwhile tactic. I like using size 0 trolling spoons since they have walleye potential as well and since the water is shallow they give a great fluttering action. Great first ice spots are Manistee Lake in Kalkaska, Missaukee, Lake Cadillac, Lake Mitchell, and the chain of lakes in Ellsworth, Little Glenn, Fife just to name a few. Get out have fun and always stay on top.

Russ Maddin_2