Traverse Bay Fishing Report: January 2015


Traverse Bay Fishing Report

First ice is upon us in northern Michigan, time to get on the panfish, walleye, and pike. Many of the traditional early-ice lakes have good ice, and the bite is good especially for the panfish. Concentrate on the weed edges this time of year. They are still green, and both the inside and outside of edges will hold gills, crappie, and sunfish. Anglers can also take perch this time of year on Skegmog, Glen, Intermediate, and Fife just to name a few. Look for flats, constant depth areas, or wide contour bands especially adjacent to weeds. I like to run small-to-medium size jigging spoons to get the aggressive fish which are also the larger fish. Catch what’s in that hole, and then move on along the edge or flat. Be prepared to drill some holes.

Panfish love low-light periods so you will find the most consistent action in the am and pm. Fish on the edge of cold fronts or falling barometer with overcast and inclement weather a-brew. Gills and crappies love that weather pattern, and it can break the trend of the simple low-light bite. Barometric pressure can fall at any time during the day or night and is a valuable tool for any angler, especially ice anglers. Anglers can take pike and walleye on tip-ups and various jigging spoons or slip rigs on Long Lake, Lake Leelanau, Intermediate, and a host of others. An effective method for using multiple tip ups is to stagger based on depth increments. If fishing deep lakes, try to stagger your holes at 10-foot increments and on more shallower lakes use a 5-foot stagger. This way when the schools shift to different areas they may seek a deeper or more shallow suspension, which will allow you to be ready when they make their move. It is a great time of year in the Traverse Bay area. First ice is a holy time, get out and have fun and always stay on top.