Traverse Bay Fishing Report: March 2016

A fter a slow start to the ice season, the colder temperatures in February almost ensure some late-ice fishing opportunities as we go into March. Late season fishing can be great for walleye and pike before the season closure.

Long Lake, Lake Leelanau, Hodenpyle backwaters, Charlevoix, Bellaire, and a host of others waters can produce good late season walleye and pike fishing especially in the arms of lakes or the mouths of rivers. These fish enter the lakes as the spawn draws near and a percentage of fish make their way up some of these rivers to spawn.

These areas can be great places to intercept fish before season closures. Try jigging lures both vertical types like do- jiggers, buck shots, and Swedish pimples. Also, blade baits, flutter type spoons, even size 0 trolling spoons in mid depths of water can work great. Horizontal type lures like jigging raps, moonshines, or chubby darters can all be good options as well. Tip-up fishing with live and dead baits for pike and walleyes can also be effective. The late season panfish program can be red hot often with gills often crowding into the insides of the weed edges in water often less the 10feet. I am a huge fan of plastic baits this time of year euro tackle red larva, b-y baits, and many others are top notch baits and can get you in the game without re-baiting I encourage you to try them.

Perch can be found on the port lakes as the spawn draws near. Lakes like Pentwater, Pere Marquette, and Portage yield big time results and big time perch. Other lakes that produce excellent perch fishing as well are Glen’s, Leelanaus, Skegmog and a host of others. These lakes can be red hot for some late season fishing. Try blues or larger jigs for big perch like slab grabbers, Hali jigs sweetened with minnows or eurotackle, or mummy worms in various colors. Get out and enjoy and always “stay on top.”