Houghton Lake Michigan Houghton Lake Michigan Houghton Lake Michigan

Houghton Lake Preview

Houghton Lake Preview

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Houghton Lake Michigan area fishing report for Houghton Lake


Lyman's weekly big pike contest winners. We have a tie in the kid's division. Molly Marx from Louisville, KY and Barrett Clark from Grand Haven landed a 21" pike using tip-ups with golden shiners. They each won a tip-up and will be eligible to win the year-end grand prize. Great job!

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Fishing has been amazing this year so far...especially the walleye and bass.  Limits and 20"+ eyes have been common.  Some anglers have been trolling Fish Bones, Flicker Shads and Hot n Tot crank baits. Crawler and leech harnesses are working too. The best colors have been purple, pink, hot tiger and green. Work the edges of the large weed beds in 9' to 14' fow. For bass, use tube jigs, wacky worm rigs, spinner baits and top water frogs..find them under docks and out next to the big weed beds. Pike are everywhere...use anything that spins and is shiny. Crappie are more difficult to find...fish them in the deeper waters (10') along the weed lines.   Blue gill are finally starting to hit again.  Some guys are finding them on the sandy flats in about 4-6 fow, others are getting them in 8' - 10' depths fishing about 6' below a bobber. 


Another limit of walleye from the weekend. Dave Skinner from McBain was trolling crawler harnesses in 10 fow near the middle grounds on Houghton Lake. He caught his limit including a nice 26" 4.4lb eye.

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Houghton Lake is open for fishing! The crappie are in the canals and the gills just stated coming in as well. The new nano fry minnows by Roadside Minnows have produced limits. Guys are also using Pinkies tipped with a wax worm or minnow. Take a look at this bucket! Get up to Houghton Lake.


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Lyman's Weekly Big Pike Contest Winners. Folks are still able to get out on the ice on foot. Drake Hannah (16) from Ludington won the 16 and under division with his 30 1/2", 7lb northern he caught on a tip-up. Mark Look from H L won the 17 and over division with a 28" 4 1/2lb pike he also caught on a tip-up. Nice job, guys....we have your prizes at the shop.



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Houghton Lake Ice Report 2.22.18. Anglers are reporting ice thickness of 14" to 20". Be advised that we had a lot of rain the other day so the old spearing and fishing holes are fairly large and some are skimmed over...watch where you drive and step. Also avoid crossing over the pressure cracks near east bay and off long point and check with us one last time before you head out. Here's Logan from St. Claire shows with a master angler crappie and a 13" perch he caught earlier this week..

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Lyman's Weekly Big Pike Contest Winners. Zayne Lytle from Coleman was celebrating his 9th birthday on Houghton Lake and ended up winner the kid's division with a 21" pike. He was using a minnow on a green tear drop in the south shore weedbed. Dan Kubicki from HL won the adult division with his 32", 7 1/2 lb keeper caught on a tip-up on Higgins Lake. Congrats to the winners!

Houghton Lake Hogs. Israel Rosales and Doug Shepard from Middleville had a great outing on HL with their buddies. They caught dozens of gills, pike, bass and these two beautiful walleye. Israel's measured 28", 7 1/2 lbs caught on a tip-up with an emerald shiner. Doug set the bar pretty high for himself...this is the first walleye he ever caught...measuring 23", 4 1/2 lb caught on a hali tipped with a wax worm. Well done, guys!


Higgins Lake: Those spearing pike have done well including one fish that was 46 inches. Lake trout anglers are using trout minnows in 80 to 100 feet or deeper. Some nice perch were caught in 15 to 50 feet around the Main Island but anglers need to keep moving around to find them. Smelt were caught in 30 to 50 feet off the North State Park, Big Creek, the west launch and to the south of it. A few rainbow trout were taken on wigglers in a foot of water near the Conference Center. 


Lyman's weekly big pike winners. Kaidin Samek (13) from Gregory, MI caught a 22" pike on a tip-up with golden shiners. Bob Schick from Houghton Lake landed a 39 1/2" 13lb 6oz northern on a tip-up with an emerald shiner. They each won a tip-up and are eligible for the year-end grand prize of summer fishing gear. Nice job!

Lyman's weekly big pike winner part 2. After a careful audit of our records, we realized we had a tie this week in the kids division. Lily Wilkerson (5) from Manton also caught a 22" pike. Lily wins her very own tip-up (she wants the pink one) and she has a chance to win the grand prizes at the end of the season. Great job, Lily!





Houghton Lake ice report 1.17.18. It’s Tip-up Town weekend and we have 12” to 18” of ice with light snow on top. The temp is supposed to be close to 40, so it should be a great weekend to fish and enjoy all the TUT activities. We still have a couple of rental shanties available....call to reserve one. The fishing has been very good all season long. Come on out and enjoy the moderate temps and great fun! Big fish have been everywhere. Look at these beauties.



Houghton Lake ice report 12.26.17. Santa brought us fish able ice for Christmas, so Lyman’s was able to start hauling their rental shanties out. We measured 6” all the way from our shore to about about a mile out. Reports are about the same on the north shore, east bay, long point and little round. Still haven’t heard from the west shore and they were pretty thin late last week. Look out for pressure cracks if you’re on quads.

Houghton Lake Hog. Logan (from St Clair Shores) is already in mid-season form with this 26", 5 1/2 lb walleye he caught on a tip-up tipped with a Lyman's emerald shiner. He also caught some big gills, crappie and a jumbo perch on white/green and white/pink jigs with wax worms. He was fishing the south shore and east bay. Great job, Logan...again.

Master Angler Houghton Lake Pike. Clint Mock from South Bend, IN hauled in a 40", 16 1/2 pound pike on early ice. He was using a kast master rattle jig tipped with a minnow on 4# test....it took a little while to land. Nice fish!

 Make sure to stop by Lyman's On The Lake before you go out or call to reserve a lake side cabin. 989.422.3231



The lake temp is starting to cool and the walleye are getting more active.  Best bite has come from crawler harnesses, hot n tots and jigs.  Bass are starting to slow down, but guys are having success using wacky worms, tube jigs and golden shiners.  Panfish have been excellent using red worms or waxworms on a colored jig or flicker snells.  Pike are everywhere....just troll with anything that shines and spins.  Best depth for all species has been 9' to 12'.  Stop by Lyman' On The Lake for the freshest bait and the best selection of tackle.  Also taking cabin reservations for the fall  989.422.3231. Look at these nice recent catches!






The walleye bite is starting to pick up...trolling with green/chart, orange, purple and pink colored crawler and leech harnesses works best.  Some guys are having success using Hot n Tots, Salmo's and Flicker Shads.  Drift or troll near the 9' to 12' drop-offs by weed beds.  Big gills and sunnies are being caught on flicker snells and jigs tipped with leeches, waxies and worms.  Pike, bass and rock bass are everywhere and are active...try spinner baits and live bait.  Stop by Lyman' On The Lake for the freshest bait and the best selection of tackle for Houghton Lake.  Also taking cabin reservations for the end of the summer and for 2018.  989.422.3231






The gills are starting to bed in the shallows of the lake around 4ft of water try using rocket bobbers with a plain hook with a worm or a leech. The walleye are in 9 to 12ft of water right in the weeds. Anglers are taking walleye trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses also try leeches and slip bobbers in the weeds. The pike are being very active as usual and will hit pretty much anything with some flash. Bass are being caught on wacky worm rigs, tube jigs and live bait presentations. 
Make sure to stop by Lyman's On The Lake before you go out or call to reserve a lake side cabin. 989.422.3231




The crappie are moving out of the canals and into the lake...search the big weed beds using minnows.  Pumpkinseeds & rock bass have turned on this past week...leeches and crawlers under a slip bobber works best.  Walleye prefer live bait during the day...leeches/crawler harnesses and jigs in chartreuse, pink, purple and gold are effective.  After dark, eyes move into shore and a  few guys are limiting out using shallow diving crank baits.  Bass are being caught on wacky worm rigs, tube jigs and live bait presentations.  Pike are EVERYWHERE and are hitting on just about anything.  Make sure to stop by Lyman's On The Lake before you go out or call to reserve a lake side cabin. 989.422.3231




The temperature is finally heating up again and the Lilacs are in bloom, which means the fish are biting at Houghton Lake.  The Walleye bite has been best at first light and early evening using Fish Bones' crawler harnesses, jigs with leeches and "Rosies".  After dark, try gold/black or orange crank baits near shore. Crappie and gills are found in the canals and weed beds.  Use minnows for crappie under a pink or purple jig and worms for gills.   Bass are active at the mouths of canals and streams/rivers - wacky worm rigs have been popular.  Stop by Lyman's On The Lake for the freshest and largest selection of bait & tackle with the friendliest staff. 




The fishing remains good on Houghton Lake and Lake St. Helen. The winds and cold have been a pain for anglers but on the decent days nice fish are coming in. You basically have to be ready to go, and go when the weather allows. The walleye are biting on leeches under bobbers in the shallows and also on jigs and leeches. With the cold water minnows and jigs are also a good choice. The larger crappie are also biting and the bluegill are in the shallows as well. Finding some new weed growth will really up your catch. Take a look at these nice fish that were caught this past weekend. This weekends weather looks decent so we'll see ya up here!


Houghton Lake fishing report. I just talked to Kurt and he said the fish are really starting to bite well on Houghton Lake, the water is warming up...close to 50 degrees and the crappie and blue gills are making their way into the canals.  Use wax worms, red worms or crawlers for gills and small emerald shiners or fatheads for the crappie.  Best depth for the bait is only 12"-18".  Pink, purple and fire tiger jigs have worked the best.  Try a pinkie or little nipper jigs for the crappie. Look at these great fish. For the best tackle and bait stop by Lyman's "On the Lake"





2.08.17 Houghton Lake ice fishing report.  Ice thickness is approximately 15" over the entire lake.  The large pressure crack is healing...there are more places to cross safely, however, conditions do change, so always check before crossing.  Blue gill, perch and pike continue to be active.  Use waxworms, spikes or wigglers on tungsten jigs in chartreuse, fire tiger, pink, black and gold for the pan fish.   Pike are after golden shiners and suckers.  The walleye bite is slow...use smaller, slower presentations (Swedish pimples, tingler spoons and Fishbones jigs) for best results.  Try tipping with emerald shiners and, when really finicky, use wigglers.  Be sure to stop at Lyman's On The Lake for the freshest bait and largest selection of tackle on Houghton Lake.  989.422.3231. 

Higgins lake and Lake St. Helen have been great for the last 2 weeks as well. Lake Trout are biting in about 90' and perch have been biting in the 45-60' depths.


1.24.17  Houghton Lake ice fishing report.  Ice thickness in north bay is around 8", behind Lyman's On The Lake on the west shore the ice measures 11", most of the middle areas are 14" to 15".  There is a large pressure crack running along the western shore starting from the south DNR launch running to long point.  There are many augered holes which haven't frozen over and have expanded, so be cautious on quads and sleds.  The ice is solid and we are expecting freezing weather to return in the next couple of days.  Blue Gill, perch and pike have been active. Use goldens and suckers for the pike.   Widow Maker tungsten jigs tipped with waxies, pink spikes and wigglers is working best on pan fish.  Walleye have been a little slow...some guys had luck using Fish Bones rattle jigs, Swedish Pimples, Do Jiggers and Jiggin' raps tipped with blues or wigglers.  For the latest ice conditions, advice on best bait to use and for ice shanty rentals, be sure to stop at Lyman's On The Lake or call 989.422.3231



Ice thickness on Houghton Lake is a solid 12" to 18".   There are several problem pressure cracks to navigate around, but anglers are able to get to their spots from about any launch area.  Pike have been active throughout the day. Guys are catching them under tip-ups using golden shiners and suckers.  Use wax worms and spikes for gills under pink, purple, gold and wonderbread jigs.  Walleye are hitting on Fishbone's mini rattle jigs, PK flutterspoons, weevil jigs, do-jiggers and jiggin raps...all tipped with emerald shiner heads.  On days when the bite is slow, wigglers worked really well in place of shiners or wax worms on every species.    Make sure you stop by Lyman's On The Lake for the latest info, the best assortment of tackle and the freshest bait on the lake.   




Ice thickness on Houghton Lake ranges from 8" to only 2", so we are limited to areas closer to shore.  Fortunately, there are still plenty of decent, safe areas to find blue gill, walleye and pike.  They are reporting 4" to 6" of ice up to 200 yards out along the south shore area, parts of east bay and along the north shore.  The western shore is still too thin before the drop offs, so it's best to avoid those areas for now.   Tip-ups with emerald shiners and your favorite jig favoring perch patterns, silver/black and pink have been the most productive...make sure you tip the jigs with a minnow head or wax worm.   The lake is still several days away from being able to handle sleds & ATV's. 

Before you go out, make sure you stop in at Lyman's On The Lake for the most up-to-date ice report and for all your bait & tackle needs.   Make sure you take a buddy and frequently check the ice in front of you with a spud.  

Good luck and be safe.


Blue gills & bass continue to be active with walleye starting to heat up as the water temperature drops.  The larger, 7"+ gills have been found a foot off the bottom in 9'-10' of water on the weed bed drop-offs.  Anglers are using pink or purple jigs tipped with leeches (yes, we still have them in stock), leaf worms or wax worms.  Bass are hitting on live bait rigs and plastics and they can be found under docks and in the weed beds.  Walleye are starting to get more active and a few guys are reporting picking them up in the shallows at dusk using crank baits.   

Click here for the Houghton Lake Michigan area fishing report for Houghton Lake.