BIG RAPIDS — Plenty of ice seems to be available for anglers although weather conditions kept many of them indoors last week. Better weekend weather could result in successful fishing.

The DNR offices were closed last week, and the department did not provide its weekly report.

In Mecosta County, “there’s not a ton of stuff going on,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “I’ve heard they’ve been on the river catching some perch and walleye. As far as bluegills (and crappies), it’s been slow. They have been doing good especially on the river. There’s safe ice out there. They’re traveling farther on the ice.”

In Osceola County, “it’s been pretty slow, with the weather,” Brad Cox, of Buck’s Country Bait Shop in LeRoy, said. “It had been going pretty good. I would think everybody is ready to get out after being cooped in this week. Rose, Center and Sunrise are good for panfish and pike.”

Most bait shops in northwestern Michigan report conditions were slow earlier in the week but sunny weather could make for a strong weekend.

“There’s not much,” Dan Osborn, of Osborn’s Sport Shop in Bear Lake said. “They’re starting to go out today. There’s a foot of ice and six inches of snow. The sun is coming out.”

Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co., in Manistee, said anglers were back out fishing on Friday.

“There’s good ice everywhere up here in Manistee County,” he said. “Crystal Lake is frozen. There’s good ice. I don’t really have a fishing report because nobody was really fishing this week. There should be good fishing. There’s been no pressure on the lakes for a week. There should be good fishing on Manistee and Portage lakes and even Crystal.”

Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee, on Friday said anglers just now are trying to get on the ice after a bad week of weather.

“This weekend, with the nice weather, people will be out fishing,” Buchner said.

Desyre Shelton, of the Benzonia Backcast Flyshop, acknowledged fishing has been slow in her area.

“If guys can even get one, it’s great,” she said.