Anglers enjoying solid ice
BIG RAPIDS -- The DNR points out in northwest Michigan, cold nighttime temperatures helped firm up the slush on the inland lakes. There is a fresh 4 or 5 inches of snow on top, the DNR said, but it should pack down as the week goes on.
Fishing for panfish was hit or miss, depending on the lake and the days, the DNR said.
In Mecosta County, bluegill, crappie and small perch were caught on Lake Mecosta, the DNR said, reporting pike were hitting on tip-ups with minnows. Pretty Lake anglers were bluegill, crappie and pike and those on Chippewa Lake caught perch, bluegill and crappie.
Anglers at Haymarsh Lake, the DNR said, were getting crappie and bluegill. Those on Lower Evans caught small perch and bluegill.
"Fishing is pretty good," Greg Clark at Shafer's Bait & Sporting Goods in Weidman, said. "Lake Isabella is pretty good for bluegills and crappies. They catch a lot of bluegills and crappies at Chppewa Lake, plus a few walleyes. The Martiny chain is pretty good for bluegills and pike. There's like 10 inches of ice most places."
Tanner Havens, of Frank's Sporting Goods in Morley said the Rogers Dam to Croton Dam tournament is this weekend.
"I'm assuming it will be just as busy if not more busy than last weekend," Havens said. "They're catching everything from what I've heard," he said. "They're getting specs, walleyes and pretty much all of it."
The Pere Marquette River was also producing steelhead, the DNR said.
The Manistee River was producing some steelhead but the cold snap by the end of the week will most likely slow the bite, the DNR said.
"We've got ice," Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co. in Manistee said. "We're still getting perch at Portage. There's good ice now, finally. Manistee Lake has some ice and they're getting some nice pike. They're still getting perch off of Ninth Street.
"The river has a good number of steelhead. Beads seem to be the ticket and a lot of plugs."
"They're catching some perch and some pike at Portage and a few walleyes," Dewey Buchner at Don's Sporting Goods in Manistee said. "At Manistee Lake, they're getting a few but you still have to be careful. They're getting some nice pike and perch."
At the Pentwater River, steelhead fishing was slow, with varying water temperatures and fish holding up in the deeper holes.
At lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, ice fishing was still going strong, with anglers getting perch, crappie and pike.
In Benzonia County, lakes like Crystal are finally getting ice, Steve Forrester of Backcast Fly Fishing in Benzonia, said.
"They're getting some walleye and perch and crappie," he said.