Anglers eye consistent ice conditions
BIG RAPIDS - It's January and fishermen are hoping ice conditions will be consistent to allow them to start venturing on their favorite water spots.
But it depends on the area and time of day. As always, extreme caution is advised to all anglers.
The further north anglers venture, the more likely they will see some good ice.
It seems to be iffy in Osceola County.
"They're starting kind of, maybe," Brad Cox, of Buck Country Bait in LeRoy said. "There's a few lakes you can get on. It's tough right now. A couple of different lakes have safe ice. Hopefully, the cold weather will kick in and we can get on them."
Lack of ice has made things relatively quiet in Mecosta, Tanner Havens of Franks Sporting Goods, said.
"They've been steelhead fishing at Croton Dam," Havens said. "That's about the only thing right now until they get some good solid ice again. I know they were fishing up toward Lake Mitchell and Cadillac, also the bay at Chippewa Lake. They're doing all right, but not a ton of numbers. They're getting some bluegills and crappies."
Dale Doepker, president of the Canadian Lakes Fishing Club, noted there had been recent fishing in the area but the warming trend has impacted everything.
"It might be a couple of days before any one is out there," he said.
Finding ice has also been a challenge in northwest Michigan.
"Pretty much everything is about the same," Bud Fitzgerald, of Tangled Tackle Co., in Manistee said. "There's a few lakes up north I've heard of; the ice is still there but it's not safe. Hopefully by the end of the week if it gets colder at night, lakes will be fishable by next Monday and Tuesday.
"The river is still going. They were still catching fish from High Bridge to the dam."
"It's pretty much a standstill right now," Larry Scharich of Manistee said. "There's a little bit of river fishing but not a lot of that. I don't know how well it's gone."
Steve Forrester at Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia concurred fishing conditions haven't changed too much.
"Ice fishing is so-so because of the warm weather we've had," Forrester said. "We need some more winter."