Fishing activity remains light

Anglers are awaiting ideal fishing conditions. (Star file photo)

Anglers are awaiting ideal fishing conditions. (Star file photo)

BIG RAPIDS - The DNR said fishing reports are few this week, as temperature swings have once again hampered fishing conditions.

Very few anglers have been out with the extremely cold temperatures, the DNR noted.

Strong winds have held back pier anglers. Some ice may be forming in the Upper Peninsula, the DNR said, adding the Lower Peninsula is going to take a bit longer.

In Osceola County "guys are just starting to make it on the ice," Brad Cox of Buck's Country Store in Leroy, said. "There's anywhere from two to four inches is what I'm hearing. I'd give it another week or so before I would recommend anyone going on it."

A spokesperson at Triggertime Outfitters confirmed there wasn't enough ice for anglers yet "but we're getting close."

In northwest Michigan, there is not much to report, the DNR said, adding the rivers were still high and harder to fish because of it. A few steelhead were still being caught. There was no fishable ice on the inland lakes, the DNR added.

At the Manistee River, steelhead still can be found on the right day when using egg flies or beads. The occasional fresh fish also has been caught, the DNR added.

"The big river is still a little slow," Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co., said. In the little river, there's fishing with (anglers) still using beads. For ice fishing, a few of the smaller inland lakes are froze over. You definitely want to use a spud to get out to wherever you are going. The bigger lakes, I think they'll tighten up within the next few days."

Dan Osborn of Osborn's Sport Center in Bear Lake said ice is still forming, but isn't sure of any safe areas yet.

"I know some of the little lakes have ice on them," Steve Forester of Backcast Fly of Benzonia said. "They're just starting so I haven't heard back yet on how they're doing. There's a few to several inches of good ice."

Fishing Tip: Targeting walleye throughout the day

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

When anglers target walleye through the ice, they often experience different levels of activity as the day progresses. In early morning, around sunrise, the fish will be active, and you may want to use larger lures and more aggressive jigging. As time wears on, those fish will scale their intensity back - during that time you'll want to select smaller lures.

When all activity seems to have dropped off, you'll want to consider sitting tight and waiting for the fish to come to you. Then, as sunset nears, often their activity will pick up and you'll want to revert to your early morning strategies.

Want even more tips on fishing for walleye? Check out the walleye page on the DNR's website.