Ice anglers continue to have success

Area lakes continue to get visited by ice anglers. (Star photo/John Raffel)

Area lakes continue to get visited by ice anglers. (Star photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS - The DNR reports while there may be ice in some areas of the southern sections of the Lower Peninsula, a warm-up by the weekend will deteriorate the ice once again. Lakes to the north still have good ice fishing opportunities.

In Osceola County, "there's a few people out ice fishing," Brad Cox, of Buck's Country Bait, in LeRoy said. "Ice is good on every lake around. There's about 10 to 12 inches. There's pike and crappies out of Rose Lake, crappies on Hess Lake. People are out and about."

In Mecosta County, "they've still been fishing the main spots and have been catching good numbers of perch and bluegills," Tanner Havens of Frank's Sporting Goods in Morley, said. "They've been fishing out to Lake Mecosta, they've been out on the (Morley) pond here. They've been on the river, they've been out to Croton, catching good numbers of bluegills, specs, walleye and just about everything. The main color is white, gold or orange from what the guys have been telling me."

"We haven't heard a lot," Billie Milligan at Paris Archery said. "Last week was kind of a bust in numbers."

Inconsistency in the weather has had an impact, Milligan indicated.

In northwest Michigan, Lake Charlevoix was frozen, the DNR said.

Lake Charlevoix was frozen and anglers were reported near Hemmingway Point and on Horton Bay. Ice conditions west of Hemmingway Point were unknown the DNR said.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, the DNR said, had good ice fishing for pike and crappie. On Cadillac, fish were caught off Kenwood Park, the DNR said, adding at Mitchell, fish were found outside Small Cove with minnows or wax worms. Walleye fishing was slowing down, the DNR said, although a few were caught in the evening.

"There's not too much other than a little ice fishing," Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina in Manistee said. "There's a little bit going on at Manistee Lake. At Portage Lake, they're not catching a lot, except for a few perch.

Anglers at the Manistee River should look for steelhead in the deeper holes during the cold snap, the DNR said, adding brown trout fishing was slow below Tippy Dam. With the next thaw, steelhead fishing should really pick up the DNR added.

"The river has been pretty good," Bud Fitzgerald of Tangle Tackle Co. "There's a lot of fish. They seem to be decent fish. At Ninth Street, they've been catching a few perch and some pike and even a coho. Portage Lake has dialed off a little bit."

In Benzonia County, "Crystal has some ice, but I haven't heard if they're getting anything," Steve Forrester of the Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia said. "It's been slow. I know they're getting some pike and perch. At Betsie Bay, some guys have been."

The DNR said the Pere Marquette River was also producing steelhead for those using spawn, beads and wax worms.

Fishing Tip: Techniques to target trout through the ice

Courtesy of the DNR

Many anglers look forward to the opportunity to target trout - and not just on April 25 for the statewide opener! Trout fishing through the ice can be quite fun, if you use the proper techniques. Consider the following:


Certain species of trout, particularly brown trout, really gravitate to tip-ups as they linger in shallower water. Consider your depth if you do this type of fishing.


Lake trout and brown trout can be attracted easily by jigging with a spoon. For lake trout use a piece of smelt or sucker as your bait. For brown trout use the head of a minnow.