Ice fishermen getting ready

Opportunities are coming up

Ice anglers are ready for the season.

Ice anglers are ready for the season.

Star photo/John Raffel

BIG RAPIDS – Colder weather should be helping ice formations on local waters although anglers are again reminded to be extremely cautious and be very wary of potential weak ice spots on various surfaces.

In Mecosta County, “We have fishable ice on some lakes,” Tom Vernon, at Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “I’m telling people to be very careful on your way out. We’re dealing with 3 to 5 inches of ice. But there’s a lot of snow on it so you have to spud your way out. Fish are biting. Here at Frank’s, we have everything anybody would need. They’re catching pike on tip ups. They’re still getting a few steelhead in the river.”

In Manistee County “some of the lakes are starting to get some fishable ice on them for a little bit of ice fishing for panfish,” Larry Scharich, of Shipwatch Marina said. “There is some river fishing for steelhead.”

“There’s lots of snow,” Bud Fitzgerald of Tangle Tackle Manistee said. “Some of he smaller inland lakes are frozen. Cadillac is frozen. A lot of the little lakes are frozen. Manistee Lake hasn’t frozen up yet.”

A spokesman at Captain Chucks in Ludington said ice is starting to form on lakes but “nothing all that safe.”

A spokesperson at Backcast Fly shop in Benzonia said there’s some steelhead in the Betsie River.

“Some of the guys are ice fishing but I don’t think the ice is really good yet,” she said.

The DNR is currently not providing weekly fishing updates but has indicated it will resume doing so sometime in the future.