Ice fishing season continues to wind down

BIG RAPIDS – The DNR is reporting ice fishing in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula is pretty much done for the season.

But ice can still be found in the Northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. But anglers will still need to be cautious and pay close attention to deteriorating ice conditions, the DNR said.

In Mecosta County, “the guys are trying to get in their last bit of ice fishing before the ice leaves,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “It sounds like most places are fairly good, at least the shores are. They’ve been fishing by Davis Bridge. That’s probably going to leave within a couple of days with the weather we’ve got. They’ve been doing OK on the perch. Back out here on the Morley Pond, they’re getting good numbers of perch. The steelhead is just starting to kick off. I’ve got a good dozen guys that have been there since last weekend and are getting a few numbers of hook ups and a few fish landed. That’s looking up.”

In Osceola County, “there’s still ice out there,” Brad Cox of Bucks Country Bait Store in LeRoy said. “It’s been pretty slow. We expect it to pick up. Usually the last ice is as good as the first ice. I would say we probably have a good week to 10 days.”

In Manistee County, the DNR reports the Manistee River is having a few more steelhead being caught as the weather warms. A few anglers were seen up near Tippy Dam.

“There’s fishable ice on Portage and at Ninth Street,” Bud Fitzgerald of Tangle Tackle Co., said. “Ninth Street will probably be done this weekend or by Monday or Tuesday. Portage, on the west end, there’s still plenty of good ice. It will probably have fishable ice for the next week. There’s a few steelhead being caught in the river, but not a lot.”

“They’re catching perch and pike on what’s left of Manistee’s ice,” Dewey Buchner of Don’s Sporting Goods said. “It’s probably good for this weekend. But they need to be careful. Portage has plenty of ice. They’re catching perch up there. They’re starting to get some steelhead in the river and down at the mouth.”

In Wexford County, Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell still had some ice fishing though anglers will need to use caution, the DNR said, and anglers should look for pike and panfish in the shallows.

In Lake County at the Pere Marquette River, those targeting steelhead are starting to catch a few more fish. Those using spawn or fly fishing found a few fish near the Twin Bridges.

Captain Chuck’s of Ludington reports ice is starting to deteriorate on a daily basis. Anglers are starting to pick up steelhead in the rivers.

A spokesperson said anglers are fishing Pere Marquette Lake and Hamlin and getting perch and panfish. “But there’s open water in both places,” she said.

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