Ice fishing success continues

Anglers are hoping for good fishing this weekend.
Anglers are hoping for good fishing this weekend.

REED CITY — Ice fishing success continues, although it seems to depend on the lake and time of day.

It also depends on the weather.

The heavy weekend snowfall could make it difficult for anglers again. But an expected warm up later this week could change things.

“There’s been some walleye being caught on the river,” Tanner Havens of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley. “The perch was all right (recently).’

“Bluegills have been caught just about everywhere. Other than that, not whole lot is going on.”

East of Mecosta County, fishing is very slow.

“It’s slowed down a little bit because of the weather,” Woody Raymond of Sanford Sport Shop, said. “It’s not bad. Wixom Lake has done really well. Sanford has picked up a little bit. But then we got this rain a week ago and it dirtied up the water. That makes it harder fishing. I’ve been going to Sugar Springs, which has been good and going to the Bay catching perch and walleye.”

“The edges got soft this weekend, it’s pretty tough getting out,” Greg Clark said of Schafer’s Bait & Sporting Goods of Weidman, said.

“We hear fishing has been pretty good for the most part,” a spokesman at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare said. “The inland lakes have been producing good catches of panfish, but not a lot of large crappies. There’s been some decent perch. The pike fishing has improved. There’s a few smelt to be had this year. It goes in cycles.

Brandon Stanton of Team Gunsmoke Sport Fishing concurred fishing remains solid.

“You have to watch the ice, it was shifting because of the warm spell,” he said. “The fishing is good, but use caution.”

In northwest Michigan, fishing is sporadic.

“It’s hit or miss,” Matt Barthels, of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston, said. “Fishing has improved a bit. We’re getting a little push of mainly fresh females that have pushed up the river lately.”

Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Fish Co. in Manistee, said the ice is still good on Portage Lake.

“They’re doing good on perch,” he said. “Manistee Lake has a lot of little ones. Ice is starting to get dicey on the Manistee. If you’re going anywhere, I’d definitely walk with a spud. The river guides are now back in the river. For steelhead, Bear Creek has been good.”

Manistee Lake is doing good on perch and pike at Stronach and Penny Park, Dewey Buchner of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee, said.

“Portage is hit and miss with good numbers of perch getting caught,” Buchner said. “They are getting a few nice pike and a lot of white fish in the deep hole.”

Dan Osborn of Osborn’s Sport Shop in Bear Lake, said anglers are having success with perch in Crystal Lake.

“They’re catching limits of ciscos in Portage Lake,” Osborn said. “Guys are catching limits of perch. Quite a few walleyes are being caught, smaller ones. They’ve been catching ciscos for weeks now. Guys have come from all over to catch them.”

Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina in Manistee, also confirmed anglers are getting perch at Portage Lake.

“The weather is making it kind of iffy,” he said.

Dave Rommell,  fishing observer in Frankfort, said the sport is going well in his area. “It’s pretty good when the ice holds up for us,” Rommell said. “It’s up and down with the weather. They’re doing real well on northern pike. (Friday), we fished at Crystal Lake, and got a lake trout, northern pike and about 40 perch. It’s been a pretty good season so far.”