Cold weather slows down fishing

REED CITY —  Ice fishing activity has obviously been slow for the most part area wide due to cold, bitter weather in recent days.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reports fishing has been a bust with the arctic temperatures and anglers are expecting to face another week of the same kind of weather. Very few anglers have been out, the DNR said, and the number of updates are low. A warm-up on Saturday may improve the situation, the DNR indicated.

“I’ve not heard of any success,” said Brent Vetter, of Trigger Time Outfitters in Big Rapids. “I’ve heard fish are being very lethargic and everything seems to have shut down in terms of activity.”

Other fishing observers basically share that assessment.

“There’s a little bit, but (Thursday) is a little slow,” said Craig Walters, of The Eyes Have It in LeRoy. “They’re catching some fish, getting some nice gills on Big Long. Todd Lake is doing well for crappies, so is Rose Lake. It’s been slow because of the cold weather.”

It hasn’t been too much busier at Chippewa Lake.

“I haven’t seen but maybe a couple of guys (Thursday),” Danielle Welch, of East Bay General Store said. “I haven’t heard too much. Apparently they’re getting a few pike out there and some specs, but they’ve mainly been on the smaller side.”

Many anglers enjoy going walleye fishing at Saginaw Bay. The DNR reports before the storm and arctic temperatures, some nice catches of big perch were taken very early in the morning off Vanderbilt Park in 6 to 8 feet and some fish measured 12 to 14 inches. 

The DNR adds that walleye were taken north of Spoils Island. Some anglers are still heading out 7 to 8 miles, but fishing has just not been that good, the DNR added.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell produced some perch and crappie for those braving the cold, the DNR said, while suggesting that anglers try very small flies or very small jigs with wax worms or spikes.

At Lake Missaukee, fishermen caught crappie and bluegill and some were fortunate enough to take a northern pike 30 inches or more, the DNR said, while adding that walleye fishing is slow.

The DNR reports that at the Manistee River, those putting up with the cold and putting in the time have caught steelhead.  

Fishing should be good by the weekend, the DNR predicts.