DNR: Anglers need to exercise caution

MANISTEE — Ice conditions in the southern portions of the Lower Peninsula were not good, the DNR said, adding with much colder air moving into the state by the weekend, it will still take a good week or so to get the ice back up.

Anglers are doing OK in the Upper Peninsula, and, for the most part, in northwest Michigan, also.

Portage Lake was providing walleye and some perch for anglers. 

“People are going to get back this weekend,” Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Sporting Good, said. “The ice is good on Manistee and Portage. You have to be good on Manistee. At Portage Lake, they’re doing good on perch and walleyes. At Manistee, they’re starting to catch pike and jumbo perch. At Big Manistee, they’re killing the steelhead. At Hamlin Lake, they’re getting bluegills and some pike.”

Manistee River has had some anglers catching some steelhead during the warm-up. 

”Steelhead and trout fishing are still good,” Chelsea Pete, of DLoop Outfitters of Wellston, said. “The weather levels will be dropping.”

Steelhead anglers at the Pere Marquette are doing well when using spawn, flies and beads.

“I haven’t heard much recently,” Dane Bovee, of the Backcast Fly Shop in Benzonia, said. “I knew they’re starting to pick pick up some more steelhead in the Betsie.”

Lake Cadillac has had ice but slush and water were making navigating a little more challenging.

Those finding crappie and bluegills were moving from hole to hole and utilizing dark colored jigs with spikes. There’s been some walleye action and pike continue to hit on tip-ups. 

Lake Mitchell has been a good spot for crappie and bluegills, but anglers should check out the coves. Anglers are taking a few pike and walleye on tipups.

”We haven’t heard a good report in almost a week,” Kyle Smith, of Pilgrim’s Village in Cadillac, said. “Last week, they were doing well on walleyes. There were good reports on crappies, nothing on bluegills.”