Ice anglers enjoying enormous success

Many area spots are rich in fish

Jeff Greene



File photo

Ice fishing is here. Recent cold weather has solidified most ice surfaces although, as usual, anglers need to exercise caution.

Rodney area resident and active bluegill fisherman Jeff Greene was especially busy last week.

“The first two times I got a total of seven fish,” Greene said. “Then I went to Haymarsh Lake and got there around 2:30. For about an hour and a half, I got two fish. Then from 4 to 4:30, I got 16. All of a sudden, they were biting and there they were. I tried Chippewa and didn’t do well there either time.”

Prior to the cold spell last weekend, Greene said he had four to six inches of ice wherever he went.

“Ice fishing is pretty good right now,” Tom Vernon of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “It’s been good in pretty much all the lakes in the area. There’s a good bluegill bite. All the panfish, that’s been going well. The same with walleye. Hardy and Croton dams are both producing fish.”

In Manistee County, “it’s really good,” Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle Co. said. “Right now, I think we have fishable ice on every lake around us. They’re getting a few perch and pike on Manistee Lake. They’re getting a few pike on Portage. Overall, it’s a good fishery.”

Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee, likes what he’s been hearing.

“We have 10 inches of beautiful ice,” he said. “They’re catching limits of pike at Penny Park and at Ninth Street. They have to do some sorting on perch, but people are getting 10 to 12 keepers right now. That will heat up. There’s a few walleyes right on Manistee. Portage, they’re getting some nice perch, 10 to 12, and a few walleyes and some nice pike.”