Ice fishing expected to last a few more weeks

Ice fishing remains strong in the area with ice surfaces expected to be solid for a a few more weeks.

Jolynn Hildabridle of the Eyes Have It Sports Shop in LeRoy said it’s been a solid ice fishing season in her area.

“Right now, the perch bite is on,” she said. “Walleye season is closing (Friday of this week). The panfish are biting right now like crazy. They’re using minnows. A lot of guys are telling me this has been their best ice fishing season ever.”

The ice is extremely thick on area water surfaces. Rose Lake has produced plenty of perch. Big Long Lake for crappies and bluegills and Center Lakes have been producing fish.

“Steelhead are running too,” Hildabridle said. “It’s been good since we got ice Dec. 23. “Guys are going really good.”

The Department of Natural Resources said that with high water levels in many of the river systems, boat and shore anglers need to exercise caution.

Also, walleye, pike and muskie season on the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters and the St. Mary's River as well as the Lower Peninsula inland waters will close on at midnight this past Friday.

Lake Missaukee still has ice and anglers are catching panfish, the DNR reports, adding that at Lake Cadillac, ice fishing continues. The bluegill and crappie bite has picked up for anglers  that are using small jigs with minnows, spikes or wax worms.

The DNR reports that Lake Mitchell still had good ice and anglers are catching more panfish.

The Pere Marquette River is producing steelhead and anglers should try flies, spawn or wax worms, the DNR said.