Ice fishing starting to pick up

Anglers having a modest deal of success

Ice fishermen are anxious for the winter season to provide good opportunities.

Ice fishermen are anxious for the winter season to provide good opportunities.

Pioneer photo/John Raffel

BIG RAPIDS – Ice fishing in the area seems to be picking up in activity as long as temperatures stay below zero.

Recently, avid angler Jeff Greene, of Rodney, provided observations of local fishing ventures.

“Nobody was on Lake Mecosta and nobody was on Burgess Lake so I didn’t try those,” he said. “I did go to Chippewa Lake and got a couple of little perch. There’s plenty of ice there. I ended up on Haymarsh Lake. There were 20 people out there. I cleaned a dozen that day.

“I went back Sunday and really worked hard to catch five (at Haymarsh).”

Chelsea Pete, at Manistee River Lodge, in Wellston, said with recent snowmelt and rain, waters have come up a bit “which is a good thing. Most of the rivers have a perfect amount of stain to them.

“We’re still finding fresh steelhead including putting a couple in the net every couple of days,” Pete said. “Fish can be kind of picky, so try a smaller hook with water clearing stains. We’re waiting for a good push of spring steelhead. We’re still fishing winter fish.”

A spokesman at Tangled Tackle in Manistee said the ice in Cadillac was good and colder weather would mean good ice on Portage the next couple of weeks. Walleyes are hitting at Lake Mitchell.

“People are floating minnows on the river and getting trout,” he said. 

In Mecosta County “the main thing they’ve been doing is perch fishing out by Eight Mile at Davis Bridge,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods, in Morley, said. “They’ve been fishing from the shore. With the no ice out there, they’ve been catching perch pretty good out there from what I’ve heard.”

He added there were signs of some walleye activity below Croton and Rogers dams.