Ice fishing success continues to grow

Angler having good luck in various places

Ice thickness locally is good and so is the fishing success.

Ice thickness locally is good and so is the fishing success.

john raffel

BIG RAPIDS – Anglers in the area continue to have ice fishing success at various places.

In Mecosta County, “they were doing good last weekend and the first part of this week on perch and walleye in the river at Davis Bridge, Big Bend and Brower’s Park,” Tanner Havens at Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “They’re also getting a lot of bluegills on area lakes on wax worms.”

Avid bluegill fisherman Jeff Greene of Rodney said he’s been doing well at Haymarsh Lake “as have other fishermen. Neither Cranhill Lake or Hillview Lake have been producing many fish at all. It seems like guys who I know of who like to fish are concentrating on the northend of Haymarsh Lake. There’s plenty of ice. It’s like 10 inches.

“In a good winter when I was working (as a DNR biologist), I would estimate 5,000 bluegills let Haymarsh Lake in the winter. That’s a lot of fish. When you have  a lot of years like this, a lot of guys are catching fish anytime they go.”

In Osceola County, avid fisherman Josh Johnson of Evart said he has had pike fishing success at a private pond in Evart.

In the northwest lower Peninsula, the DNR anglers were catching cisco in 50 to 100 feet of water and fishing earlier in the day provided the best action. Pike fishing at Portage Lake was decent with several small fish caught and an occasional keeper.

Decent perch fishing occurred off the 9th street boat launch at Manistee Lake. Pike fishing was also good, the DNR said.

“We still got fishable ice around us, pretty much everywhere, like Portage Lake,” Bud Fitzgerald, of Tangle Tackle Co., said. “They’re still getting good pike off of Manistee Lake. There’s perch off and on at Portage. Probably after the weekend they’ll start working the river again for steelhead.”

 A spokesperson at Captain Chucks in Ludington said activity has been slow. He added in another week or two, the crappie should start biting on upper Hamlin. They’re also getting a few walleye on upper Hamlin

Fishing Tip: Relax while ice fishing by using tip-ups

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

Tip-ups are a perfect technique to use for the entire ice fishing season in Michigan. This method allows anglers to sit back and relax, yet still experience the thrill of the catch!
Early in the season stick by shallow structures where species like northern pike and walleye will congregate. Try a variety of depths to figure out where they’re targeting exactly. However, if you are walleye fishing, the minnow should be hung 12 to 15 inches off the bottom. For pike the minnow should be hung three to seven feet off the bottom or just above the top of any vertical aquatic plants. The minnows should be hung in these positions for walleye and pike regardless of the over water depth.
Tip-ups become even more productive later in the season as less-aggressive fish are drawn to your presentation.