The waiting game: Anglers looking for safe ice

Fishing activity centered around steelhead in the rivers

Anybody home? Ice shanties haven't made their way on area lakes yet, and won't until safe ice arrives.

Anybody home? Ice shanties haven't made their way on area lakes yet, and won't until safe ice arrives.

File

BIG RAPIDS – Area ice fishing is probably a few weeks away from really getting started as anglers continue to wait for safe ice.

Otherwise, it’s been relatively slow in the outdoors world.

“The only fishing going on around here lately has been steelhead fishing down below Croton with it being open water lately,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley, said. “They’ve been doing really good on steelhead below Croton.

“Other than that, it’s about as much as I’ve heard so far.”

Havens confirmed that locally there aren’t any actual areas with safe ice.

“Not unless you go up to Cadillac or north,” he said. “It might be another week or so at least.”

Kyle Randall, of Paris, host of TV’s Wilderness Journal, agreed.

“There have been a few people out on the ice,” he said. “I think that’s pretty foolish. I know it was pretty stable a week or two ago. But since this last warmup, I wouldn’t be out there.

“I do know they’re doing all right with the steelhead in the river in the western part of the state. Other than that it’s been pretty quiet. It’s that time in between seasons where everybody’s trying to clean mud off of their gear and get out their ice fishing stuff.”

Randall suspects it will take a week or two of cold weather before it’s safe to be out ice fishing.

“We definitely want to see some more stable ice, I do, before I suggest anybody go out there,” he said. “There is some small game hunting going on, the rabbits and that type of thing. But for the most part it’s not real active. If the weather decides to make up its mind, I think we’re set.”