Very little ice fishing activity taking place

Anglers still trying to have success

Ice fishing season in the area has all but ended.

Ice fishing season in the area has all but ended.

File photo

BIG RAPIDS – The DNR reminds anglers the 2022 license year goes into effect on April 1. The DNR encourages anglers to check out this year's fishing guide for updates on regulations.

All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license.

In northwest Michigan, “there’s not much going on right now,” Larry Scharich of Shipwatch Marina in Manistee said. “They’re catching a few steelhead in the river and that’s about it. We’re in transition. It’s not good enough to ice fish. They’re still doing some ice fishing at Portage Lake but I haven’t heard too much good.”

Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Sporting Goods, acknowledged activity was relatively slow right now.

“They’re still fishing for perch on Portage,” he said. “There’s some crazy guys going on at Manistee Lake around Ninth Street. The steelhead are doing good. They’re starting to get some down on the pier at the Little Manistee.”

“Right now, the ice is done,” Bud Fitzgerald, of Tangled Tackle Co. said. “There’s a little bit of ice on Bear Lake. Some of the inland lakes have good ice. But that probably will be gone if we get any rain. Right now the steelhead are in the river.

“We had a great ice fishing season. It was really good. We finally had a good year all the way around. There was a lot of big pike this year.”

Caleb Keegstra of Captain Chuck’s in Ludington acknowledged the ice was getting iffy.

“Some of the steelhead fishing is picking up a little bit,” he said.

Fishing Tip:

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

Michigan’s numerous piers and breakwalls offer great fishing opportunities throughout the year. Anglers often participate in this activity to target a variety of species, with trout and salmon being two of the most popular.

If you decide to partake in this type of fishing you’ll need a high-quality rod and reel. Technique-wise you’ll want to vary the depth and speed of your retrieves and consider fan-casting as opposed to casting perpendicular to the pier/breakwall.

There are lots of bait options to consider, including spawn bags with steelhead, trout or salmon eggs; live alewives; or night crawlers. You’ll also want a long-handled net to aid in landing your catch!

As always, take plenty of safety precautions when fishing piers and breakwalls.