Ice fishing in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula is pretty much done. As the ice melts, residents are finding large numbers of dead fish which is the result of Winterkill, the most common type of fish kill especially in shallow lakes, streams and ponds. Michigan’s harsh winter with thick ice and deep snow cover are the culprit. This type of fish kill typically does not affect the overall health of the fish populations or fishing quality.
Platte Bay: Is open with a south wind but closed with ice flow during a north or west wind. The surf at the mouth of the river remains open.
Platte River: Anglers are finding dark fall run fish near the Post Office.
Frankfort: Lake Michigan including the bay is iced in so there is no access for fishing. There is open water in the channel near the Coast Guard Station.
Betsie River: Anglers are fishing at the Homestead Dam. A few fish were caught on spawn in the early morning.
Onekama: Had no open water and no fishing activity.
Portage Lake: Still has plenty of ice for fishing even though there is some open water near the shoreline. A few perch were caught on minnows and wigglers in the shallows or a bit deeper along the weed beds.
Lake Cadillac: Ice fishing is still possible as of right now but warm temperatures this week could render the ice unsafe by the weekend.
Manistee: Pier anglers caught a few brown trout on spawn. Boats were not able to access the big lake because of excessive ice in the harbor.
Manistee River: Continues to offer good steelhead fishing below Tippy Dam. Anglers are bottom bouncing or floating eggs or fly fishing.
Ludington: A few anglers were finally able to access the piers but no fish were caught. The ice has started to clear up in the harbor and one boat was attempting to head out.
Pere Marquette River: Is producing some nice steelhead.
Pentwater: Still has ice built up around the piers and there was an ice jam at the mouth of the channel. Ice flows have filled the channel quite frequently. Anglers caught a fair number of steelhead and brown trout.