FROM DNR REPORTS
— Ice fishing in full swing
With ice fishing in full swing, anglers are reminded that safety is a must so be sure to check the ice ahead of you, use the buddy system, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return, take a cell phone, and remember a life jacket could save your life.
Locally, ice fishing is going strong on the inland lakes.
Green Lake: In Grand Traverse County is producing some smelt. The better fishing is at night when using a jig.
Lake Cadillac: Has been good for pike, panfish and the occasional walleye. For panfish, try small jigs with minnows or spikes and for walleye try jigging rapalas or using tip-ups. Pike are being taken by those using tip-ups and by those spearing.
Lake Mitchell: Is good for pike and panfish. For bluegill, try the coves on the west side of the lake with teardrops and wax worms. Crappie are good off the State Park.
Lake Missaukee: Is producing bluegill, crappie and the occasional perch. The better fishing is usually along the weed beds on the west side of the lake.
Portage Lake: Is producing bluegill, crappie and some pike.
Manistee River: Still had some shelf ice in the lower river however the upper section had open water and was producing some steelhead.
Au Sable River: Even with the drastic change in weather, anglers will be able to access the river at most of the access sites. The launch on Rea Road is open but iced up after the thaw and refreeze. A limited number of vehicles can park there but anglers will need 4-wheel drive to launch from there. Foote Dam is still open for vehicles although the snow was still pretty deep in some areas. Most of the fishing platform was accessible and some trails were broken along the edge of the river. High Banks has open parking but watch the stairs as they are very icy. A two track was broken to the Boy Scout Camp but the hard snow makes it difficult to get to. The Whirlpool is open but the access road and the launch were very icy. Steelhead are in the river.
Higgins Lake: Had water on the ice but it is going down. Lake trout are being caught in 100 feet of water by those jigging Swedish Pimples or using tip-ups just off the bottom. A few pike were taken in 30 feet off Sam-O-Set which is off the southern part of the north end. Perch were caught off Big Creek in 40 feet. Try minnows or wax worms. Pike were also caught by those jigging a spoon that resembles smelt. Rainbow trout could be found in shallow water near the Conference Center and Big Creek.
Houghton Lake: Has good ice covered with slush. Pike and perch have been caught along the weed beds. Fair to good walleye action reported in the East Bay.
Tawas: Snow and slush is making for difficult travel on the bay. They’re getting some small perch in 15 feet and walleye in 20 feet off Jerry’s Marina. Those not able to get out on the bay have also caught perch and walleye inside the State Harbor.
Au Gres: Anglers have caught some walleye three to four miles off Santiago Road in 20 feet of water. Some are heading south and going off the end of Hale Road.
Au Gres River: Is mainly producing sub-legal walleye with a few keepers.