Ice is becoming more stable especially in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula. The southern regions still had open water. Steelhead rivers are still quite high and very few were out fishing.


Thumb Lake: Had ice with some water on top near the boat launch. A few were fishing around the island and in the west basin, but ice conditions were unknown. Ice conditions in the east basin were also unknown. A couple splake were caught when jigging minnows or using tip-ups in 5 to 12 feet around the island and near the boat launch. The occasional perch was also caught. Some tried fishing at the public beach however there were no reports of any success.

Lake Leelanau: The North Lake recently had areas with open water and though the lake had locked up, nowhere were ice conditions safe at this time. On the South Lake, the ice off the Park Road access was not safe yet, maybe by the weekend. Most anglers were fishing from the DNR launch on the west side and up to Fountain Point. Though the bite has hit-or-miss, some large walleye were caught.

Traverse City: Had little to report as both the East and the West Bay were still wide open. Several small lakes in Grand Traverse County had fishable ice where anglers were getting panfish and small pike.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Ice fishing for crappie, pike and walleye is going strong on both lakes. Lots of fishing activity near Mitchell State Park.

Hamlin Lake: Had no ice.

Sunrise Lake: In Osceola County is beginning to see some activity with small panfish being caught.

Mecosta County: The bite was slow on Lake Mecosta with only a handful of sunfish and crappie caught. Those fishing Haymarsh Lake in the State Game Area reported sunfish and a few bigger crappie. Anglers were out on Chippewa Lake and taking a few perch, sunfish and pike.


Pretty much all the rivers were running high and muddy in this region. There may be some skim ice but no safe ice so anglers will have to wait a few more weeks. Open water anglers were out but catch rates were slow.

Grand Haven: Those fishing off Smith Bridge near Spring Lake were getting a few perch on minnows.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: Continues to have higher water levels which have hampered fishing efforts.

Rogue River: The occasional steelhead could still be found in the lower river.

Muskegon Lake: Had no ice. A few boat anglers were out however water clarity was still low and catch rates were slow.


Burt Lake: Ice anglers are getting the occasional steelhead or brown trout on the south end. Most are targeting walleye and perch. For walleye, try along the drop-off near the points. Some are getting the occasional burbot.

Grand Lake: Anglers caught walleye and perch.

Montmorency County: McCormick Lake had open water on the south end. Catch rates were slow with only brown trout caught. Clear Lake was producing a few splake. East Twin Lake had low fishing pressure with only a few pike caught.

Lake Margrethe: Ice fishing was going strong. Though the bite slowed, anglers were finding walleye, pike, bluegills and a few perch.

Higgins Lake: Finally froze over however the ice was not safe yet as it will take a good week or more of cold temperatures and very light winds to shore up the ice.

Houghton Lake: The ice was bad in the North Bay near the Muskegon River, near the Cut River and Denton Creek. A quad went through the ice along a pressure crack that runs from Long Point to the Heights area so stay clear of it. There is a pressure crack between the lighthouse and the DNR launch on the south end. The bite was hit-or-miss along the drop-offs when using a gold jigging spoon with orange or green. Panfish were hitting mousies and wax worms. For walleye, jigging was not working so most were just putting a small minnow down the hole and leave it alone. Pike were hitting on anything.

Lake St. Helen: Anglers caught crappie, bluegills and the occasional walleye.

Tawas: There was not much to report. There was no fishable ice.

and no boat anglers.

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