While cold temperatures are making ice, conditions vary around the state and anglers need to use extreme caution. Surface water runoff, creek inflows, and current can all create dangerous ice conditions. Stay away from pressure cracks.

NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA

Charlevoix County: Fishing conditions have been slow. A few anglers were starting to fish the protected bays in the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix. Splake were caught on Thumb Lake.

Antrim County: Several anglers were out and catching a few fish.

Kalkaska County: Manistee Lake had a slow perch bite. Walleye were caught but many were undersize. On Bear Lake, a decent number of trout were caught on a bright green or orange teardrop with a minnow.

Grand Traverse County: Anglers are reporting questionable ice on some inland lakes in the area. Those out fishing reported a slow bite.

Benzie County: Ice conditions remain inconsistent. Anglers were out on the smaller lakes such as Turtle Lake, but caution needs to be used.

Lake Missaukee: Fishing activity was slow with small walleye and perch caught.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Ice fishing continues but those getting fish are working for them and must be willing to move around.

Osceola County: Angler activity has been slow. Panfish are being taken on most inland lakes but no limits reported. Pike fishing was steady.

Mecosta County: Bluegill and perch fishing were steady on Chippewa Lake. Bluegill, pike, and crappie were caught on Lake Mecosta. Anglers were getting good numbers of bluegill on the Haymarsh Lakes. Smaller crappie and bluegill were caught on Hillview Lake.

Newaygo County: Ice fishing has picked up and most lakes as well as parts of the Muskegon River are seeing good fishing activity.

NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA

Cheboygan County: Burt Lake had slow catch rates for perch and walleye. The fish caught are good sized but low numbers. Three ORVs have gone through the ice. Extreme caution is necessary, especially near the pressure cracks. On Mullett Lake, there is skim ice in the middle. Some are fishing along the shoreline.

Montmorency County: McCormick Lake had ice on the south bay with open water from Sheridan Creek. Ice conditions on the north end of the lake were unknown.

A few brown trout measuring 12-14 inches were caught when jigging or using tip-ups with minnows. East Twin Lake was slow with only a few walleye and perch taken. On West Twin, anglers reported small walleye and no perch. Clear Lake was producing a few splake. On Lake 15, catch rates for smelt were good though the bite slowed.

Alpena County: Grand Lake was producing a good number of perch though the bite did slow. Fletchers Pond was slow with only a small number of perch and pike taken.

Iosco County: Anglers were struggling to catch fish in most lakes. On the Au Sable River, some nice bluegills and perch were caught in Cooke Pond near Pine Acres Road though anglers were working hard to get them.

Higgins Lake: A few anglers are fishing in shallow water along the south shore and the west shore for pike and rainbows. Anglers will need to wait a bit longer for the ice to shore up so they can get out further.

Houghton Lake: Is producing pike and nice catches of crappie though anglers are moving around and putting in their time to get them. Bluegills and crappie were found in the weed beds. Walleye were hitting but the bite slowed.

Lake St. Helen: Panfish, pike and the odd walleye were caught on the Third Lake.

Tawas: A couple ice shanties were off the access road near Jerry’s Marina. Before the bay started to ice up, boat anglers caught good numbers of walleye and lake trout down near Alabaster and Whitestone Point when trolling body baits in 20 to 25 feet.

Tawas River: When there was open water, walleye and lake trout were caught at Gateway Park when casting spoons and body baits.

Au Gres: Pike were caught inside Northport Marina on tip-ups. At Eagle Bay Marina, pike were caught on tip-ups and some nice crappie were taken. Small perch and bluegill were caught on wax worms. There was some shelf ice between the Pine River and Sagatoo Road. A few nice perch were caught on jack hooks and minnows.

Au Gres River: Anglers were getting a lot of undersize walleye along with a few keepers. Most were jigging with minnows. Steelhead were caught in the East Branch.

UPPER PENINSULALittle Bay De Noc: Shifting ice opened-up some pressure cracks and there was a drowning off Kates Bay. The ice is getting better however anglers will still need to use extreme caution and stay clear of the pressure cracks.

Indian Lake: Was producing perch and walleye.

Sault Ste. Marie: Ashmun Bay and other bays located on Lake Superior had little to no fishable ice.

Munuscong Bay: Fishing was slow with anglers getting a few perch, walleye, or pike.

Cedarville and Hessel: There was ice on the north side of Musky Bay however ice conditions were unknown on the south end and going into Duck Bay.

Those jigging minnows in Musky Bay caught undersize pike. Ice anglers on Hessel Bay caught perch when jigging minnows, wigglers, and wax worms in 12 to 17 feet. A couple splake and a pike were also caught.

Brevoort Lake: Anglers were still getting some perch.

SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULALake Erie: Access sites are iced in and boat anglers are unable to go out for walleye. There was no safe ice yet.

Lenawee County: Fishing activity was slow over the last week. Panfish were caught on Devils Lake and Lake Hudson.

Washtenaw County: Decent numbers of crappie were caught on North Lake, but most were small. Silver Lake produced a fair number of bluegills. Decent perch and sunfish action on Cassidy Lake. A few panfish were taken on Crooked and South Lakes.

Oakland County: A few anglers have been out on smaller lakes, but caution needs to be used. A snowmobile went through the ice on Wolverine Lake so those going out should stick to foot traffic only. Catch rates were slow with only a few panfish taken.

Lake St. Clair: Anglers have started to venture out in protected canals and marinas. Ice thickness is highly variable and extreme caution needs to be used. Anglers did report good catches of panfish and perch.

St. Clair River: The 12th Street launch is beginning to ice in. No boats were seen.

Saginaw Bay: Linwood Marina and Pinconning Park were fishable on the west side.

Catch rates were slow with only a few small yellow perch. Open water from the mouth of the Saginaw River up to Whites Beach had started to freeze. On the east side, ice conditions vary, and those heading out need to check the ice ahead of them. Most were heading out on foot only from Vanderbilt Park. A few yellow perch were caught on minnows in 5 feet. Small perch were caught at Finn Road. Fishing from Sebewaing to Bay Port was slow with mostly small perch caught along with the occasional keeper. Yellow perch fishing improved out in Wildfowl Bay, but many were small. Those doing best were moving around. Beaded spoons, minnows, and wax worms worked best. Only a few pike were caught.

Saginaw River: Ice is forming yet the river had not been fishable for open water or ice anglers yet. At Bay Harbor Yacht Club, small perch and undersize walleye were taken on minnows.

Tittabawassee River: Ice was forming here as well though was still not fishable at the beginning of the week.

SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA{span class=”print_trim”}

More anglers are venturing out though caution needs to be used as ice conditions were not uniform by any means. Anglers should always use caution especially on any lakes closer to Lake Michigan which take longer to freeze up.

Branch County: Some lakes were producing limits of panfish.

Calhoun County: Panfish have been caught on several lakes. A pike was taken on Prairie Lake.

Kalamazoo County: More anglers are heading out though there are still several lakes that take longer to freeze and should not be considered safe yet.

Jackson County: Ice fishing is taking place on some lakes and some are taking shanties out.

Clinton County: A few bluegill and decent catches of crappie have been caught on area lakes. The bite was best at first light and just before dark. Most are using small jigs with wax worms and spikes.

Grand River near Grand Rapids: The occasional steelhead continues to be caught along with a few walleye.

Muskegon River: Perch are being caught if you can find safe ice.

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