Ice fishing success continues, although it seems to depend on the lake and time of day.
“(Ice fishing) has slowed down a little bit because of the weather,” Woody Raymond, of Sanford Sport Shop, said. “It’s not bad. Wixom Lake has done really well. Sanford has picked up a little bit. But then we got this rain a week ago and it dirtied up the water. That makes it harder fishing. I’ve been going to Sugar Springs, which has been good, and going to (Saginaw) Bay catching perch and walleye.”
“We hear fishing has been pretty good for the most part,” a spokesman at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare said. “The inland lakes have been producing good catches of panfish, but not a lot of large crappies. There’s been some decent perch. The pike fishing has improved. There’s a few smelt to be had this year. It goes in cycles.
Brandon Stanton, of Team Gunsmoke Sport Fishing in Elkton, concurred that fishing remains solid.
“You have to watch the ice; it was shifting because of the warm spell,” he said. “The fishing is good, but use caution.”
In northwest Michigan, fishing is sporadic.
“It’s hit or miss,” Matt Barthels, of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston, said. “Fishing has improved a bit. We’re getting a little push of mainly fresh females that have pushed up the river lately.”
Bud Fitzgerald, of Tangled Fish Co. in Manistee, said the ice is still good on Portage Lake.
“They’re doing good on perch,” he said. “Manistee Lake has a lot of little ones. Ice is starting to get dicy on the Manistee. If you’re going anywhere, I’d definitely walk with a spud. The river guides are now back in the river. For steelhead, Bear Creek has been good.”
Manistee Lake is doing well on perch and pike at Stronach and Penny Park, said Dewey Buchner, of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee.
“Portage is hit and miss with good numbers of perch getting caught,” Buchner said. “They are getting a few nice pike and a lot of white fish in the deep hole.”
Dan Osborn, of Osborn’s Sport Shop in Bear Lake, said anglers are having success with perch in Crystal Lake, and with ciscos and perch in Portage Lake.
“They’re catching limits of ciscos in Portage Lake,” Osborn said. “Guys are catching limits of perch. Quite a few walleyes are being caught, smaller ones. They’ve been catching ciscos for weeks now. Guys have come from all over to catch them.”
Larry Scharich, of Shipwatch Marina in Manistee, also confirmed that anglers are getting perch at Portage Lake.
“(But) the weather is making it kind of iffy,” he added.
Dave Rommell, fishing observer in Frankfort, said the sport is going well in his area. “It’s pretty good when the ice holds up for us,” Rommell said. “It’s up and down with the weather. They’re doing real well on northern pike. (Friday), we fished at Crystal Lake and got a lake trout, northern pike and about 40 perch. It’s been a pretty good season so far.”