Ice-fishing season finally gets started; caution urged to all

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 26, safe ice still was forming on
many lakes in the Lower Peninsula. Anglers are urged to use extreme
caution. Always test the ice as you go since lakes can freeze
unevenly. Wear a life jacket and carry ice picks. Beware of
potential thin ice around river mouths, currents, springs, and
docks.

SOUTHERN LOWER

St. Joseph Area

There was no safe ice as of late last week in the St. Joseph area.
Steelhead fishing has been decent on the St. Joseph River with
spawn producing good results at Berrien Springs. There is up to 6
inches of snow on the ground, and rabbit and coyote hunting have
been great.

B.J. Sports (269) 429-8271.

Kalamazoo Area

Safe ice is forming on area lakes and ice fishing was still a few
cold days away. Steelhead and walleye action has been good on the
Kalamazoo River. Anglers fishing Hot ‘N’ Tots below the Allegan Dam
report decent success. Coyote and rabbit hunting have improved with
the recent snow. Squirrel hunting has been good.

D and R Sports (269) 372-2277.

Luna Pier Area

Anglers are catching a few panfish in the cuts and canals along
Lake Erie, but there is no safe ice on the big lake. Up to 3 inches
of snow has helped predator hunters, who report good success.
Rabbit hunting has been good, too.

Luna Pier Harbour Club (734) 848-8777.

Lake St. ClairvIce fishing is finally getting started in the
shallows of the bays and canals on Lake St. Clair. Minnows, spikes,
and wax worms are all taking perch. Rabbit hunting has been good.
There is up to 5 inches of snow on the ground.vLakeside Fishing
Shops (586) 777-7003, (586) 468-9913.

Pontiac Area

Ice was still forming on most inland lakes in Oakland County as of
late last week, but a few anglers were venturing out in the shallow
bays. There is up to 4 inches of snow on the ground and rabbit
hunting has been good at the Pontiac Lake and Bald Mountain
recreation areas. Squirrel hunting also has been good.

KD Outdoors (248) 666-7799.

Saginaw Bay Area

Ice fishing is just getting started on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay and
anglers are having to stay close to shore. Perch fishing has been
fair. A few walleyes and pike are being caught by anglers wading at
the hot ponds. There’s no safe ice on the Saginaw or Tittabawassee
rivers. Predator and rabbit hunting have both been good with
several inches of snow on the ground.

Franks Great Outdoors (989) 697-5341.

Hoyles Marina (989) 697-4415.

Lansing Area

A few bluegills are being caught on Lake Ovid where there was up to
3 inches of ice around shore late last week. Fishing has been slow
on the Grand River with light angler pressure. Rabbit hunting has
been fair.

Grand River Bait & Tackle (517) 482-4461.

Muskegon Area

Safe ice was still forming late last week on Muskegon Lake. A few
anglers were catching ’gills and perch in the marinas and shallow
bays. A few walleyes were hitting in open water near the warm-water
discharge. Coyote and rabbit hunting have improving now that there
is snow on the ground.

Angler Archer (231) 744-5992.

NORTHERN LOWER

Cadillac Area

Pike and panfish are hitting in the shallows of lakes Cadillac and
Mitchell. Safe ice was still forming last week and anglers are
urged to use extreme caution. Bunny and predator hunting have been
good. Squirrel hunting pressure has been light.

Schaefer’s Bait & Sporting Goods (231) 775-7085.

Ludington Area

Ice fishing has started at Ludington. Anglers are catching a few
bluegills and northern pike in the shallows on Upper Hamlin Lake
and some of the bayous in the area. There is up to a foot of snow
on the ground. Hunting pressure has been light.

Pere Marquette Sport Center (231) 843-8676.

Traverse City Area

Ice fishing has been good with up to 4 inches on most area lakes.
Spikes and wax worms are taking fish on Manistee, Arbutus, and
Spider lakes. Steelhead are hitting wigglers and wax worms in the
Boardman River. There is up to a foot of snow on the ground.
Hunting pressure has been light.

WildFishing Guide Service www.wildfishing.com

Houghton Lake Area

Panfish and pike are hitting in the shallows of Houghton Lake,
where ice as of last week was safe for foot traffic only. Anglers
were being reminded to avoid the pressure cracks and areas of open
water. Hunting pressure has been light, but predator hunters report
good success.

Lyman’s on the Lake (989) 422-3231.

Sportsman’s Resort and Marina (989) 366-5471.

Higgins Lake Area

Safe ice was still forming last week on Higgins Lake. A few anglers
were fishing close to shore and catching fair numbers of ‘bows and
browns. Hunting pressure has been very light.

Higgins Lake Sport & Tackle (989) 821-9517.

Phoenix Party and Bait Store (989) 821-7220.

Hubbard Lake Area

Ice anglers are finally getting out on Hubbard Lake where there was
up to 4 inches of ice last week. A fair number of walleyes are
being caught at the south end of the lake and along the west shore.
There is up to 8 inches of snow on the ground. Hunting pressure has
been light.

Side Door Bait and Tackle (989) 736-6418.

Glennie Area

Ice was running up to 6 inches thick late last week on the Au Sable
River system. Anglers are catching pike and bluegills at Alcona Dam
Pond and the other impoundments along the river. Panfish also were
hitting on Long Lake. There was up to 8 inches of snow on the
ground and coyote hunting has been pretty good. Rabbit and squirrel
hunting have been quiet and hunter pressure has been light.

The Au Sable Hook-Up (989) 728-2248.

Tawas Area

Ice anglers fishing close to shore on Tawas Bay are catching a
light number of perch. Ice thickness varies on the bay, and anglers
are reminded to use caution. Predator and rabbit hunting have
improved with fresh snow on the round.

All Season Sporting Goods (989) 362-4512.

UPPER PENINSULA

Pickford Area

Ice is running up to 6 inches thick on Munuscong Bay. Anglers are
catching perch on minnows fished near “the birches.” Walleyes are
hitting bigger minnows fished throughout the bay. There is up to a
foot of snow on the ground. Predator and rabbit hunting have been
good, with a few hunters getting out.

Wilderness Treasures (906) 647-4002.

Drummond Island Area

Anglers are catching perch and pike in Scotts Bay in 4 to 10 feet
of water. Ice is running up to 10 inches thick. There was 8 inches
of snow on the ground, but hunting pressure has been light.

Johnson’s Sport Shop (906) 493-6300.

Newberry Area

Ice is running up to 8 inches thick on area inland lakes. Anglers
are catching walleyes, perch, and a few pike on the Manistique
Lakes. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground at Newberry
last week, with more to the north. Predator and rabbit hunting have
been good.

Pine Lake Resort (906) 658-3323.

Duke’s Sport Shop (906) 293-8421.

Big Bay Area

Perch fishing has been good on Lake Independence where there is up
to 10 inches of ice. Hunting pressure has been light.

Big Bay Corner Store (906) 345-5098.

Escanaba Area

Ice was running up to 10 inches thick at the north end of Little
Bay de Noc and anglers there were fishing all the way down to the
Escanaba River. “Eating-sized” walleyes are hitting minnows and
jigs fished around the three reefs and south of Gladstone. Perch
are hitting off the weedbeds east of Butler’s Island. There was
about 4 inches of snow on the ground, but hunting pressure has been
very light.

Bay View Bait & Tackle (906) 786-1488.

BayShore Resort Bait & Tackle (906) 428-2950.

Menominee Area

Panfish and northern pike are hitting on Shakey Lake. Predator
hunting has been pretty good with 4 inches of snow on the ground.
Rabbit and squirrel hunting have been good, but hunter pressure has
been light.

MBK Sports Shop (715) 735-5393.

Martin Creek Sport and Feed (906) 863-4868.

L’Anse Area

Ice anglers are catching a few walleyes and whitefish on Huron Bay,
but Keweenaw Bay remains open water. There was just a covering of
snow on the ground as of last week. Predator hunting has been
good.

Indian Country Sports (906) 524-6518.

Bergland Area

Wigglers and wax worms are taking a fair number of perch when
fished in 24 feet of water on Lake Gogebic, where there is a foot
of ice. Walleye and northern pike fishing has been slow. There is
no hunting pressure, but snowmobile trails are open.

Gus’ Guide Service (906) 364-4459.

Maple Ridge Bait & Tackle (906) 575-3545.

Bear’s Nine Pines Resort (906) 842-3361.

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