If you can handle cold, ice fishing will be good

January 4, 2018

By John Raffel

January is likely to greet area fishermen with plenty of ice the next several weeks.

Reports across northern and Central Michigan indicate there is safe ice virtually everywhere, thanks especially to the recent cold snap that has hit the area.
“There’s a little bit more ice than last week,” Travis Bohy of Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare said.

Ice fishing is picking up on Michigan lakes, if you’re brave enough to weather the cold.

Ice fishing is picking up on Michigan lakes, if you’re brave enough to weather the cold.

“The last local area I was on had seven inches of ice. People were driving four-wheelers and snowmobiles and stuff around so the ice is getting pretty good. The fishing is picking up a little bit. They’re catch fishing here and there, nothing super great yet. We’re hoping for a little warmer weather which should help out.
“Guys are getting out there. Folks are catching fish. Most of the lakes are iced up. There are guys catching fish.”

Anglers are also doing well in other parts of Michigan.

In the Cadillac-Traverse City area, more fishermen are starting to trickle their way onto the lakes. Because the area is getting a fresh blanket of snow on top of everything, fishing experts advise anglers to make sure if they venture out to use their spud the whole way.

At Lake Missaukee, anglers are fishing off of the town pump but they should take a spud and be careful, experts say.

Around Interlochen, Long, Duck and Green lakes were slowly starting to freeze over. Green Lake was still open off the south access site.

Pilgrim’s Village, of Cadillac, also reported good steelhead catches on both the Manistee River and the Betsie River.

“We have safe ice and they’ve been fishing about a week,” Deb Yonkman of Pilgrim’s, said. “We’ve gotten anywhere from four to six, it depends on where they go. They need to use caution. We had a 39-inch pike come in from Lake Mitchell. They said they got a couple of 30-inchers. Fishing has been good. It’s starting to happen now.”

Reports are similar in other areas of the state.

Jett White of East Bay General Store in Chippewa Lake, said anglers have been getting on the ice. The East Bay on Chippewa Lake is usually very popular for ice fishing.

“People have their quads and snowmobiles out there,” White said.

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