I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year for 2010. If you plan on going ice fishing, use caution, some areas are better than others this time of the year, and always bring your spud at first ice.
Ice conditions around the state are spotty. Some inland lakes have enough ice to support foot traffic only. Anglers are advised to keep snowmobiles, quads and other large vehicles off the ice. There have been various reports of anglers, snowmobiles and large vehicles going through the ice in some locations. Anglers heading out are reminded to use extreme caution.
Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie - Ice anglers were starting to catch a few jumbo perch around the Banana Dike but caution needs to be used and travel should be restricted to foot traffic only. Those fishing in the Metro Park Marina were catching bluegills on spikes or mousies. Anglers are reminded to use the Lee Road entrance.Huron River - Those fishing the deeper holes were still taking a couple steelhead. Try spawn, wax worms or crank baits.Port Austin - Had no safe ice to report. The piers were ice covered and dangerous.Saginaw Bay - Strong northwest winds have created open water once again. Ice anglers will need to wait for safe ice to form. That could happen by the weekend if temperatures stay cold and there is little to no wind.Saginaw River - Ice was forming however there was open water near the mouth.Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joe River - Boats trolling from the mouth to the Berrien Springs Dam are still taking some walleye. Most are using fathead minnows.Van Auken Lake - Ice anglers were fishing the channel only. Ice on the lake was not safe as of this report. Bluegill and crappie were caught on wax worms, spikes or mousies.Grand River at Grand Rapids - Steelhead are being caught on jigs with wax worms or pink and white spawn. Walleye were hitting on bucktail jigs, rapalas and minnows.Rogue River - Was also producing some steelhead.Grand River at Lansing - The walleye action over at Moore’s Park was slow however fish were still being caught.Red Cedar River - Was producing a few pike.Lake Lansing - Ice anglers are catching small bluegills and a few perch.Muskrat Lake - Ice anglers are catching bluegills and crappie.Muskegon Lake - Had a few anglers fishing bluegills in shallow waters in the northwest corner of the lake. Boats still able to get out were launching from Hartshorn Marina and catching perch on minnows or spikes.Muskegon River - Anglers were still catching a few steelhead near Bridgeton, especially when the water levels came up after the rain.White Lake - Ice anglers are targeting bluegills near Wesley’s Marina. Pike anglers were starting to use tip-ups in the northeast section of the lake near the narrows.White River - Steelhead were caught up near Pines Point Campground.Northeast Lower Peninsula
Inland lakes in the Grayling and Mio area as well as Roscommon and Kalkaska County are frozen over with thin ice. Some have been getting out by foot but caution needs to be used.
Alpena - Ice was starting to form in the harbor however there was no safe ice as of this report.Au Sable River - Anglers continue to catch fair to good numbers of steelhead along with a few brown trout. Most are fishing the deeper holes with spawn, wax worms or artificial baits.Higgins Lake - Reported ice out to the drop off but open water beyond that. There was no safe ice to report. It will be two or three weeks yet for safe ice, and that’s if the weather stays cold.Houghton Lake - Ice anglers are catching walleye and pike. Some bluegills were caught off the north and south shore.Tawas - Ice was starting to form around the state dock however there was no safe ice as of this report. Conditions could change by the weekend if it stays cold.Northwest Lower Peninsula
Traverse City - Both the East Bay and the West Bay have open water. No safe ice to report.Skegemog Lake - Ice anglers are catching a few perch.Long Lake - Ice anglers have started catching a few walleye and perch. Pike were hitting on tip-ups.Lake Cadillac - Ice anglers are taking fair to good numbers of northern pike when using tip-ups or spear fishing. A few walleye were also caught. Those fishing in shallow waters have caught bluegills and crappie. Ice shanties were seen on the west side of the lake.Lake Mitchell - Has ice however the better fishing was on Cadillac.Manistee River - Those braving the cold were still finding some steelhead.
Great care should be taken on the ice as it was fairly thin before the last two significant snow falls. Now there is slush and thin layered ice on many lakes. At least four vehicles have gone through the ice on the Michigamme Reservoir and other area lakes in Iron and Dickinson County as well as Forest County in Wisconsin.
Michigamme Reservoir - Has ice and some slush. A local angler put his vehicle through the ice. With that said, foot traffic should be the only way anglers travel across the ice. Extreme caution needs to be used. A few pike have been caught.Big Manistique Lake - Has ice and is producing walleye along with some perch.South Manistique Lake - Is also producing walleye and a few perch. Both lakes should also start producing some pike.Twin Lake - Near Newberry has ice and the bluegill anglers are out.