FISHING REPORT: Recent warmup slows ice fishing, but brings out fresh steelhead

MANISTEE — The DNR reports even though ice fishing is on, it is hard to say what impact the rain and above freezing temperatures this week could have on ice conditions.

For this reason, anglers will need to use caution and watch for pressure cracks. Windy conditions have an effect on ice conditions.

In northwest Michigan, the DNR was getting a very limited number of reports in the Manistee area.

“Steelhead fishing on the Big Manistee has actually been pretty good with the warmup in weather we’ve had,” Dave Barkman, of DLoop Outfitters in Wellston, said. “We have fresh steelhead showing up. It should continue to fish well. With that warmup, the lower river has thawed out enough to fish.”

Bud Fitzgerald of Tangle Tackle Co. concurred.

“The river has opened back up again,” he said. “They’re fishing the river for steelheads. It seems like they’re getting some fish. The slush and snow that was on the lakes is now gone and freezing up nicely. We should have some good ice fishing coming up both here and Manistee and Portage Lakes. They should all be ready to go.”

“Most of the guys right now are heading over to Penney Park and Portage Lake in Onekama,” Kristen Loeffler, of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee said. “Other than that Canfield Lake has been good. (Fish) has varied. It’s crappies, perch, pike and walleye, mainly. They are catching some good-size pike.”

A lot of ice shanties at Frankfort were set up along the north shoreline in Betsie Bay but there were no report on catches yet.

In Benzie County, anglers at Crystal Lake were fishing the east end and starting to take some lake trout on tip-ups.

“There’s been a few fish caught in the river, which is fishable, and in some of the smaller lakes,” Desyre Shelton of the Benzie Flycast Shop said.

Lake Missaukee has panfish and pike.

The same applies to Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. Ice fishing, the DNR reports, is in full swing with some nice pike, walleye and panfish taken from both lakes. The pike are hitting on tip-ups with sucker minnows. Panfish are hitting on minnows and wax worms, the DNR said. Walleyes are hitting on tip-ups with large shiners or jigging with rapalas.

Leave a Reply