FISHING REPORT: Ice on inland lakes holding up, perch biting in Portage Lake

MANISTEE — Ice fishing success continues, although it seems to depend on the lake and time of day.

“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 dicey 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 good on perch and pike at Stronach and Penny Park, Dewey Buchner of Don’s Sporting goods in Manistee, said.

“Portage is hit and miss with good numbers of perch getting caught,” Dewey Buchner of Don’s Sporting Goods said. “They are getting a few nice pike and a lot of whitefish in the deep hole.”

Dan Osborn of Osborn’s Sport Shop in Bear Lake, said anglers are having success with perch in Crystal.

“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 anglers are getting perch at Portage Lake.

“The weather is making it kind of iffy,” he said.

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. Today, 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.”

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