Ice fishing activity picking up in area

BIG RAPIDS — Ice surfaces are generally thick in most areas although anglers are always advised to be careful.

In northwest Michigan, near Traverse City, ice fishing has been slow in the West Bay with only a few perch caught in Suttons Bay and south of Northport producing lake trout the DNR said.

“They’ve been catching some perch in the river,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods in Morley said. “It looks like they’ve been catching some (crappie) behind our place on the pond. Guys were using green jigs and red spikes. It’s kind of like the wax worm. They were doing good midway for that. There was a guy out at Chippewa Lake who did good on (crappies) too. They weren’t quite as big as what they normally are. They’ve been catching walleyes on the river as well.”

“It’s been a little quiet but they are picking up some panfish” Warren Elka, of Triggertime Outfitters in Big Rapids, said. “There’s plenty of ice. As far as bite, the bite’s been quiet.”

In Benzonia, Long Lake is producing pike and perch.

“They’ve been out on Crystal Lake,” Desyre Shelton, of the Benzie Backcast Flyshop, said. “Steelhead are pretty slow right now but they’re starting to pick up.”

Crystal Lake is producing pike and burbot. Lake trout were also caught on smelt, however smelt were not being caught in large numbers.

“There are some steelhead in the river but it it’s pretty slow with all the snow,” Nick Homan of Dloop Outfitters in Wellston said.

Anglers continue to catch pike, walleye, crappie, perch and bluegill at Lakes Mitchell and Cadillac.

“They’re getting perch on Manistee Lake and Portage,” Bob Lancaster of Tangled Tackle Co., of Manistee said. “You might have a good day one day and catch nothing the next. When they’re biting, they’re doing well And they are getting northern pike on a few lakes. But northern pike are kind of slow on Portage right now.”

“Quite a few guys are going out looking mostly for pike at Manistee Lake right now,” Kristen Loeffler, of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee said. “There’s a lot of good sized ones. They’re also catching some walleye in the lake right now. A lot guys are heading to Portage Lake right now.”

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