Higher temps should bring more fish

BIG RAPIDS — The DNR reports ice fishing continues to the north but waters in the southern sections of the Lower Peninsula are opening up with the rain and warmer temperatures.

Sucker runs should start soon, and steelhead fishing should improve with the warm up, the DNR said.

In Mecosta County, “guys were getting in their last minute walleye and pike fishing,” Tanner Havens, of Frank’s Sporting Goods, in Morley, said. “It closes (March 15). They were doing pretty good on the pike but the walleye seem to be kind of hit and miss. They’re still getting perch by Davis Bridge. Sounds like they’re not hammering them quite yet. They’re just starting the run of them. The question is the ice. Up to Thursday, the ice is fine. But with the rain (and warmer weather), it could go fast. We had less than 15 feet behind the shop here a week ago. Now it’s almost gone. I would recommend people exercise caution.”

In Osceola County, “it’s pretty slow right now with the weather,” Brad Cox, of Buck Country Bait Store in LeRoy said. “There’s still plenty of ice. They’re still fishing on about every lake around. Your pike and walleye season (ended Friday).”

In northwest Michigan, ice fishing continues, but the DNR said travel on the ice may become difficult as rain and warmer temperatures produce sloppy conditions. Water levels on the rivers may rise quickly, the DNR said. There’s not much on steelhead reports, but the DNR added it needs to warm up and stay that way to get the fish moving.

“With warming temperatures, there should a good push of fish,” Chelsea Pete, of Dloop Outfitters in Wellston, said. “Fish will be moving for this time of year. It should be a good start to the season.”

The ice was still holding at lakes Mitchell and Cadillac. Anglers continue to target pike, walleye and panfish but pike and walleye season closed on Friday.

“The river is running pretty high,” Bud Fitzgerald of Tangled Tackle, in Manistee said. “We’ve still got good ice. “Getting on the ice is difficult. Right close to shore is getting pretty spongy. There are some guys fishing inside the pier. They were starting to catch crappies on Manistee Lake.”

“A lot of my guys are going out for the last day of pike and walleye,” Kristen Loeffler, of Don’s Sporting Goods in Manistee, said on Friday. “The other half are going to Manistee Lake for perch. Some of my guys are heading to Portage and Gunn Lake. They’re going for perch, crappies and bluegills. A lot of guys were getting ready to do steeelhead fishing.”

Perch anglers found fish along the west side at Pentwater Lake. A few crappies were caught along the south end however use caution near the mouth of the river.

“They’re getting some steelhead in the river,” Steve Forrester, of Benzonia Backcast Flyshop said. “The river is kind of high right now, and cloudy, but they’re getting some. It’s mostly the steelhead.”

 

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