Mondrella, other anglers trying to start their seasons

REPORT: Avid area fisherman Jerry Mondrella takes a look at a local report. (File photo)

REPORT: Avid area fisherman Jerry Mondrella takes a look at a local report. (File photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Long-time Big Rapids area resident and avid ice fisherman Jerry Mondrella has been waiting for his chance, like other anglers, to get on the ice and test his skills.

Mondrella went out on Tuesday and said he’s been out in the past at various lakes such as the Haymarsh, Burgress and Hillview. He indicated he caught two bass and bluegills on one of his fishing ventures, plus a good-sized pike.

But overall, Mondrella was disappointed with the early-season fishing experiences he had and indicated his luck hasn’t been too good.

He also indicated his nephews have also been having some success.

Fishermen like Mondrella, who usually skips open water fishing to focus exclusively on the winter, have had to battle inconsistent weather conditions in recent weeks with cold weather mixed in with warmer temperatures in the 40s. Temperatures on Monday were close to 50. But still, Mondrella indicated on some places he ventured to, there were six to eight inches of ice.

But all fishing experts have advised anglers to be careful of wherever they’re at to make sure the ice is solid.

The ice fishing season is getting ready for January and Mondrella was among those hoping for much better success.

“I hope so,” he said. “It couldn’t get much worse.”


Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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