Anglers venture on first ice with little success

BIG RAPIDS — Jerry Mondrella is a long-time avid ice fisherman who ventures out as soon as he can.

So far for Mondrella and other area ice anglers, no luck.

Mondrella now lives just outside of Big Rapids and tried his luck at ice fishing earlier this week.

“I’ve been out a couple of times but I haven’t had any luck at all,” he said. “Ice (thickness) varies. It’s not safe at some places. You’ll go somewhere with three inches and somewhere else it’s only an inch. I was at Haymarsh and there were four other guys there and I only saw one bluegill.

“I had a bite and that was about it. I went to another lake and didn’t have a bite. I don’t know. They’re not biting. You have to go where you can. Where I went (Thursday and Friday) I usually catch something. But not this time.”

It’s usually considered the first ice and last ice are the best times for catching fish. The fish are biting then. But it’s still dangerous for anglers.

“Haymarsh used to be that way,” Mondrella said, of the best ice is first ice concept. “These guys had their fish finders out and couldn’t find anything. I don’t think I want to go out until we get safer ice.”


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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