By The Associated Press
The Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula have ice fishing, however the southern half of the Lower Peninsula has mixed reports, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
The rain and thaw weakened some of the ice and though it is refreezing, there is honeycomb ice in some areas, and honeycomb ice is not safe ice, the agency said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report.
Munuscong: Perch fishing is good off Grassy Island, the middle of the Bay and in Fowlers Bay. There are shacks out on Musky Bay and Hessel Bay, but extreme caution needs to be used. The ice is still not consistent and can change from 8 to 12 inches down to 2 or 4 inches instantly, which has happened in unusual places. Anglers have gone through the ice and some have lost their life. Be careful!
Hubbard Lake: Had little snow cover and good walleye fishing for ice anglers.
Van Etten Lake: Ice anglers are catching yellow perch when using a jig and wax worm or wigglers.
Higgins Lake: Anglers are now starting to get out on the lake but for now, foot traffic only. Smelt have been caught off the west shore and some lake trout in deeper waters. Some nice pike were caught in the southwest corner off Lincoln Road.
Houghton Lake: A fair to good number of walleye have been caught by ice anglers. Try jigs and minnows.
Tawas: Perch fishermen are out in force on Tawas Bay. Most are fishing shallow in 2 to 5 feet of water.
Betsie River: The occasional steelhead has been caught at the Homestead Dam when using spawn bags. A couple boat anglers fishing below the M-31 Bridge also caught a couple steelhead.
Lake Missaukee: Has ice and anglers are doing well on panfish. Some limit catches were reported. Pike have been taken on tip-ups and by spear.
Manistee River: Is getting good reports on steelhead action.
Lake Cadillac: Lots of folks are ice fishing and we have reports of good panfish action where some limits of bluegill and crappie have been taken. Those using tip-ups have caught walleye and pike. Spearing action for pike has also been good.
Lake Mitchell: Also has plenty of ice fishing activity for bluegill, crappie and pike.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Lake Erie: Those fishing in 4 or 5 feet of water off the Metro Park Marina have caught bluegills around the docks when using spikes and wax worms. Perch were hitting on wigglers and shiners in the main channel.
Huron River: Water levels have gone back down and some big steelhead were caught by those floating a jig and wax worm under a bobber.
Detroit River: Had good perch fishing in and around the canals near Gibraltar. Some are fishing off private docks while others are in small boats. Airport Bay also had good perch fishing in 3 feet of water. Most are using Frenchmen's Creek for access to the bay.
Lexington: Ice anglers in the harbor are getting some perch and rainbow trout when using wax worms and minnows.
Saginaw Bay: Some perch have been caught in shallow waters 2 to 5 feet deep. The ice does not go out far enough for effective walleye fishing, but a few were caught in shallow waters.
Saginaw River: The ice is not safe yet so anglers are advised to stay off the river and wait for a longer stretch of much colder weather.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Ice conditions are variable. Anglers are fishing on some lakes however extreme caution needs to be used. Ice thickness is not consistent. Shoreline ice and areas near inlets and outlets are not safe because of the current. Cold weather this week should help with the freezing process. Bluegills are now in their mid-winter pattern so fish in the morning or evening with spikes and wax worms.
St. Joseph River: The cold nights have caused slush and light ice flow in the mornings but they usually dissipate around the middle of the day. For those wanting to fish early, be sure to check the river before launching. Look for fishable waters by heading upstream near the dams where the current keeps those areas open. Fishing should be steady, but will improve with any warm-ups bringing more fish from the big lake.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Steelhead are still being caught on spawn bags. Higher water levels brought in more fish. Walleye were also caught.
Grand River at Lansing: A few were fishing Moore's Park for walleye and steelhead however catch rates were slow. River
Lake Lansing: Ice thickness is not consistent so anglers need to use caution. Until the lake freezes up good, it would be wise to fish in shallow waters only.