Northeast Lower Peninsula
Thunder Bay River: There was some activity up near the 9th Street Dam as a few hardy souls were fishing for Atlantic salmon, steelhead and whitefish. A few perch were caught in the marina.
Otsego Lake: Had reports of a few anglers out for walleye, but no reports on ice thickness. A couple sturgeon also were caught. Anglers are reminded that lake sturgeon less than 50 inches must be released immediately.
Higgins Lake: Has open water with only skim ice along the shoreline. This is the time of year shore anglers target rainbow trout off the North State Park and near Big Creek.
Houghton Lake: Had ice anglers fishing the East Bay. Anglers still need to use caution and stay away from areas such as the Muskegon River and the Cut River, where there is constant flow. The bite was slow; however, walleye, pike, crappie and bluegills have been caught on blues and mousies. Anglers are reminded to be respectful and take out what you take in. Please do not leave trash out on the ice.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Anglers are starting to get out on the ice on some inland lakes. Ice conditions are not great, and extreme caution needs to be used. Avoid the large, deep lakes for a while yet.
Little Glen Lake: Ice fishing has just started, but no reports have come in.
Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Did have some fishable ice finally; however, most anglers were not too far out. Be sure to use caution and check the ice ahead of you.
Osceola and Mecosta County: Ice is forming on all the inland lakes; however, conditions were not safe for ice fishing.
Pentwater River: Steelhead were caught upstream from Long Bridge Road in Oceana County.
Fishing Tip: Ice fishing in the middle of the day
We often emphasize the best times to go ice fishing are early morning and around dusk – but what about those folks who can’t go during those times and would prefer to fish in the middle of the day? Don’t worry, there are options for you too!
A few species are ideal midday targets, including northern pike, yellow perch, bluegill, and rainbow and brown trout.
For northern pike you can set up tip-ups and enjoy a leisurely day on the ice. For yellow perch you can drill a high number of holes and move around frequently. For bluegill you can use a fish locator to follow around a school. And for rainbow and brown trout you can sight-fish for them in shallower water.
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