Benzie and Grand Traverse County
It’s looking good for ice fishing in northern Michigan! Most inland lakes have safe, consistent ice. Smaller bodies of water have the best conditions. Pike, walleye, bluegill, and perch are good species for targeting at this time.
Long Lake in Benzie County has 5-6 inches of solid ice. Pike have been active. Days with high barometric pressure and sunlight have been good for fishing. There are perch, but they’re small and not very active.
Bass and Otter Lake have also formed 4-5 inches of good ice. Recent snows have made walking and towing jet sleds difficult. Anglers are having decent tip-up action on the shallow side of the breaks. At first and last light, the pan fish bite has been good.
The Big Platte shoreline has not yet formed good ice. Once the shoreline thickens the lake should be ready to fish.
Upper Herring Lake has formed a good base of ice. Most areas have 4-5 inches of good ice. Depending on the time of day and weather patterns, walleye fishing has been good with jigging and setting tip-ups. The best depth seems to be between 16-19 feet of water. The Perch have been active, but small.
Ellis Lake, Lake Dubonnet, Spyder, and Arbutus Lake have 4-5 inches of ice. Each of these lakes has a fair amount of snow on them, which creates slushy walking conditions. Also, there has been a few reports of spotty ice due to the snowy conditions. Caution should be taken on Spyder and Arbutus. Pike fishing is steady on Lake Dubonnet with most of the catches on the small side: 12-20 inches. Spyder Lake has had fair bluegill action
Long Lake in Grand Traverse County is 100% frozen, but the ice thickness is very inconsistent / unsafe. Crescent shores’ boat launch has 3-5” of ice with 6-7” of snow. This has added a lot of weight on the ice as well as created slushy conditions. The ice off of Long Lake Peninsula is very unsafe and inconsistent. We recommend that all anglers avoid fishing on Long Lake for the time being.
Skegemog Lake has safe ice conditions and some great Perch fishing. The perch have been very active in 15-17’ of water. Wigglers and minnows have been working well. The average size has been 6-8” with the occasional 10-11” fish.