Ice Fish Michigan Ice Report 02.28.16

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Manistee, and Wexford County

This weekend’s two-day thaw has added 1-3 inches of water to the ice of most lakes listed in the report. This definitely makes conditions and safety very unpredictable. Use caution and good judgment when venturing out to fish!

March is nearly here, and bringing with it excellent pre-spawn ice fishing!.

Crystal Lake in Benzie County lost a lot of ice on the west end. The only safe fishing is on the east end of the lake near Beulah. Good Perch action in 25-35 feet of water. Steelhead are being caught on wigglers in shallow water near the small creek mouths.

Long Lake in Benzie County has been producing great Pike. Golden Minnows in 8-11 feet of water on tip-ups are producing good results. The Perch are few and far between, but those being caught are good.

Upper Herring Lake has continued to be slow. Small amounts of Perch and Walleye are being caught. Anglers are having action on Blue Minnows using tip-ups. Active depth – 18-20 feet. Small trebles and fluorocarbon leaders have been productive. The Perch being caught are generally big.

Green Lake in Grand Traverse County is still fishing very well. The Smelt bite has been consistent, and most anglers are having success near both access points. Perch and Pike have been active on the southeast end of the lake.

Long Lake in Grand Traverse County has been a bit slow streak this week. There has been heavy pressure from anglers in most areas of the lake. The Walleye that are being caught have been small. Anglers have had some luck finding big Perch in 18-30 feet of water at mid-morning. Blue Minnows with tip-ups have been successful.

Skegemog Lake is fishing very well. There have been great catches in the past few days. The bigger Perch have been found in the mud flats adjacent to weeds. Wigglers and Spikes tipped on tungsten jigs has been the most productive.

Portage Lake in Manistee County has offered some excellent Perch action in the last 7 days. Most big fish are being caught on the western side of the lake. Finding humps and slight depth changes ranging from 18-25 feet have held most fish. All traditional tactics for perch have been successful. Minnows, spikes, jigs, and tip-ups have been most common.

Lake Mitchell has heavy amounts of water settling on the ice surface in the past few days. The warming weather and wind have melted the recent snow, making fishing conditions wet and uncomfortable. The ice thickness is still good. Crappie bite in 10-11 feet of water around isolated depressions has been good. Black Tungsten tipped with Spikes is producing good results.

Ice Fish Michigan Ice Report 02.20.16

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Manistee, and Wexford County

50 degrees and sunny is not good ice-making weather!

Ice Fish Michigan would like to take the time to caution all anglers viewing this report. The current warming trend has had a significant impact on most area lakes. Shorelines are deteriorating, and the majority of the lakes have large quantities of standing water. Most of the lakes still have a good amount of safe ice, but also have very slushy conditions. Next week’s forecast indicates that some colder temperatures are on their way. We are hoping this will lock the shorelines back up and create a good hard surface on which to fish. Anglers: Please take nothing for granted and use extreme caution when getting back out on the water this upcoming week.

Crystal Lake in Benzie County is finally 100% locked-up. Before the past two days of warmer weather, Crystal Lake had 3-4 inches on the west end. The warmer temperatures indicate that anglers to stick to the east end and fish the shallow flats in Beulah. The ice on the east end is 7-10” thick. Perch action has been very good. The best fishing has been found in 35 feet of water. Fluorocarbon perch rigs have been working very well.

Long Lake in Benzie County is fishing well. The Pike have been active, with the best bite from daylight to 10:00 a.m., and picking back up from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Golden Minnows on tip-ups with the occasional artificial decoy under the spear has been the best bet.

Upper Herring Lake has stayed fairly consistent with last week’s report. The Perch are starting to become more aggressive due to the pre-spawn bite gradually starting. Most of the Perch being caught in schools are small, but anglers are getting some big fish cruising alone on the 15-17 foot breaks. Walleye fishing has been slow, with most fish coming on tip-ups and jigging Rapalas in 18-22 feet.

Ellis Lake, Lake Dubonnet, Spider, and Arbutus Lake have safe ice – however, the recent warming weather has added a lot of slush to some areas. Use caution when venturing out. The pan fish bite has leveled off. Anglers are finding active pockets of Bluegills in the deeper areas of each lake. Small tungsten presentations with spikes are working well. Pike have been active in the shallow flats and weedy contour lines mostly keying in on Sucker Minnows.

Green Lake in Grand Traverse County has had some great smelt fishing. The smelt are active after dark, feeding on wax worms and Hali Jigs. Perch fishing has been good in 60 feet of water. Pike fishing on the shallow weed flats and drop-offs has been good, too. Most anglers are having success using bigger presentations.

Long Lake in Grand Traverse County is still producing good catches. Walleye being caught are averaging 13-18 inches in length. Catching keepers has been difficult. The Perch have been running big. Jumbos are being caught in the same depth as most of the Walleye – 20-35 feet. Small Jigging Rapalas have been working best for Walleye. Wigglers and Blue Minnows have been successful for Perch. Due to the recent weather, please use caution on Long Lake.

Skegemog Lake is still producing nice catches of Perch. The mature Perch are starting to show pre-spawn feeding patterns. Many anglers have reported bigger fish and good numbers of females. The best fishing is yet to come!

Portage Lake in Manistee County has been consistent all winter. There has been good action on the Walleye in the past week. Walleye have been most active in 25-35 feet, feeding at first and last light. Perch have been ranging in size depending on the school and lake location. Mature Perch have been actively feeding at 17-25 feet. These fish are picky and have been caught on both small and large presentations. Big Blues on tip-ups with size 12 treble hooks using light fluorocarbon leader has been effective. Anglers have also had success enticing bites with small tungsten jigs. Electronics have been key while jigging the mature fish; most attacks are taking place 2-4 feet suspended off of bottom.

Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac have slowed down. Before the recent warm spell, the slush had finally frozen solid on both lakes. Anglers have preferred Lake Mitchell in the past two weeks for the better Crappie bite. 10-11 feet of water has held the active, higher concentrations of fish.