SFM Ice Fishing Report 01.23.18

We strive to research as many lakes in our area as possible to give our area customers and anglers an accurate and thorough ice report. All anglers should use this report as a reference guide and use their own judgment when venturing out on the ice. We will try to update the report at least once per week to give anglers information about current conditions. Good luck and safe ice fishing!

Crystal Lake in Benzie County is 100% frozen. The east end from Beulah to Railroad Point has 7-9 inches of ice that has melted and refrozen after the thaw two weeks ago; this area of ice is firm and safe. From Railroad point to the west, on the north shoreline and south to the middle of the lake, the ice is 3-4.5 inches. This area was open water a week and a half ago, it is much thinner ice than what the southern shoreline to northern halfway point of the lake has to offer. Anglers should use extreme caution when fishing west of Onkeonwe Bay. The ice thickness will range from 3.5-6.5 inches. With the recent rain and wind anglers should avoid the west end of the lake, and stay clear of all the north shore west of White Road. Perch fishing off Beulah has been steady for most anglers, and there are some nice lake trout being caught in deeper areas of the lake, specifically 100-150 feet.

Long Lake in Benzie County has recovered nicely from the thaw our area experienced two weeks ago. It currently has 13 inches of hard ice, no snow coverage, and a very slick surface with pockets of standing water due to recent rains. Pike and perch fishing have been good in 7-11ft depths.

Upper and Lower Herring Lake both have fishable ice. Upper Herring Lake has roughly 7-8.5 inches of ice. Lower Herring ice thickness is running about the same. Both have very little snow due to high winds and the recent thaw. Walleye, pike and perch are being caught on Upper Herring. Most walleyes are coming in at 17-20 feet on tip-ups. Lower Herring has been producing some walleye in 18-25ft depths at last light. Evening bite for walleye has been better than morning activity.

Big Platte Lake has good, fishable ice. Limited snow coverage has also helped this lake build good, solid ice after the recent thaw. Anglers are reporting 7-9 inches of ice depending on where you are on the lake. There are some areas with light snow/slush coverage, however, most of lake is very wet and slick with the recent warm-up and rain.

Green Lake has been fishing well for northern pike. Some anglers, on the right evenings, have been reporting good catches of smelt. Marking smelt has not been an issue, but some have had nights with little to no action. The current ice thickness is 7-9 inches.

Long Lake in Grand Traverse County has a good 7-8 inches of solid ice. This lake has been fishing well for walleye and perch. The limited snow accumulation in the past week has really made the lake easy on which to travel. The recent thaw has saved this lake’s condition and created a good, hard surface with little to no snow.

Mitchell Lake currently has 9-10 inches of ice with 1-2 inches of snow. Anglers are reporting pockets of slush near Big Cove and Small Cove. The recent warm weather has made the ice surface very wet and slippery. Crappie and bluegill fishing has been good for most anglers in Big and Small Coves. Early morning and last light action have been best. Pike fishing in 5-10 feet on weed-covered flats has been good as well.

Lake Cadillac currently has 6.5-7.5 inches of good, solid ice with 1-2 inches of snow. The recent rain has melted a lot of the standing snow and formed a water/slush-covered ice surface. The crappie fishing off Kenwood Park in 13-14 feet has been producing good numbers of fish. Anglers actively hole hopping and using electronics are seeing the most action.

Lake Skegemog currently has 8 inches of ice with some areas of standing water and slush. Anglers fishing in 18-20 feet of water are having no problems catching good numbers of perch. The sizes of fish caught has fluctuated on a day to day basis. Some anglers are finding good fish when they find areas with a softer bottom content.

South Lake Leelanau has 7.5-10 inches of ice, with an average thickness of 7 inches. The areas north of Bingham Road seem to be maintaining better conditions than other locations. The snow coverage has essentially disappeared with the past thaw. With the recent rain this week, the ice surface has become very slippery and wet in most areas. Anglers have been reporting good perch and walleye fishing at 18-30ft depths.

North Lake Leelanau Anglers are reporting 6-7 inches of ice, depending on location. There are reports of good smelt action on the north end of the lake, with other anglers catching lake trout in 80-90 feet of water.

SFM Ice Fishing Report 02.27.17

With any type of fishing, weather will always dictate what, when, and where an angler will fish. With this in mind, we at Sport Fish Michigan have put our ice-fishing season to an abrupt halt. As we all know, the recent warming trend has created an abundance of unsafe ice conditions across Northern Michigan, which has depressingly ended ice fishing for most anglers. Most of the lakes we list in our reports still have ice coverage, but due to warm weather and rain, it is too unsafe to fish and report conditions. While these lakes may have coverage, the integrity of the ice is much less than ideal, and with the added weight of the slush on top of what little clear ice there may be, it just isn’t safe in our opinion.

We ask that anyone that does plan to hit the ice for the remainder of the season use good judgment and take proper precaution. It has been a short but productive winter on the ice, fishing was excellent for all species and we positively look forward to the open water opportunities our area has to offer. We just want all anglers to be aware of the inconsistent thicknesses due to the past two weeks of weather. No fish is worth a life. Tight lines to all, we look forward to seeing you on the open water very soon!

Captain Ben Wolfe & Captain Chad Dilts