The first week of March provides ample opportunities to get after fish on the hard water if cold temperatures are maintained. This first week of March we will be experiencing a warming trend throughout Northern Michigan. While the good ice has been sustained due to the previous week of cold temperatures, we are expecting to see some slush forming due to the tease of spring predicted to hit us this weekend.
We expect to see the edges of lakes losing some integrity as those are the first areas to become unstable during the warming trend. In addition, the frozen slush layer on many lakes will simultaneously become soft and unstable along with the shoreline ice. While the large majority of the lakes listed below are showing safe and very fishable measures of ice; we encourage everyone to utilize this information as they head out onto the hard water. When looking to utilize vehicles such as side-by-side, quads, and or snowmobiles, be sure to check ice conditions before venturing out on your next adventure.
Long Lake in Benzie
With its shallow depths and protected shoreline, Long Lake has managed to form 9-10” of good ice. Anglers are catching northern pike and smaller perch with the occasional bluegill mixed in.
Upper Herring Lake
Upper Herring is reported to have fishable ice off the state access, roughly 7-8”. The remainder of the lake has coverage, but we advise all anglers proceed with caution due to the still-forming inconsistent ice in other portions of the lake.
Platte Lake conditions have 6-7” of ice and good fishing being reported for perch and pike. We recommend not attempting to use machines for transportation.
Green Lake in Interlochen is fishable, but we recommend extreme caution. With ice thickness varying from 4-5” in many locations. Anglers have been fishing off the academy with some good consistency in action.
Long Lake in Interlochen
Long Lake had fishable ice off the Crescent Shores Rd DNR Launch Site. The ice in this area was reported to be 7-9” Anglers have been fishing 6-9” of ice in Settlers Cove in the south corner. The northern end of the lake is currently holding 8” of ice. Anglers are encouraged to only travel on foot and recommended to not use any type of ATV to travel to and from fishing destinations. Walleye fishing has been good for most anglers in mid-depth ranges and some fishing being found shallower.
Skegmog has formed 8-10” of ice allowing anglers to access the perch grounds located off the DNR Launch Site. These anglers have been finding good size and quantity. It is still recommended that anglers use extreme caution when fishing any areas other than the southern shoreline.
Bear Lake in Manistee County
Bear Lake has formed 8-10” of ice. Anglers have been fishing off of all public access sites and catching panfish and perch with some regularity.
Portage Lake in Manistee County
Portage Lake has formed safe fishable ice off the main public downtown access site. Anglers have found 5-6” of ice with even better ice East of the lunch ramp. Anglers venturing any further west than the Onekama Village Park are encouraged to do so with caution. We encourage only foot traffic and no machines on the ice yet.
Lake Mitchell has formed 9-11” of ice. Anglers have been utilizing Little and Big Coves as well as the DNR Launch Ramp to access the lake. The ice near the creek outlet is not stable and should be avoided.
Lake Cadillac has 7-8” of ice. The shoreline ice is more stable than past weeks, but it is recommended to use caution when initially entering onto the ice due to some of the shoreline ice breaking apart in the coming week.