Northeast Lower Peninsula

Burt Lake: Ice fishing continues. Most anglers were using snowmobiles or four-wheelers. Anglers are getting walleye and perch. Pike were hitting tip-ups with minnows. A good number of burbot also have been caught. 

Mullett Lake: Also has good ice, and the bite did improve. A lot of shanties could be seen off Topinabee. Anglers have caught walleye and perch. Pike usually can be found on the south end near the Indian River.   

Fletchers Pond: The panfish bite was starting to improve. 

Higgins Lake: The ice is holding; however, a four-wheeler on the channel and lagoon at the South State Park did go through the ice. The smelt bite was good lake-wide in 40 to 60 feet. Lake trout still can be found on the bottom in 70 to 100 feet when using tip-ups with smelt and golden shiners or when jigging a variety including cast masters and tube jigs. The perch bite was good; however, anglers are sorting through a lot of small ones to get a few keepers. 

Houghton Lake: Still has ice; however, the shoreline ice is breaking up fast, and there are areas with open water. Anglers are starting to remove their shanties before much more of the shoreline ice disappears. Those fishing found a few crappie and bluegill about 6 feet down in 10 feet of water. Pike are still being caught. 

Tawas: Most of the ice had blown out, and while some of it refroze, anglers are being warned to STAY OFF THE ICE, as conditions are not safe. 

Au Gres: The ice blew out near the Pine River and Palmer Road. A couple anglers inside Eagle Bay Marina caught small perch and bluegills on minnows or wax worms. A few pike were taken inside Northport Marina. 

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Northwest Lower Peninsula

Thumb Lake: Splake fishing picked up for those using blues on the bottom in 20 to 30 feet around the north basin and the island. Most were about 16 inches. Perch were caught off the beach access site with minnows and wax worms, but many were small. 

Traverse City: Any ice in the area was spotty at best, and there has not been much in the way of open water fishing, as strong winds have kept smaller boats off the bigger waters. Steelhead runs in the area are slow. 

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell: Anglers continue to catch pike, walleye and panfish. The occasional bass has been caught and immediately released. 

Manistee River: Had reports of some chrome steelhead taken at Tippy Dam. No big numbers yet; however, a few fish were starting to move.   

Pere Marquette River: Steelhead fishing only will get better as we move closer to spring. Water temperatures were still a bit cold, running in the mid to upper 30s. Those fly fishing are hooking some fish.    

Pentwater River: Sun and warmer temperatures should help improve the steelhead bite by the weekend.      

Fishing Tip: Understanding fish posture to help with ice fishing success

Fish often maintain one of two postures – one where they are ready to strike (fins up and backs arched) or one where they are focused on traveling (fins tucked in). Understanding these postures can aid in your fishing success, particularly through the ice.

The first step when using fish posture to impact your ice fishing techniques is to have appropriate equipment, such as sonar. This tool allows you to visualize the posture and react effectively.

Secondly, pay attention to time periods of aggressive posture. Most likely you will see it exhibited around sunrise and sunset – plan your trips accordingly.

Michigan offers some of the best fishing throughout the year. Plan your next outing by visiting Michigan.gov/Fishing

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