There are a few spotty reports of success, but generally anglers are doing so poorly that some of them have given it up at least for the time being. Better fishing is on the way ...
with the weather forecast for late this week including daytime temperatures in the 40s.?
There is so much ice that it can be expected to last for weeks yet, unless we get some really warmer weather that includes temperatures above freezing at night. The fresh snow we have had has improved conditions for rabbit and coyote hunters and they have been taking advantage of it.
Charlevoix area Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Tim Kochanny has been working on a couple of interesting cases, one involving an illegal bobcat that was shot and another of a bear that was taken illegally last September. He has checked anglers on a number of lakes recently and reports that the only good action he saw was a single angler on Walloon Lake that had some nice perch.
Dave at Young's in Alanson says some folks have been catching some nice pike on Crooked Lake near the river and a few fish have been caught here and there on area lakes, but fishing is generally slow. Anglers have been way out on Sturgeon Bay looking for perch, but Dave has had no feedback yet. Normally, Sturgeon Bay provides the absolute best perch fishing available in this area when the ice is safe.
Up in Indian River, Brenda at Pat and Gary's says fishing on Burt, Mullett and Black Lake is slow with only a few fish taken here and there. There have been quite a few anglers out, especially on the weekend, but no great results have been reported. Brenda says walleye fishing has been better than perch fishing and a few trout have been taken recently.
Forrest at the Brutus Camp Deli says fishing is slow and notes that some anglers have given up, dropping bait sales. He does note that the outlook for perch fishing is good, since there is so much ice that we will be able to fish into April when the perch generally bite well. Forrest says that one can cross the pressure crack on Burt Lake with a passenger vehicle (with four-wheel drive), but you have to be careful.
Over in Boyne City, Flo at the Boyne River Bait Company says the best fishing in that area is for smelt on Walloon Lake. Anglers on that lake are getting some pike as well. Flo notes that there are still 300 permits left for Area J's second spring turkey season, for those who have applied unsuccessfully elsewhere.
In East Jordan, Tom at Tom's Tackle says fishing in that area is beginning to pick up and points specifically to the bluegill and crappie fishing on the chain of lakes around Ellsworth. A few walleyes have been taken on the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix recently.?
Tom notes that the coyote hunters have been doing very well lately, with many of the canines taken and he also pointed out that the end of the coyote season was reported incorrectly in this column recently. It closes April 15, not at the end of March.?
While we are fixing things, we also have to note that we got the closing date on pike wrong too, recently.?The pike season is the same as the walleye season so it is closed from March 15 through that last Saturday in April.
The deadline for removing shanties from the ice was yesterday. From now on, any shanties used, including portables, must be removed from the ice each night. The winter season for pike and walleye ended yesterday. New fishing licenses are required as of the first of April and they are available at dealers now.