Ice Fishing: naturally peaceful

Ice Fishing
Photo credit: Jacklyn Highfill

Some folks may shake their heads when you say you are going to spend hours sitting on a frozen lake in the U.P.  But they haven’t felt the tug of the line, the heart-pounding focus it demands to reel in a scrappy, 10-lb. walleye, guiding it through a hole in the ice. Nor have they experienced the soothing quiet. Something so hard to find back home.

Enjoy this winter sport anywhere in the U.P., typically from December to March, and sometimes as late as April and May. You can fish on any of 4,300 frozen inland lakes plus the ice-covered bays of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior.

Taking up the sport requires little more than drilling a hole through the ice, sitting on a turned over bucket and gripping a fishing pole in your gloved hands. Or it can be as lavish as joining a friend or two in a shanty decked out with all of the comforts of home.

What you’ll reel in: walleye, whitefish, northern pike, rainbow and lake trout, perch, yellowbellies, splake, bluegill, sunfish and crappy. Many anglers claim the flavor of the cold water catches is exceptional.

Popular places to drop a line:

Eastern U.P.: Drummond Island, Big Manistique and South Manistique Lakes, and bays near Sault Ste. Marie

Central U.P.: Au Train Lake, Squaw Lake, Munising Bay and Big and Little Bays de Noc

Western U.P.: Keweenaw Bay, Lake Gogebic (largest inland lake in the U.P.), Bob Lake, Portage Lake and Lac Vieux Desert

Special dates

Mid-February: Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend

March 15: End of walleye and northern pike season

Michigan fishing regulations & weekly fishing reports

 

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