Grand Rapids Fishing Report: January 2015


Grand Rapids Fishing Report

December’s freezing temperatures resulted in a couple inches of ice on most of the lakes in the Grand Rapids area. The long-range forecast has hard water anglers streaming into bait shops and sporting goods stores to get the latest in equipment. The early December warm up kept the snow at bay that hindered last year’s solid ice formation, will make sure this year’s ice is solid. Steady winds through the last few weeks have kept ice from forming on the larger lakes, but fear not. The meteorologists are predicting some bitter cold this month that will surely get us out on safe ice soon.

Early tip ups produced the occasional hammer-handle pike that made for good practice of selecting the areas that these predators will continue to patrol as winter continues. Sometimes reminiscent of the patrol paths of rutting bucks in the fall, predators hunt the outside edges of weed beds and other creatures taking advantage of the baitfish that dart in and out and around these structures. Late December runs to Newaygo and White Cloud kept spirits high as we waited for the Grand Rapids lakes to close in. Several of the private lakes and the Rockford area lakes with heavy tree lines on the western shore, were also very productive.

Early bluegill over the weed beds and shallow flats with bottom cover in the lakes that got their early ice. The weed beds that you spotted during those last chilly trips onto the lakes in the fall are still there and should be producing into mid to late January. Locating deadfalls in 8-15 feet of water, stumps, humps and other structures, we found bluegills scattered around the outer edges of these medium size features that breakup the relatively flat bottoms. Moderate catches when safe ice could be found. With the smaller lakes being some of the first to freeze up, the sizes of the fish were in the 6-9 inch range. Afternoon bite seems to be the trend, so go in to work early to take advantage of that 4-6 pm time slot.

Smartphone in hand we have been marking points and putting notes in the name of the waypoint, utilizing one of the many apps available to the modern ice fisherman. You can use Navionics for just under ten bucks or use one of the many free apps to map the structures and sweet spots that you find on the lakes. Sharing notes later over a great Michigan made beer at one of the many spots around Grand Rapids, the stories may be just as much fun as drilling holes with your new auger or trying the newest collection of jewel tipped jigs.

Wishing you a safe New Year of fishing and those wonderful meals of fresh caught Michigan bounty, please remember to share ice conditions on and observe limits and rules. Be a great Michigan Sportsman!