Traverse Bay Fishing Report: February 2015


I ce-fishing season is in full swing as the next levels of lakes are starting to harden. Larger lakes like Big Glen, North Lake Leelanau, Green, Duck, Bellaire, and Elk are all freezing up after the recent arctic blast. Anglers now have the ability to fish through the ice on these inland lakes for large walleye, lakers, whitefish, and cisco (lake herring). A great way to tackle these bigger bodies of water is to use tip ups staggered in 10-to-15 foot increments and with varied depths off bottom from two-to-ten feet. A great starting point is between 45 and 60 feet of water. These break lines just outside of bays or coves or just to the edge of points are places to concentrate your efforts. First ice can be especially good for all of the trout species available in these lakes and in relatively shallow water. Jigging with spoons like locally made Elk Rapids jigs, Jonah jigs, and Sand Kickers can catch multiple species of deep-water fish that are standards in the Traverse area.

Look for walleye in these lakes near deep weeds 20-to-35 foot slopes leading onto a flat, sunken islands or anything that breaks up the often level landscape of these lakes as these are key areas for all gamefish. This time of year can be great for perch. The 35-to-50 foot depths are a great place to start. Hali jigs, slab grabbers, and slender spoons can all get the job done along with live-bait wigglers, minnows, and waxworms. The panfish scene is still rolling although there is a lot of slush on the shallow inland lakes because of the recent snows. The fish have moved into the 16-to-20 foot depths. Jigs tipped with spikes and waxworms and soft plastic baits will all work. Have fun and always stay on top.