IRON MOUNTAIN - Anglers are reminded that ice conditions remain questionable for anything other than foot traffic, or possibly snowmobiles and small ATVs.
While some have driven vehicles on ice with success, another truck breaking through an Iron County lake this week proves uneven ice conditions continue to plague the winter season.
Fishermen are reporting an active northern pike bite throughout the area and increasing success with panfish, too.
"Northern are biting," reported John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. "There were some nice bluegill coming out of Cowboy, too. Overall, the fishing is picking up. Most guys are on foot, though."
A 35-inch walleye was caught out of the Spread Eagle chain of lakes this week, according to Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle in Iron Mountain.
"Pike are hitting well on all Dickinson County lakes," he added, mentioning suckers as the top bait. "Lots of guys are fishing the ponds. Perch and other panfish were being caught on Lake Antoine."
Tom Bean at Crystal Bait in Crystal Falls said walleye fishermen were doing OK and some anglers were going for bluegill, but he added spotty ice conditions were keeping others away.
Another nice walleye, this one measuring 29 inches, was said to be caught in the Brule River this week.
"Fishing is not too bad," Pattie Teske at Florence Sport and Bait said. "Guys are using sucker minnows for walleye on the Brule. Guys have also been getting northern, bluegill and crappie. Wax worms are working for the gills, while the crappie are biting on minnows."
Don Ciochetto at the Sport Shop in Iron River agreed the fishing is improving.
"There's been some pretty nice northern being caught," he said. "Panfishermen are doing better too. Walleye is still a little slow."
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said there were no fishing reports submitted this week for the Upper Peninsula. The agency did warn that even though ice continues to build, anglers are reminded to use extreme caution.