IRON MOUNTAIN - Some area anglers have ventured onto the ice, with limited success thus far. Although the cold weather has brought some ice to inland lakes in the U.P., the recent heavy snow will not be good for ice-fishing conditions.
Tom Bean at Crystal Bait in Crystal Falls said things have been a bit slow.
"The ice is still iffy," Bean said. "Some guys are going out catching walleye using sucker minnows, but with the snow now things will be dicey because of the way it insulates the ice."
Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River agreed that the snow storm will not help ice fishing conditions.
"Some guys have been out but I don't recommend it," he said. "One guy told me he caught a couple of walleye the other day, before the storm," he added.
At Florence Sport and Bait, Gaylord Scott reported that ice on area lakes was running from one to three inches.
John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township said he's heard very few ice-fishing success stories so far.
"A guy showed me a picture of a 42-inch northern he caught at Way Dam," Grier said. "There just aren't that many guys going out, and the snow isn't going to do anything good for the ice, just insulate it and weigh it down."
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources cautioned that, although colder weather during the past week began to form some good northern ice, extreme caution is still advised on all state waters. They also warn people to beware of snow covering dangerous, thin ice.
If and when you do go out, officials advise you have a personal flotation device, ice creepers on your boots, extra gloves, and a spud bar to check the ice while walking.
Officials say it is best not to go alone, but if you do, tell someone where you are going, when you will be back and carry a cell phone.
On Tuesday, Jan. 1, "Shoe Year's Day" snowshoe and hiking events will take place in state and local community parks and recreation areas across Michigan.
At Van Riper State Park in Champion, strap on the snowshoes or lace up the hiking boots and join the staff at Van Riper from 10 a.m. to noon (Eastern time) to cover a 1.2-mile course that varies from easy to moderate in difficulty; all ages are welcome. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Headquarters building.
The Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions in the Upper Peninsula:
Newberry: Ice is forming on the inland lakes in the region however there is no safe ice yet. Deep snow from this week's storm will only insulate the ice and slow the freezing process.