Ice gets firm, anglers start heading out

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Ice fishing is picking up for those willing to venture out, with bluegill, perch and northern pike the main action.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Jared Whisler recommended a flutter spoon tipped with waxworms to coax bluegill through the ice. Perch were biting on crappie minnows and there were a few big pike caught on suckers or shiners, he said.

Ice thickness was reported at about 6 to 12 inches, Whisler said.

“We’re selling lots of bait — waxworms, spikes and wigglers,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost on M-95. “They’re just starting to go out, so not too many reports on what they’re getting.”

Peavy Falls, Way Dam and Gene’s Pond were among the destinations, he said.

Grier will have a contest in January for the biggest northern pike caught by anyone buying bait at the shop.

There were no updated Department of Natural Resources fishing reports during the holiday week.

Applications for spring turkey hunting permits will be available beginning Monday in Michigan. The deadline is Feb. 1.