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Discussion Starter #1
So the girlfriend is taking me wherever I would like this weekend to do some ice fishing for my birthday. We are going to do a long weekend and will be on foot, unless we can find/rent transportation.

I was looking at a few places, Gun lake being one of them. Has anyone been fishing it this year? If so, how has it been?

I was also looking at saginaw bay and river, but fear the bay will suck with no sled and the river may get thin by the weekend.

I would really like to catch something other than perch and panfish but will take what I can get. A laker or cisco would be really fun to chase. Are there any foot accessible spots in the LP where I could find these?

Anyway, just spitballing and looking to come up with a good option. Unfortunately my birthday falls in the February lull so I am all too used to going somewhere and getting skunked. Would love a change of pace.
 

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You said "wherever you would like," why are you limiting yourself to the LP? Munising could be fun with whitefish, splake, and coho all an option within walking distance.

I wish I could help with the LP, but I'm a transplanted yooper that sticks to perch through the ice down here. I know green lake by interlochen has lakers, but not sure on the walk.

Good luck and tight lines
 

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I'm partial to Crystal Lake in Benzie County when it's safe - rainbows, Lakers, coho, burbot, smelt, and whitefish.

Depending where you go out of a 1/4 mi walk will get you to 50+ft deep IIRC
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You said "wherever you would like," why are you limiting yourself to the LP? Munising could be fun with whitefish, splake, and coho all an option within walking distance.

I wish I could help with the LP, but I'm a transplanted yooper that sticks to perch through the ice down here. I know green lake by interlochen has lakers, but not sure on the walk.

Good luck and tight lines
I guess I am not limited to the LP, but limiting myself as it will just be a friday to sunday deal. But the ease of accessing these fish is very, very tempting.

Happy Birthday AJ. I'll take you fishing for your birthday once the ice melts.
Remind me...
Hey thanks Jerry, I won't forget. Hope you're doing well!

I assume Crystal is safe right now? Is there any reason why it wouldn't be this late into the winter? This may be the play...
 

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I assume Crystal is safe right now? Is there any reason why it wouldn't be this late into the winter? This may be the play...
It's one of the last lakes to freeze but I've heard people are fishing it. Just not sure how much ice there is at the moment or what the weather this week will do to it (if anything).

My plan was to try for smelt up there this weekend though if I can get my lantern fixed.
 

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I was on crystal all weekend, measured 7" of ice in deep water Lobb road area. Fishing is tough like always out there. Fished 14 hours or so my wife got one small Lakers, I got 3 Lakers. People I was with got a few burbot too.

It's tough fishing but its froze enough for snowmobiles east, didn't see any west of me.

This guy came in 36' when I was searching for daytime smelt, 20 minutes of give and take with sewing thread and a 5mm jig with a spike and I got him.

The other Lakers were 120' out to the deepest water around 160'.
753558
 

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Try Higgins Lake.. You could fish for big Lake Trout and giant Pike by day, and then catch Smelt at night.. There are a few other species in that lake as well


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So the girlfriend is taking me wherever I would like this weekend to do some ice fishing for my birthday. We are going to do a long weekend and will be on foot, unless we can find/rent transportation.

I was looking at a few places, Gun lake being one of them. Has anyone been fishing it this year? If so, how has it been?

I was also looking at saginaw bay and river, but fear the bay will suck with no sled and the river may get thin by the weekend.

I would really like to catch something other than perch and panfish but will take what I can get. A laker or cisco would be really fun to chase. Are there any foot accessible spots in the LP where I could find these?

Anyway, just spitballing and looking to come up with a good option. Unfortunately my birthday falls in the February lull so I am all too used to going somewhere and getting skunked. Would love a change of pace.

Reminds me of that joke. Girlfriend said I could do whatever I want to her for my birthday....so I tied her up and went fishing!
 

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Crystal Lake is one of the easiest on foot. I was out there Wednesday. There were quads out there. Doesn’t have much snow, so creepers are a Good idea.

Go early In the afternoon out deep for trout and other species, bring it in to 60’ a little before dark for smelt. Hit the Lobb Road boat ramp and follow your cellphone Navionics app out to good water. Watch where everyone else is.

I didn’t do any good, but that is normal for me this year ice fishing. But when its good, its real good.


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Great work on the fish!

Is navigating the lake a daunting task on foot?
Using an app on my phone to track my walking I did 4.5 miles on Saturday and 2.5 miles on Sunday. A lot of it was dragging a half loaded Nanook, my wife dragged the other half loaded one to move easier.

I thought the walking was great like three dogs said, Crystal's deep water just froze out there almost a couple weeks ago so the snow and slush on the lake isn't bad, only slush up issues were near holes drilled in the ice. It got about 5"-7" of fluffy snow Friday into Saturday that was already pressing down by Sunday.

To me Higgins and Crystal are very similar, I just live an hour from Crystal and two from Higgins so I prefer the shorter drive for more time fishing. That is for targeting Lakers and Smelt of course with a shot at a bonus whitefish. Crystal has burbot too and I'm not sure if Higgins has those.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Call me a rookie, but what is the tactic with these fish? Lakers with jigging spoons and tip ups? What bait? Tungsten for smelt?

Anyone know of any inland lakes that offer decent walleye fishing?
 

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Call me a rookie, but what is the tactic with these fish? Lakers with jigging spoons and tip ups? What bait? Tungsten for smelt?

Anyone know of any inland lakes that offer decent walleye fishing?
Spoons, jigs, pimples etc (chrome and white are popular,) and tip ups with smelt or blues fished on the bottom in deep water for Lakers.

Small spoons with wax worms for whitefish near mud flats.

Minnows and wigglers fished in shallow water for rainbows.

Hali jigs and a half sabiki rig tipped with spikes and wax worms for smelt.
 

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Call me a rookie, but what is the tactic with these fish? Lakers with jigging spoons and tip ups? What bait? Tungsten for smelt?

Anyone know of any inland lakes that offer decent walleye fishing?
For lake trout, go to the closest points and start jigging with a 3/4 oz Swedish Pimple. Work both sides of the point and the tip. Using your sonar, watch for followers. If they don’t like your lure (but chase), switch to something different like a 3/4 oz jig head with a white paddle tail.

If you have any action, and feel like its a decent spot, put tipups out on or close to bottom. Smelt, perch or sucker chubs. Dead is fine. They’ll be dead when the get that deep anyway.

Walleye in NW MI is tough. Lake trout are way more plentiful. Plus, with all the snow and slush, pulling gear is a gut check.


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Discussion Starter #19
I really am excited by the prospect of catching a lake trout, but I do really wish I had a snowmobile...

Told the GF Crystal, Higgins, or Hubbard lake/Fletchers pond. All of these will likely suck on foot but I just can't decide what to do.

Thank you all for the info you have shared. Very helpful!
 
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