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Having caught one fish in three trips on the beach last fall, and one Brown in 11 hours of trolling the beach last spring, I am in no hurry to get out and catch Lakers. I can catch them all summer without having to break ice.

DNR wanted to increase angler hours by moving plants around. Bet that has backfired.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Having caught one fish in three trips on the beach last fall, and one Brown in 11 hours of trolling the beach last spring, I am in no hurry to get out and catch Lakers. I can catch them all summer without having to break ice.

DNR wanted to increase angler hours by moving plants around. Bet that has backfired.
Thanks for the negative report. Im just excited to get out and fish. Ill take the lakers


Sent from my SM-N981U using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
 

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You need to understand as recently as three springs ago I'd catch 30-60 browns a spring out of Holland. Plants were moved and that fishery fell away.

Most of my Brown trolling last year was trolling back to port with three Lakers in the cooler.

Most falls I can limit on Lakers with some steel thrown in. Not sure what was up with that last winter.

I'm out there to fill the cooler, not go for a boat ride.
 

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Got at least 3-4 weeks if you are lucky depending on the temps and ice melt. The last 3 weeks of cold iced up the river and there is a bunch of ice on the lake...had nothing until that cold snap. Ice blew out for a couple of days on the lake, but came back in. There was someone ice fishing on the black river yesterday in South Haven if that's any indicator.
 

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Might be sooner weather/wind depending. The joe was locked in pretty tight as of this morning...I heard almost all the way to Berrien and some of the steelhead charters were shut down for a while for the last couple weeks I think...they may have started back up but haven't heard recently. Should go quick in the river when it breaks up, but then it will probably end up on the beach. On years where there is hardly any ice it usually ends up pushed down here from west/northwest winds. Need a good east/southeast wind for a couple days straight to push it over towards Chicago/Milwaukee! Then watch the wind when you head out and make sure it doesn't change! Crazy how fast it moves. Thought it was going to be really early, towards the end of January there wasn't a speck of ice on the beach.
 

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St Joe was iced over the other day under I-94, and now it's wide open there. Still locked up lower down though. Bet that changes pretty soon.

Heard this morning that people are catching coho down in Indiana already
 

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Keeps blowing in and out...sometimes in less than an 8 hour span of taking the kids to daycare and then picking them up. If the river opens all the way up and people start chancing it before the lake ice is gone, just please be careful and pay attention to wind direction. I've done it before, but it can move pretty fast...don't want to see anyone get trapped in. Sounds like most of it came from a big ice shelf that broke off in Chicago and blew over. Pretty cool time lapse video, Huge sheet of ice drifts across Lake Michigan after breaking away from Chicago. Hopefully the link works...watch the first video after the article starts. Also 50 degrees with some rain this weekend should start to help(y). I'll update after the weekend.
 

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Watched a guy get his boat crushed and have to have a chopper get him.

Watched Best Chance grind out of Saugatuck in the way to Michigan City a couple springs ago, through about 1/2 mile of pack. I've broken plenty of ice with my 14' but there's that and a $1/4 million Tiara bouncing around in appliance sized ice blocks. Sounded nasty...
 

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Another lesson learned is don't throw a couple big chunks of float ice in the water in the cooler with your limit of coho, then trailer home over 100+ miles of Michigan's finest roads.
 

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Update. The Joe opened right up. Have to wait for some clear skies to see where the lake ice ended up on the satellite view. Drove by the beach Saturday morning and there was still some shore ice in tight but not much, the majority was pushed offshore a few miles. Then it looks like it might have been pushed towards the north. I could not see any ice this morning from the bluff...guessing that small amount of shore ice is still there with the icebergs in tight. It looks like the wind could not have cooperated any better for down here...looking a lot better than Friday.
 
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