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Ice Fishing

Winter fishing is awesome! Surrounded by three freshwater lakes, Charlevoix has easy access to ice-fishing hot spots. When ice fishing, it is important to check the DNR’s weekly fishing report because they provide ice safety information.

Lake Charlevoix is over 17,000 acres which makes it perfect for ice fishing. A lot of fishermen like to fish off of Young State Park and the mouth of the Boyne River. These locations are perfect spots for walleyes.

On the south arm of Lake Charlevoix, ice conditions are often safer because the water is shallower, more narrow, and freezes faster than the rest of the lake. You will often find fishermen closer to Ironton where the water depth is between 15 and 30 feet. The south arm of the lake is a good place to find walleye ranging between 18 and 22 inches. The best type of bait to use: Jiggin’ Rapalas, Rattling Buckshot Spoons, and Swedish Pimples. For other types of species found in Lake Charlevoix, the end of January is the best time to catch pike, and February is for Cisco and the occasional Lake Trout.

Lake Michigan generally freezes for 4–5 months during the winter, generally from December through March. Every winter, ice conditions can vary so it’s important to take caution when venturing out on the great lake.

The DNR has a helpful update for fishermen about ice conditions and general safety tips. They recommend the following:

Check out the Michigan Department of Natural Resources page for more information about ice fishing.

Here are some helpful tips that can help you be productive (and warm) during your Michigan ice-fishing trip:


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