Although there have been fishermen tip toeing around the lakes for a couple week now, this is the first weekend that we have seen major activity. We’re gaining ice in enough areas to start exploring and shanties are starting to pop up all over. Lake Cadillac has from 4-6″ over most of the lake. Lake Mitchell is a little trickier to navigate. There is 6″ right behind us next to the Mitchell State Park and across the lake over in Small Cove. However Big Cove has varying thickness from 2-4″. Definitely still want to keep checking the ice with your spud with every step.
All of the exploring is starting to pay off though. Many limits of nice sized Crappie have been reported from both out in front of Kenwood Park on Lake Cadillac and in Small Cove on Lake Mitchell. They’ve been suspended about 1-2′ off the bottom in 10-15′ of water. It’s too early for any real patterns to be established but anglers were catching them on jigs with waxworms, spikes or minnows. Soft plastics have also been working well. Those fishing the coves of Lake Mitchell also were catching Bluegills and Sunfish but not nearly as many as the Crappie.
Pike and Walleye fishing has been off to a pretty good start also. Many just undersized Walleyes are being caught in the 13-14 1/2″ range. These are from the DNR’s successful stocking program. They are getting some keepers also, but you usually have to catch a few small ones first. We’ve had a few really nice Pike come in already with 39″ being the biggest so far.