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ice fishing in Michigan 
 
northern Michigan ice fishing 
 
winter ice fishing in Michigan 
 
guided ice fishing in northern Michigan

Michigan Ice Fishing Trips


Ice fishing with Sport Fish Michigan is a fun, relaxing, and comfortable experience not to be missed for both first-time ice anglers and experienced ice anglers. All the equipment necessary for a fun day on the ice is provided, including Otter Outdoors shanties, heaters, rods and reels, Humminbird Ice electronics and the lures or bait that will be used. Transportation on and off the ice is also included with our trips, when safe and practical.

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Items Provided for Ice Fishing Trips

  • Transportation on and off the ice when safe and practical
  • Use of Otter Outdoors ice shanties
  • Heaters inside all the shanties
  • Shanty sizes range from 2 people up to 8 people per shanty
  • Ability to fish up to 24 anglers per day
  • Rods and reels
  • Bait and lures
  • Electronics - Humminbird Ice Helix units in each shanty
  • Underwater cameras, when practical, in each shanty
  • Guides will drill all holes using Strike Master augers
  • Buckets for your catch
  • Knowledgeable and friendly Guides that stay on the ice with you



Fishing many of the northern Michigan inland lakes, as well as some of the bigger waters like Grand Traverse Bays, Torch Lake, Suttons Bay, and Crystal Lake, our Guides can help put customers on fish and teach them how to fish in safety and comfort. Let Sport Fish Michigan's Guides do all the work, so that each customer can fully enjoy the on-ice experience. From the novice to seasoned ice angler, we can help facilitate a fun and productive winter ice fishing trip.

Guided ice fishing is a fantastic way to get out and wet a line during the winter chill. Guided fishing offers so much more than an ice fishing shanty rental: enjoy state-of-the-art equipment and electronics, and expert assistance from our Guides. This isn't Grandpa's type of ice fishing. This is fishing in style, from a nice warm shelter. Transportation on and off the ice is usually provided by means of a 4-wheel Polaris Ranger Crew UTV or Ski-Doo snowmobile, taking customers directly to the ice shanties, making for a fun and exciting way to begin and end each day.

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Join one of our Sport Fish Michigan's ice fishing Guides to take advantage of their knowledge of local fishing for a variety of species like yellow perch, bluegill, walleye, pike, crappie, whitefish, lake trout, smelt, burbot, and even steelhead, while you beat the winter blahs. Safety and comfort are a priority, and each Guide is there to help ensure a safe, fun, and memorable outing. Our Guides all reserve the right to change the body of water, or to cancel a trip, if there are weather or safety concerns regarding safe ice or weather.

Species Availability Chart

Species

Walleye
Yellow perch
Smelt
Whitefish
Burbot
Northern Pike
Bluegill
Lake trout
Steelhead

Lakes

(Depending on ice conditions and current fishing report)
Crystal Lake
Platte Lake
Long Lake
Green Lake
Duck Lake
Glen Lake
Grand Traverse Bay
Sutton Bay
Loon Lake
Portage Lake
Bear Lake
Elk Lake
Torch Lake
Spider Lake
Betsie Bay
Hamlin Lake
Lake Cadillac
Lake Mitchell
Muskegon Lake
Lower Herring Lake
Otter Lake
Lake Skegemog
Lake Leelanau

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Michigan Ice Fishing with SFM

Experience Michigan ice fishing from the comfort of our fully-equipped, heated ice shanties.


Michigan Perch Underwater Ice Fishing Video

From under the ice in 30 feet of water, even the little perch need to eat!


Sport Fish Michigan Ice Fishing with 9&10 News

Sport Fish Michigan's Captain Ben Wolfe and Captain Chad Dilts hosted 9&10 News' Jenny Beuchel for a day of ice fishing on the Grand Traverse Bays.


Sport Fish Michigan's Ice Fishing Guides

Capt. Chad Dilts

Betsie Bay, Crystal Lake, Grand Traverse Bays, others
Chad grew up in Frankfort, and is an ice fishing addict as well as a fantastic angler. Willing to travel to find fish, Chad chases after just about anything through the ice. Any given day, the target species could be smelt, walleyes, lake trout, whitefish, pike and even burbot out on Grand Traverse Bays. He is just as comfortable on big waters jigging for the bigger species, as he is on the smaller inland lakes, targeting panfish. A super friendly and accommodating guide, coupled with his lifetime of ice fishing experience on multiple waters, Chad is sure to be a pleasure to fish with for seasoned ice anglers as well as true novices.

Capt. Ben Wolfe

Ben brings his knowledge of soft water fishing to the ice with extensive knowledge of Grand Traverse Bays. A big water specialist, Ben loves to jig for lake trout, whitefish and even burbot. A self-described tackle and technique junkie, he is always experimenting, trying to turn a hot bite even hotter, or a slow bite into a better bite. Although fairly new to ice fishing itself, Ben's passion for it shines through, and his understanding of the big Grand Traverse Bays chasing fish helps him and his customers to feel comfortable.

Capt. Jeff Mallory

Crystal Lake, Betsie Bay, Platte Lake, others
Jeff is retired from the U.S. Coast Guard and loves to ice fish during the winter. A panfish specialist, Jeff has the know-how to target species like yellow perch, bluegill, and smelt on various inland lakes near Frankfort, MI. A jovial personality makes Jeff a pleasure to fish with, and his local knowledge about targeting panfish is sure to help make for many happy customers.

Capt. Adam Collett

Lake Skegemog, Lake Leelanau, Long Lake, Big Platte Lake, Crystal Lake, Betsie Bay, Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Mitchell/Cadillac.
Adam grew up fishing northern Michigan's many inland waters and Grand Traverse Bays, and loves to introduce ice fishing to others. From perch fishing, to jigging up walleyes and setting tip-ups for pike, Adam is well-versed in a large variety of techniques and species through the ice.

Capt. Ron Dohm, Jr.

Lake Skegemog, Lake Leelanau, Long Lake, Crystal Lake, Portage Lake, Big Platte Lake, Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Mitchell/Cadillac
Ron is Sport Fish Michigan's newest addition to the ice Guide line-up. Hard working and fun to fish with, Ron brings a youthful exuberance to the ice, targeting a large variety of species like yellow perch, bluegill and crappies, northern pike, lake trout, and even bass!

Guide Scott Kubit

Crystal, Lower Herring, Upper Herring, Loon Lake and Big Platte Lake
Scott is a teacher, both on and off the ice. He particularly likes working with young anglers and people new to ice fishing - sharing the excitement in hooking and fighting fish on the ice. His enthusiasm for the sport is contagious, and he strives to provide every customer their best ice fishing experience. Scott is an ice fishing nut, and loves to fish for perch, smelt and walleyes through the ice.

Capt. Kyle Buck

Muskegon Lake, White Lake, Crystal Lake
Kyle grew up in Muskegon, and has been guiding ice fishing customers on Muskegon Lake for the past several seasons. Extremely knowledgeable and friendly, Kyle specializes in fishing for yellow perch and bluegills. As a seasoned Sport Fish Michigan Captain, Kyle is sure to show customers a fantastic time out on the ice in Muskegon.

Capt. Brady Anderson

Grand Traverse Bays, Long Lake, Crystal Lake, Platte Lake, Betsie Bay
Brady grew up in Grand Rapids, and has fished all of his life. Now living near Traverse City, Brady is an expert at fishing for several different species. Jigging lake trout on Grand Traverse Bays, or walleyes, panfish, and pike on inland lakes, Brady has the experience and personality to help ensure customers have a fun and memorable time while ice fishing.

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Read Our Ice Fishing Reports

SFM Ice Fishing Report 02.27.17

With any type of fishing, weather will always dictate what, when, and where an angler will fish. With this in mind, we at Sport Fish Michigan have put our ice-fishing season to an abrupt halt. As we all know, the … Continue reading

The post SFM Ice Fishing Report 02.27.17 appeared first on Ice Fishing Reports.

SFM Ice Fishing Report 02.16.17

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Antrim, Leelanau, and Manistee Counties Most of the species we are targeting in Northern Michigan have been cooperating very well. The recent full moon had a slight impact on the walleye and perch bite, but we were … Continue reading

The post SFM Ice Fishing Report 02.16.17 appeared first on Ice Fishing Reports.

SFM Ice Fishing Report 2.7.17

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Antrim, Leelanau, and Manistee Counties As we approach mid-February, we at Sport Fish Michigan could not be more pleased with ice conditions and fish activity. Due to Northern Michigan experiencing such a variation in temperatures this winter, … Continue reading

The post SFM Ice Fishing Report 2.7.17 appeared first on Ice Fishing Reports.

SFM Ice Fishing Report 01.17.17

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Wexford County, Antrim, Leelanau, and Manistee Counties As we enter mid-January in northern Michigan we are faced with an aggressive warming trend that is threatening ice conditions. To a lot of people in the region this is … Continue reading

The post SFM Ice Fishing Report 01.17.17 appeared first on Ice Fishing Reports.

SFM Ice Fishing Report 01.08.17

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Wexford County, Antrim, and Manistee Counties After a week of inconsistent temperatures, we wished for colder weather, and our wish came true! This past week in northern Michigan was by far the coldest we have experienced this … Continue reading

The post SFM Ice Fishing Report 01.08.17 appeared first on Ice Fishing Reports.

SFM Ice Fishing Report 01.03.17

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Wexford County, Antrim, and Manistee Counties Happy New Year! We at Sport Fish Michigan are very excited for the 2017 ice season. We were concerned about this past week's warming trend and the impact it would have … Continue reading

The post SFM Ice Fishing Report 01.03.17 appeared first on Ice Fishing Reports.

SFM Ice Fishing Report 12.27.16

With the warmer than usual weather pattern that has descended upon us staying longer than we had hoped, SFM would like to caution all ice anglers to please stay off the ice. While there had been some nice ice formation … Continue reading

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SFM Ice Fishing Report 12.22.16

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Wexford County, Antrim, and Manistee Counties Ice fishing season is approaching very fast in northern Michigan! It is so exciting to see most of the inland lakes in the area making ice in late December. Mid December … Continue reading

The post SFM Ice Fishing Report 12.22.16 appeared first on Ice Fishing Reports.

SFM Ice Fishing Report 02.28.16

March is upon us, and so is some excellent pre-spawn ice fishing. We at Sport Fish Michigan have had a very good winter of safe, productive fishing with a lot of really great people. We are hoping that the warm … Continue reading

The post SFM Ice Fishing Report 02.28.16 appeared first on Ice Fishing Reports.

SFM Ice Fishing Report 02.20.16

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Manistee, and Wexford County 50 degrees and sunny! That is not exactly what we call good ice-making weather! We at Sport Fish Michigan would like to take the time to caution all anglers viewing this report. The … Continue reading

The post SFM Ice Fishing Report 02.20.16 appeared first on Ice Fishing Reports.

Ice Fishing Species Guide



Walleye
  • First ice to late ice availability, normally mid to late December to late ice in early to mid March.
  • Peaks can be early and late seasons on inland lakes.
  • Typical walleye bite is first light of day and late afternoon/dusk/first hour of dark
Yellow Perch
  • First ice to late ice availability, normally mid to late December to late ice in early to mid March.
  • Peaks are throughout ice season on both inland lakes and the Great Lakes.
  • Typical perch bite is throughout the day
Smelt
  • Early to late ice availability (but not first ice), normally mid January to early to mid March.
  • Peak fishing is typically mid to late January into early to mid March.
  • Inland lakes only.
  • Typical smelt bite is dusk/early night.
Whitefish
  • First ice to late ice availability, normally mid to late December to late ice in early to mid March.
  • Peaks are throughout ice season if on the Great Lakes, early ice and late ice for inland lakes.
  • The Great Lakes have a better fishable population than inland lakes, but can be targeted.
  • Typical whitefish bite can be first light of day and dusk/first couple of hours of dark when fishing on inland lakes. Great Lakes whitefish will bite all throughout the day.
Burbot
  • Early ice to mid ice availability, normally mid January to early to mid March .
  • Peak fishing can be mid to late January to early March for inland lakes and the Great Lakes. Great Lakes has a more fishable population.
  • Typical burbot bite can be throughout the day.
Northern Pike
  • First ice to late ice availability, normally mid to late December to late ice in early to mid March.
  • Peak can be early season and late seasons on inland lakes.
  • Typical pike bite can be throughout the day, but early light and late afternoon light tend to show peaks
Bluegill
  • Early to mid ice availability, normally mid to late December to mid to late March.
  • Peak are throughout ice season on inland lakes.
  • Typical bite will be throughout the day.
Lake Trout
  • First ice to late ice availability, normally mid to late December to late ice in early to mid March.
  • Peak fishing is throughout ice season on both inland lakes and the Great Lakes.
  • Typical lake trout bite is throughout the day on both inland lakes and the Great Lakes.
Steelhead
  • Early to mid ice availability and late ice availability.
  • Peaks are early ice and late ice periods on select bodies of water.
  • Typical bite throughout the day, peaks at early light and late afternoon/dusk.


Safe ice is always judged daily by Sport Fish Michigan guides, and trips may be cancelled due to unsafe conditions at their discretion.

All species can be targeted on inland lakes, but Grand Traverse Bays may have better fishable populations of certain species like whitefish, lake trout and burbot.

This species guide does not reflect possible seasonal closures to certain species. Please check all DNR regulations for seasonal closures for different bodies of water pertaining to specific species.


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