Michigan Department of Natural Resources winter fishing tip helps to target specific Northern Michigan anglers in the cold season. Are you getting anxious for thick enough ice to head out fishing in Leelanau County, Petoskey or Traverse City, Michigan? Consider these hints when gearing up!

Weekly Fishing Tip: How to target popular fish species in the winter

Early-ice walleyes are known to be active and aggressive. Use tip-ups at varying depths around the lake (anywhere from 15 to 35 feet deep) to appeal to this species. Regardless of the depth, always set the live minnow under the tip-up to swim 12 to 15 inches off the bottom.

Consider using plastic bait, rather than live bait, when fishing for crappie. Focus on weed lines to find them. A lot of times crappie will hang out in the middle of the water column, half-way between the ice and bottom.

Northern Pike
You’ll find these aggressive fish near off-shore structures and weed lines, so try these types of spots on your favorite pike lakes first.

Yellow Perch
Attract bigger perch by using tip-ups with minnows, that’s what they’re primarily eating this time of year. Sticking a minnow on an ice fishing rod is also very productive.

For more information on fishing during Michigan’s winter, visit michigan.gov/fishing.

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