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Thread: Ice Fishing in Northern Michigan

  1. #1

    Ice Fishing in Northern Michigan

    My brother, myself and about 6 buddies are heading up North to the Grayling/Gaylord area to a little known pond, "Fletchers Pond" in the second week of January. It is sure to bring good times.
    I thought this may be of interest, since many Curbanites are geographically knowledgeable about the state of Michigan (or work there).
    Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about a better area to ice fish?
    Fletchers Pond seems pretty productive fish-wise, but I'm just curious as to if there is a better place in Northern Michigan. I get a kick out of driving thru those "tourist" towns up there and seeing the elk (full body mount) encased in glass - what town is that in anyway?
    There's nothing like grown men sitting on 5 gallon buckets drinking coors lite from 7A-9P, telling lies covered in a tarp shanty in 14 degree weather...REFRESHING!!!
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    You don't go to Fletcher's Pond via Gaylord/Grayling. Take either US 23 for the view or M-65. It is much closer to Alpena. Is the Elk in Fairview? Comins? Atlanta?

    I'm not much of a fisherman, but you will see the shanties everywhere.

    Have fun.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I am not an ice fisherman but I can tell you I am gonna have to promote the Upper Peninsula. I had a ton of buddies in college who went ice fishing and they were always catching something. The eastern lower peninsula near Alpena has some great spots too away from all those tourist on the west side of the state. Don't fall through the ice!

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    You don't go to Fletcher's Pond via Gaylord/Grayling. Take either US 23 for the view or M-65. It is much closer to Alpena. Is the Elk in Fairview? Comins? Atlanta?
    Yeah, you're right, DP. Alpena or Hillman () are much better than Grayling/Gaylord.

    While you guys are in the area you should drive over to Hubbard Lake. There is supposed to be great ice fishing on that lake. The lake is on the northern border of Alcona County with Alpena County. Hubbard Lake is only about 10-15 miles southeast of Fletcher Pond.

    Btw, I grewup in Alpena, MI
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    An old fisherman tells me the deeper inland lakes like Torch and Elk are supposed to have great ice fishing. Never ice fished myself, though.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    I think you should make it exciting and go to Lake St. Clair. Nothing like having your auto and shanty float out to sea (really a lake). Heck, you will get at ride in a Coast Guard chopper. But, you risk losing your auto.
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Is the Elk in Fairview? Comins? Atlanta?
    I'm pretty sure the elk is in Atlanta.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    A cop friend in Aplena says that there is better fishing north of town in Grand Lake and Long Lake. But I still have to ask why the small inland lakes? You should see of Thunder Bay on Lake Huron is frozen.

    Wise man once said, if you want big fish, you need a big lake.

    As for tips, I would suggest lures or minnows. Worms don’t work well in the winter. Brighter lures work better in the winter than dark lures.
    If your bucket fishing (just sitting on a bucket) I suggest bring a rug or same size carpet scrap that is big enough to put your bucket and your feet on. The bucket on the ice or snow makes too much noise and the vibrations will travel down your line and scare fish. It will also keep your feet and butt warmer.

    What type of fish are you going for? If you stay on Flecher’s pond, there is a sunken rail road bed on the west side of the lake. The water is the deepest at this point, and the fishing should be good there. Additionally, about a mile or southwest of the moors landing point is an inlet, and another mile or so southwest of that, about 2/3 of a mile off shore is a good spot, because it is where the logs and bottom debris start to thin out.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  9. #9

    Where we're staying

    Typically we stay at some cabins on the South side of fletchers and only go about 200 yards off shore in front of our cabins, there is a bait shop nearby that pulls shanty's out to the lake.
    I like Crappie - good eatin, everyone else goes for the pike, but size doesn't matter to me. I like quantity and good eatins to go with my coors lite and ol grandad. HEHE.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    I'm pretty sure the elk is in Atlanta.
    There is...


    my bad i realized you were talk about a lake

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Big Owl
    my bad i realized you were talk about a lake
    Actually neither. We were talking about THIS particular elk.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Actually neither. We were talking about THIS particular elk.
    Yup...definitely, Atlanta, MI
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Actually neither. We were talking about THIS particular elk.
    Godda luf da Greet Nort Woods der, eh?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Da Bear & Ice Fishing

    Fletcher's Pond is a goode place to fish, no matter what season. Be careful, though. If you fall through the ice at Fletcher's, you will probably get a stump up your ___. That lake has a lot of stumps. (And that's the terrain that fishies like. Where is Gollum?)

    This Bear came this close to buying a business just down the road a piece from Hubbard Lake. The walleye fishing in the summer is good, but I am not so sure about winter fishing on that very large inland lake. Good bar on the north end of the lake, though.

    Years ago I was in a group of more than one hundred (100) ice fisherman out on Lake Erie, near Mouse Island (western basin). There were dozens of cars and trucks on the ice. I was sitting on the ole' metal bucket, facing the lake, and heard a roar. I turned around and some dude had a rental truck (big rental truck) out on the ice, pulling a string of shanties. Whoa.....

    Have fun, wherever you go.

    Bear At Tip-Up Town
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Good luck. Of course, down here, you could be fishing this week in a tank top and shorts. Bwhah-hahahahahah.....

  16. #16
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr
    I like Crappie - good eatin, everyone else goes for the pike, but size doesn't matter to me. I like quantity and good eatins to go with my coors lite and ol grandad. HEHE.
    What else goes with drinking crap beer (coors) than that fish?

  17. #17

    Fishin Beers

    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    What else goes with drinking crap beer (coors) than that fish?
    Other good fishing beers (I have heard):
    Steel Reserve 211
    Camo 24
    Anything in tall 22-24oz cans costing less than a buck (minus deposit).

    Thanks everyone for the good info, now I'm REALLY pumped for the trip.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    what about da stroh's or da bell's?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    Good luck. Of course, down here, you could be fishing this week in a tank top and shorts. Bwhah-hahahahahah.....
    With this, I will agree. I love the north woods for all seasons, but I simply can't understand the fascination with fishing on thick ice. You're stationary in a little shack in balmy 12-degree weather, wrapped up in tons of clothes and hoping the ice holds.

    Never understood it...

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by pete-rock
    With this, I will agree. I love the north woods for all seasons, but I simply can't understand the fascination with fishing on thick ice. You're stationary in a little shack in balmy 12-degree weather, wrapped up in tons of clothes and hoping the ice holds.

    Never understood it...
    This Bear used to do some ice fishing. Never did it often, though, because I didn't want to invest in the goodies that make it more comfortable. Those goodies back in my day included a good solid shanty that was on blades (olde sled) and a powered ice auger (to drill the hole).

    Today's equipment, in the lakes of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, include snow machines to get you there and back, deluxe shanties that are insulated and have heating units, and super-charged augers. Many of the ice fishermen never leave their shanty as they fish all day long......lounging inside with just light clothing.

    They still have to leave the warm shanty to pee, though.....unless they aim for the holes in the ice inside their abode.

    Rolling Rock goes good with ice fishing.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  21. #21

    Cancelled for 07

    Due to the lack of cold weather and therefore ice - in Northern Michigan, our annual winter trip to Fletchers Pond is cancelled.
    Our plan B to get away from the wives and kids, and furthermore (and more importantly) drink and tell lies is to go back to the Betsie River near Benzonia, MI, about a half hour South of Traverse City, where we had lots of luck during Salmon Season. The plan is to go there about the 2nd week of February as the Steelhead are supposed to "turn on" then. Does anyone know anything about Steelhead fishing? As that is our Plan B and likely to happen due to lack of ice. Are they similar to Trout, or salmon or neither?
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  22. #22
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr View post
    .....go back to the Betsie River near Benzonia, MI......
    Off-topic:
    Okay, this is hopelessly off-topic and I don't imagine anyone else will appreciate this, but I never realized before that the town of Benzonia is only one letter away from being a swear word in Hebrew - Ben Zona !! (dead silence... blank looks...). I wonder if there is a town in Israel named 'Sonofabetch'?

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled FAC surfing
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  23. #23
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Check the fishing map as most rivers are closed during the off season.

    Here is a link to the state fishing guide, though for some reason I can't find the map!

    http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7...7191--,00.html
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    The mild winter is causing some real problems up north, including the Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula (of Michigan). Friends of mine live on Houghton Lake.....northern Lower Peninsula area.....and the famous "Tip-Up Town" may not have any ice to fish from. Most folks drinks, anyway.....you can do that on solid ground.

    The Upper Peninsula has very little snow cover.....tough sledding for all of the mom and pop businesses that count on parades of snow machine folks to bring money. I looked at a Michigan snow cover map over the weekend.....pathetic.

    There is a web site called "U.P Blue" that has links to many different web sites, including a cam at the neat bridge between Houghton and Hancock, in the Upper Peninsula. I saved a shot from Sunday evening, for my screen's background. No snow.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  25. #25

    Ice Fishing 07

    Thanks to the artic weather that has blown in the last 2 weeks, we ARE headed up to Fletchers Floodwaters for the annual trip. There will be 8 of us. 7 from Jackson, MI and myself. We are leaving next Thursday and returning on Sunday. There is 12 inches reported up there and Pike have turned-on recently ranging from 28-36" in length. Wish me luck.....hope to have good stories..
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

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