Fished this morning for a few hours. The fishing is definitely picking up! Fiskas chartreuse #4 jigs were the lure of choice tipped with a pink nuggy tail. The permanent shanties that gave the crappie grounds away and made it easy to go were you wanted to as a marker are off the lake. It didn’t hurt much though. The fish were suspended and following lures off bottom. Caught most of them 10 feet off bottom. Definitely helped with electronics ( Vexilar ) to be in front of the fish at all times. If you get a chance you definitely need to get out and enjoy this awesome last ice, Ice fishing. If not here in Ludington on Hamlin or another local lake, try your local ponds. Last Ice is Most times Best Ice.
As I predicted last ice is one of the best ice fishing times. Fished yesterday on Hamlin Lake, on Wilson Hill Park. The blue gill were suspended with a few crappie mixed in. Spikes were the bait of choice. Chartreuse color tungsten jigs tipped with spikes that is. Moving around and cutting a lot of holes was, and generally is your best bet to finding and keeping on the hungry fish. It seemed as I moved to different holes I would catch a few in those holes then move back to the most productive hole and catch 5 or 6 more until that hole dried up than move and come back to it after 15-20 minutes. Its back to wintery conditions for the next few days then warming up after a week or so. Once it gets warm again and more conducive to moving around I plan on fishing hard again.
Fishing has been spotty in the Mason County area. Many good catches of blue gill and crappie are getting more common with the last thaw and rain. Ice conditions are still good with a few treacherous spots but for the most part there is from 5 to 10 inches on Hamlin, Pere Marquette, Crystal and Silver Lakes. Two days ago I saw a beautiful catch of 25 blue gills come from Wilson Hill Park and a few good catches of Perch in the 7-10” range from the Pentwater sports shop have taken place recently. Look for fishing to get very good here this week and next with last Ice conditions always producing some of the best catches of the season.
Catch rates for panfish are picking up once again.
Catch rates for bluegill were slow and the fish appear to be smaller than what they usually are this time of year.
Good ice (6-8 inches) from Victory Park to the East as well as all the way over to the West side of the lake by the narrows. Quads and sled are being used and fishing has been good! Reports of numerous small perch, big catches on blue gills, and crappies being caught both during the day and at night. Don't be discouraged by the snowfall today, we expect great weather for Saturday and great fishing for our tournament. To register to participate in the Hamlin Hooker's 3rd Annual Ice Fishing Tournament, you can call Hamlin Grocery at 231-843-2058 and pre-pay be credit card or you can register in person at the store prior to the start of the tournament on Saturday, February 9th, 7:00a.m. Entry fee is $20. 100% cash pay out!! Hamlin Grocery hours are 6:00am to 10:00pm. Don't forget, we have live bait, tackle, snacks, sandwiches, coffee bar, and much more!! Hope to see you on Saturday!! - Vaughn
There's lots of activity on Hamlin Lake. Scouts have been out and deem the ice safe. Pre-tournament fishing activity is heating up, anglers are using a little bit of everything for bait. We are seeing some nice bluegills coming in, but most people are being tight-lipped about their catches due to the tournament starting tomorrow.
Posted today on the Michigan Ice Open Facebook Page
: There is a solid 4 inches of ice from Victory Park to Lincoln Road. The Tournament is proceeding as planned. The Tournament Committee will reevaluate ice conditions again tomorrow and will provide an update. The Tournament Committee continues to encourage pre-fishing lake access from Wilson Hill.
Register for our Hamlin Hookers 3rd Annual Ice Fishing Tournament to be held Saturday, February 9, 2013 from 7am-5pm, sponsored by Hamlin Grocery. Register at Hamlin Grocery, $20 to enter. 100% cash pay out for 1st place. Super prizes for 2nd, 3rd, 4th placing. This is an individual, one-day, total points tournament. A point value is given to each fish based on length and species, not by weight. Participants must sign-in at the tournament check-in line no later than 5:00pm for measuring of fish and calculation of points. Check-in line is located at the Hamlin Grocery live bait building. Measuring of fish and calculation of points will be conducted by a designated committee. The committee's decision is final!! Winners of the tournament will be announced during the appreciation afterglow from 5:30-7pm at the Hamlin Township Hall, 3775 N. Jebavy Drive. Homemade Chili, dessert and beverage will be served compliments of Hamlin Grocery. Four door prizes will also be given away at the afterglow. Winners will be posted in our store, web page, and our Facebook page if you are unable to attend the afterglow. Contact Vaughn at Hamlin Grocery for any additional information. Looking forward to seeing everyone on the 9th!!
Current ice conditions for the Michigan Ice Open fishing tournament being held on Upper Hamlin Lake this weekend will be posted on the official Michigan Ice Open Facebook Page
. Although there was rapid snow melt along with rain yesterday, the weather will turn colder later today. Check back frequently to monitor the latest ice conditions, and good luck in the tournament!
Posted today on the Michigan Ice Open Facebook Page
: Anglers are encouraged to use the Wilson Hill Boat ramp during pre-fishing because of the proximity to the fishing grounds and it allows the Victory boat launch to remain intact during this warm up. Wilson Hill Boat launch is located North of Ludington or Jebavy. Take Jebavy all the way to the North until it makes a 90 degree turn to the west and turns into Barnhartt Rd. Take Barnhartt for 1/4 mile until you see Wilson Hill Boat launch. There is parking on both sides of the road.
Middle Bayou and the lower lake now have areas that are fishable. Local fishermen have been out on snowmobile and report 6 inches of ice. We advise using a spud to check the ice due to the amount of snowfall received and reports of honeycomb ice in the area. Indian Pete Bayou, good ice. 7 inches plus of ice reported. As of late yesterday afternoon, minimal fish reportedly being caught. Upper lake, Barnhart's going West towards narrows and state park, (crappie and walleye ground) while we have not seen any fish, there is chatter that fish are being caught. Wilson Hill, going east towards Victory Park and the Boy Scout Camp, (bluegill grounds), reports of average fishing, with the diehards limiting out. Small to midsize fish being caught. 7 inches plus of ice reported. Be mindful and cautious of ice conditions and fish at your own risk! Hamlin Grocery has FRESH LIVE BAIT available everyday from 6:00AM to 6:00PM. SPIKES, WAX WORMS, PERCH MINNOWS, BLUES, GOLDEN SHINERS, SUCKERS, & DECOYS and Hamlin Grocery fills LP TANKS daily up to 100 LBS. Be sure to stop in at Hamlin Grocery on your way to the lake for your bait, tackle, snacks and refreshments!!
As of late yesterday afternoon, 3 ½ inches ice plus on the Indian Pete Bayou with minimal fish being caught. Upper Hamlin, Wilson Hill Park East to Victory Park, 3 inches of spotty ice with bluegills reportedly being caught. North to the Boy Scout Camp, nice size bluegills being caught with only a few fisherman out in the area. Going West to the narrows and State Park, ice is still uncertain and unsafe reportedly 3 inches in some areas, with a few fishermen spotted, and unknown fish being caught. North bayou and lower lake, open water spotted. Current temperature is 11 degrees F with 5 mph WNW winds with expected increases in wind today. Temperatures are expected to remain in the low digits for the next several days which should improve the ice conditions. Waxworms, spikes and golden shiners for tip up fishing available at Hamlin Grocery. Hamlin Grocery wishes everyone a happy and long awaited ice fishing season; but be mindful and cautious of ice conditions and fish at your own risk! -Vaughn
Much speculation about ice fishing conditions on Hamlin Lake. As of yesterday, there were reports between 2 and 2-1/2 inches of ice with 3 plus inches on the Indian Pete Bayou. The North Bayou, however, reports broken ice and open water. Reports of fish have been light and on the small side. Experienced area fishermen want to remind everyone that although there might be some people fishing, they do not deem the ice is safe. There are many weak spots and the pressure crack is "large." Temperatures are warmer today with some wind but the temperature is expected to drop today so by the weekend we hope to have good ice and the start of some great fishing. We will keep you posted with the latest ice conditions. Hamlin Grocery bait shop will open Friday afternoon for the season with spikes, wax worms, and minnows. Wishing everyone a Happy and Safe New Year and we look forward to seeing you this weekend. - Vaughn
Make plans now to enter the popular Michigan Ice Open coming to Hamlin Lake on February 1-3, 2013. For details, visit the Michigan Ice Open
story where you will find registration information and more.