Cadillac Bait Shops, Fishermen Expect Warmth To Not Slow Down Ice-Fishing

“The fishing might not always be better but it’s easier to be out there all day.”

Ice and warmth don’t mix, but ice-fishermen aren’t letting that stop them.

Despite some melting, they are getting out onto frozen lakes to enjoy the weekend, expecting the ice will withstand a day or two of warmth.

“The year started off bitter cold but right now, we are kind of in that middle of January warm spell and it’s kind of been messing with pressure a little bit,” says Christopher Knaisel, Pilgrim Village Bait Shop manager in Cadillac.

Ice-fishing isn’t usually a “warm” past time.

Ice is in the name.

Fishermen like Knaisel say this wave of warmth makes it a different experience.

“Because we lost the snow last week, it’s not going to be so bad,” Knaisel says. “If it was normally, like, if there was a foot of snow on the lake when this happened, it would be really slushy and everything.”

Houghton Lake knows that pain.

A large pressure crack can be seen from the sky.

Cadillac’s lakes are seeing something similar on a smaller scale.

“There’s a couple of cracks. There’s one right behind us here,” Knaisel says. “When it is this warm, especially if it doesn’t get below freezing at night, you have to watch out for old holes and everything.”

That’s not stopping foot-and-four-wheel traffic.

“You should have creepers on your feet because, like right now, it’s going to be slick tomorrow with that melting temperature,” Knaisel says.

Christopher says it’s all about having the right tools.

“Ice spuds are a good idea to have again,” Knaisel says. “I mean, we’ve been getting kind of lazy in the middle of winter, going out there and seeing trucks and everything but you should probably still take your spud with you.”

There’s an upside to warmth too.

“It’s a good time to actually expose people that are maybe a little cold shy for ice-fishing and get out there.”