2017-02-23 / Outdoors

Big weekend, big fish

Last good ice?


MARK STEIMEL caught a lake trout off Old Settler’s Park on big Glen Lake during Glen Arbor’s Winterfest. MARK STEIMEL caught a lake trout off Old Settler’s Park on big Glen Lake during Glen Arbor’s Winterfest. Mark Steimel wasn’t on the hard water for 30 minutes when he saw the flag go up.

“I thought it was a perch,” said Steimel, one of 73 participants in Saturday’s perch fishing contest on Glen Lake. “I started pulling on the line and got to 10 feet, then all of a sudden it got heavy and it didn’t want to come.

“I figured I had a bigger fish.”

The fish, as Steimel would learn some 30 minutes later, was a 16-pound, 34-inch lake trout — one of two massive lakers caught during the contest.

Anglers caught plenty of perch, too.

Top honors went to Nick Rice of Cedar, who caught a 14-inch beauty. Clay McNitt of Empire (13.5 inches) took second, besting Hannah Nowicki of Empire (13.25 inches) and three fourth-place finishers: Tim Egeler of Empire, Matt Rice of Cedar and Leif Spörck of Suttons Bay (13 inches).


FAR LEFT: Sunny skies and warm temperatures greeted ice fishermen on big Glen Lake on Saturday. The ice was wet but thick enough to support anglers safely. FAR LEFT: Sunny skies and warm temperatures greeted ice fishermen on big Glen Lake on Saturday. The ice was wet but thick enough to support anglers safely. Bob Smith, proprietor of the Sportsman Shop in Glen Arbor, said the 73 participants and $730 raised for Glen Lake’s scholarship fund were both records.

“A lot of fish were caught on big Glen,” Smith said. “We had 6-7 inches of thick ice and 2 inches of standing water on top. It was great. After the last two years, we sure needed that.”

The ice may not last long, however.

Smith said anglers were unwilling to test big Glen Lake the next day and that all permanent shanties have been removed from little Glen.

This week’s warm weather may just end ice-fishing season for good, marking one of the shorter seasons in recent memory.


LEFT: Greg Alsip pulled this lengthy lake trout from south Lake Leelanau on Friday. LEFT: Greg Alsip pulled this lengthy lake trout from south Lake Leelanau on Friday. “The ice is done,” Smith said, “but it held out for our fishing tournament.”

Greg Alsip, manager of the Lake Leelanau Narrows Resort, said it may be a similar story further north.

Alsip, who also hauled a big lake trout from Lake Leelanau on Friday, said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the north lake open up completely at some point this week.

“Ice is going really fast,” he said. “We fished the north lake Sunday and got a couple, but the shoreline is shot.”



JEREMY TOBIN of Traverse City points to the fish finder while 8-year-old daughter Grace Tobin holds a fishing pole and waits for a bite Sunday afternoon on Cedar Lake near the Cherry Bend access. 
Photo: Mike Spencer JEREMY TOBIN of Traverse City points to the fish finder while 8-year-old daughter Grace Tobin holds a fishing pole and waits for a bite Sunday afternoon on Cedar Lake near the Cherry Bend access. Photo: Mike Spencer

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