With all the rain we have gotten in West Michigan in the past two weeks, it is time for ice fishermen to be even more careful than ever.

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Precautions For Late Season Ice Fishing

It is always important to be safe when out on the ice. There actually is no such thing as safe ice but some ice is safer than other ice.

Anytime you are going out on the ice it is always good to have ice spikes around your next in case you go through. You can use the spikes to dig into the ice to either crawl out or hold yourself while you wait to be rescued. Taking a life preserver out with you is not a bad idea as well. Using a spud to check the ice you have not walked on yet is important too.

When rain and snow begin to melt so does the ice on lakes and rivers in Michigan. The temperatures getting down below freezing at night will keep the bulk of the ice on lakes still frozen for a longer time than snow and ice that is on the ground. With lakes, it is usually the edges that begin to thin down the most and have your most likely area of falling through. I have put boards on the edge so I could walk out to a lake to thicker ice to fish. This works but as the thaw continues don't keep taking chances because it may catch up with you.

Places To Ice Fish Nearby

It is best to stay off the ice on the area rivers in West Michigan, plus they have already for the most part have reopened anyway due to the rain.

Most of the lakes in West Michigan have a good amount of ice to still get on. There are anywhere from 8 to 12 inches in most places. Keep in mind if there are a lot of springs in a lake or areas streams pour into, you are going to need to stay away from those because they are so unpredictable.

There are a lot of lakes in the area that still has good ice and you can still fish. Here is a link to lakes across the entire state of Michigan that have some of the best ice fishing and it includes lakes right here in West Michigan.

Obviously the farther north you travel in Michigan the thicker the ice is going to be. It is always good to look for fishing reports for the area you plan on fishing or even reach the local bait store in the area or DNR because they will have updates as well.

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