For the entire winter season, the area lakes and waterways have not been safe for ice fishing in the southern areas of Michigan. There was a brief stretch in December where ice was starting to form and some of the braver souls ventured out, but otherwise, unseasonably warm weather has brought ice fishing to a halt unless you travel north. In fact, some fishing enthusiasts have taken advantage of the warmest days to dig out their regular fishing gear and throw a few casts for steelhead on the rivers in southern Michigan. So will it ever get cold enough for safe ice fishing here?

According to the National Weather Service, after a brief cool down this week, generally warmer than average temperatures are expected to return during the next couple of weeks. But longer range forecasts are indicating a return of cooler weather, and even colder than average temps, toward the end of January and into early February. After that, who knows? But if February can at least stay at or below average temperatures, there is good chance that waterways in southern Michigan could develop safe amounts of ice for fishing by mid-February. Still, that is several weeks away.

So for now, you'll have to take a trip at least a couple hours north for ice fishing until the weather starts cooperating here.

You can always get the latest on fishing conditions in Michigan by checking out the Michigan DNR's Weekly Fishing Report.