PORT HURON (WWJ/AP) – Unusually warm early winter weather is allowing anglers to cast lines from seawalls along the St. Clair River while leaving some to question how long it will be before fishing can be done through holes on top of lake ice.

Brian King, who owns a bait shop in Ira Township, told the Times Herald of Port Huron that he’s cut back on stocking ice fishing gear this winter.

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“Normally, winter is the busiest time of the year,” he said.

Fed up with seeing water instead of shanties, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles on Anchor Bay, located just northeast of Detroit, King says he is “absolutely hoping” for ice.

“You kind of look at the next three months, they say 10 degrees above normal,” he told the newspaper. “Everybody’s wondering if it’s going to happen or not.”

Shallower bodies of water will freeze quicker but when the outlook is for warmer than usual temperatures to continue, the odds of the river icing over aren’t so good.

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The lack of ice isn’t stopping all anglers though — some are content just fishing from the seawalls and docks or their boats. Ralph Brown, of Smiths Creek, was out trying to catch some steelhead and walleye.

“The weather is fine,” he told the newspaper.

But the fishing is slow.

“The water’s too clear,” Brown said. “Gotta get a north wind to muddy it up.”

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