With the amount of snow on the ice (and more coming down as this is being written), our ice coverage here in the Northwoods is in NO danger of leaving us any too soon.
The amount of snow on the ice has made travel tougher on many bodies of water. Snowmobiles and full sized pick-ups, as well as quads with tracks, have been the best ways to get around (and the trucks are sometimes a maybe - bring a shovel…do as I say, not as I do…). Slush from last week’s warm up and a crust separating layers of snow has only added to the difficulty traveling, but will add weeks to our ice season!
Yellow Perch: Good – Luckily with this species, if you can find a school you don’t have to move much. Still feeding heavily on wigglers and blood worms in the mud, though some anglers finding perch in mud as shallow as 13-18’ while others still in 20-28’. Venom Core, Pimples, Halis and Flash Champs baited with wigglers or red spikes. Glow colors popular.
Bluegill: Good – Moving about the hardest part, but Gills biting. Look for standing weeds in 6-10’. Small #3 Fiskas, #10 tear drops and Jig Flys tipped with waxies, moussees or dark plastics. The tungsten jigs let you get down closer to the bottom quicker, where the larger Gills seem to be holding.
Crappie: Fair – Action split between tip-downs with rosies and jigging small, flashy spoons (rockers, slender spoons) tipped with silver, clear or white wedgees. On some lakes, fish high, above Bluegill bite using #10 white rockers tipped with white or pink wedgees to find Crappies – sometimes 2’ under ice.
Game fish season on our lakes is over. With 26-30” of ice below 12-16” of snow, no warm spells in forecast, we should see safe ice for panfish into April.