With the gamefish season over, all local attention is on the panfish in the Lakeland Area. Unfortunately, recent snows and warm ups have caused quite a bit of slush, making getting around difficult on lakes that don’t receive much traffic. Ice is still plenty thick (22-30”) but I personally noticed ice getting a bit soft due to the water on top working its way through ice. Still, with the 12-16” of snow on top, it will take a while to get down to some serious ice melt.
Bluegill: Good – Varying reports, most Gills up in 7-10’ of weeds, with the better Gills moving through the deeper weeds in schools taking #3-#4 Fiska tungsten jigs tipped with moussees or waxies. Plastics also producing using Mustache worms and Shrimpy tails. Also some Gills still deep, relating to rock in 22-26’. Heavier offerings of larger tungsten jigs tipped with waxies, spikes or wigglers producing nicer Gills of 8”+.
Yellow Perch: Good – Most action over mud using Chandeliers, Pimples, Halis, Venom Tungsten Core, and #5 Fiskas to get wigglers and red spikes down to fish. Depth of 14-24’ on average, find schools then keep them interested by getting bait back down quickly. Tip-downs with rosies and small fats working due to mild weather.
Crappie: Good – Getting better, but far from peaked. Staging away from bays, but moving closer. Tip-downs have been good choice as Crappies found suspending 3-5’ off bottom in 14-22’. Not a lot of strong reports from anglers dipping plastics in bays until last hour-and-a-half before dark, then big slabs moving in.
March should be a good month for ice as day time highs in 30’s and 40’s will be countered by night time temps in teens. Watch for shoreline pull off where melting snow eats at access points, but so far good access not a problem.