Good ice conditions, NOT great, throughout the Lakeland area. Good because most lakes are reporting 6-8” of good solid ice. Not great because we don’t have 12-16” and because some larger lakes are still reporting only 3-6” mid-lake. Yet oddly, things are worse north of us where heavy snow has halted ice growth to the 3-5” range. Still, most lakes good for walking, ATV and some snowmobile use.
A high-pressure system on Friday and Saturday was the biggest hurdle for anglers, fish just seemed to shut down everywhere – even the small panfish were hard to entice. In cases like this, shift to dark moving water to hopefully offset some of the high barometric effects. Those that did Sunday found some nice Walleyes taking small #3 : #4 tungsten jigs meant for panfish, just an example of how to go small on a tough bite works for even larger fish.
Walleye: Poor - Fair – See above. With new, lower pressure system moving in, bite has already improved as of this writing. Live minnows for now, but jigging lures and spoons will be good as week progresses.
Northern Pike: Poor - Fair – Same here. Downsize to medium shiners, suckers but supersize ‘em for warm weekend coming up.
Bluegill, Crappie & Perch: Poor – Fair
What can be said? But hey, its behind us and this system coming in should pick things back up to what it was before.
It was an unfortunate blip on the early ice season. But the end of last week’s cold did add some ice and improve mobility on the lakes. Still, use precaution, but this coming week looks great.