While Snowmobilers and Skiers can’t be happy with the conditions in the Lakeland Area (not much for snow), anglers have everything to be happy about as local lakes are getting ice thick enough for truck travel.
Lots of lakes reporting 13-16”+ thickness, coupled with lack of snow, access has been great.
Bluegill: Very Good-Fair – Excellent reports late into week until southeast winds seemed to shut things off. Good catches in 7-12’ weeds using #3 ; #4 tungsten jigs (Fiskas, Skandias) in greens, yellows and oranges tipped with waxies, spikes or green yellow or red plastics (J:S, TJ’s). Better reports on size as anglers catching nice 7-8”+ Gills.
Crappies: Very Good-Fair – Same type of reports, action slowed over weekend, most likely wind shift. Slow dropping Lethal Cecil spoons and small slender spoons tipped with waxies or plastics in white or silver. Tip-downs have been effective using small fatheads or rosies. Nice Crappies in the 10-13” range, best mid-mornings, again mid to late afternoons.
Northern Pike: Very Good-Fair – Lots of flags flying according to reports. Big shiners, suckers on tip-ups in 8-14’. Fish have been active, so running baits 12-18” over weed tops has been very effective.
Walleye: Very Good-Fair – Working humps and rises of 12-18’ using suckers on tip-ups, as well as jigging spoons (Flutter Spoons, Northland Rattle Spoons), tipped with a head of a medium to large fathead minnow. Nice catches before the weekend, including a reported 31”er on a tip-up!
Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Lots of smaller Perch in 8-16’, but for larger Perch, fish deeper 16-28’+. Venom tungsten glow spoons, Halis and Pimples tipped with red spikes or wigglers. Tip downs with minnows also effective, though forecast for weekend (lows below 0 degrees) may limit tip-down success.
Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair – Tip-ups with medium shiners in 7-12’ cabbage. Some action on jigging spoons with minnow heads.
Midweek looks good to start, shift in wind, warmer temps, but dropping temps through weekend could make things tough. Being able to drive on most (but not all) lakes will help with access. Lack of mobility will be due to cold, but as ice builds, mobility will only get better.