The latter part of last week did us no favors for ice making. Reports are pretty much stagnant as night time lows in the mid-20’s only firmed up the top crust while day time highs in the 30’s softened them up again.
Due to these conditions, recommendations are for anglers to walk for the most part. Lakes have frozen unevenly, with reports of as much as 12” and as little as 3”, sometimes on the same lake.
Northern Pike: Very Good – Good action and size (a 37” & 38” reported over weekend). Big baits along outside weed edges and above weeds in 6-12’ of water.
Bluegills: Very Good – Action and size (8+”) in 6-9’ of cabbage. Moussees and waxies best on tear-drop jigs. Plastics in red, purple, motor oil and black producing best.
Crappies: Very Good – Slow dropping plastics on rocker jigs producing nice catches of 10-12” Crappies in 8-12’ green cabbage. Light colored plastics of white, chartreus and pink. Rockers of white, chartreus or gold.
Walleye: Good-Very Good – Just before and after dusk, then again around 10 PM. A few, crack of dawn anglers, also reporting good success. Suckers on tip-ups best. Jigging raps, slab-raps and rippin raps as well as slender spoons and Flash Champ spoons tipped with a minnow head have produced some big Walleyes of late.
Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good – This species tends to get active during these “mild” spells. Jig spoons or jigging Shad Raps in 7-12’ of cabbage. Tip-ups with medium shiners also work very well.
Yellow Perch: Good-Very Good – Shallow weeds of 5-8’ using small minnows or minnow shaped jigs tipped with waxies.
Whitefish: Good – A very few anglers walking out to the better whitefish spots finding fish in 40-60’ using Hali jigs or Flash Champs tipped with waxies or heads of small minnows.
The light snow has blown off most lakes, which is a good thing as it allows the cold to firm up slushy areas.
While snowmobile trails are open, they have NOT opened on lakes, and travel on any lake should be done with extreme caution.
Forecast for lows over coming weekend in teens should help ice condition as should traffic this week to tread insulating snow down.