Good morning, a few inches of snow fell out here by the quiet lakes area Wednesday night into Thursday but not enough for any kind of recreation. Bitter cold temps over the last two nights (it’s 7 degrees as I am writing this) is keeping the “good” ice we have in a great spot. Our area does look to have a pretty big warm up on the way with quite a few days in the 40s over the 15 day forecast. Low temps will still be below freezing so we should maintain good ice for a while yet. Reports on ice are varied, especially on lakes with moving water, for example I have heard Moose lake alone has spots of almost 12″ of ice and other spots down to 4″. Most lakes in the area sound like they are quite “safe” but as always anglers should check every lake, every time they go out. I am hearing pretty consistent reports of 6-10″ with some spots closer to a foot.
Fishing has been good to great lately, with anglers doing well on all species. Some of our social media friends (that I follow) are doing well on species such as bass and walleye, and local anglers and anglers up visiting are doing well on panfish, Northern, and even a few Musky through the ice. Honestly, not much has changed in the way of tactics to catch fish throughout this winter, predators are still being caught mainly by tip-up and panfish mainly by small offerings. A good friend of mine caught a walleye, pike, and musky on the same tip-up set up on a shallow to deep edge transition all within a few hours the other day. All of those fish hit walleye sized suckers that he had rigged up. My guess is the walleye may have come from deeper water and took the easy meal, while the pike and musky were probably cruising the shallower water in search of baitfish. My point is the transition is key, and can be applied to any lake. Almost all of the reports I am hearing on panfish no matter the species are of them relating to deeper water. Look for crappie in the +/- 20 FOW range, perch on that deep transition or out in the basin in 12-20 FOW and bluegill up just a little shallower in anywhere from 10-12 FOW. Simple small spoons or jigs tipped with minnow heads/tail sections or waxies or plastics on the jigs are icing some nice panfish.
Thats I all I got for this week. Any anglers that are set up to ice fish should come up and enjoy some of our lakes. There is great fishing to be had and all of the resorts/businesses in the area could use some help this winter. Hope you have a great weekend and we will talk soon.