Good morning, about 10″ of new snow fell here around the quiet lakes with that last storm. As if lake travel wasn’t bad enough before, it is now!! Unfortunately, I have not had many people coming in for bait as they are just not going out!!
Northern pike–Northern pike should still be fished fairly shallow and around structure whether that be weeds, rocks, mid lake humps or points that have anything that will hold fish. Tip ups rigged with either shiners or suckers is still the most common/best way to fish them.
Walleye–Most anglers in my direct area are using tip ups or bigger jigging spoons/baits to target walleye. If using tip ups shiners seem to get the nod around here, if jigging spoons like the Acme Kastmasters, Northland Buckshot spoons, and Clam Flutter spoons in the larger size. And of course jigging raps, tikka minnos, and any of the acme hyperglide, rattle or hammer series will catch fish. I think with the lack of fishing pressure so far this season bigger more aggressive choices in baits is going to work better. No need to get finesse unless the fish tell you otherwise.
Crappie–Crappie could be anywhere depending on what lake you are on. In shallow lakes they will probably still be relating to weeds or brush or timber. In deep lakes they may be out in the basins and schooling up. Luckily fishing them is pretty much the same whether they are deep or shallow. Tungsten jigs tipped with waxies or plastics is the most efficient way to target crappie no matter where they roam.
Perch–Perch could also be anywhere but most likely still in shallow weeds, or weed edges that transition out into the basins. Smaller jigging spoons seem to ice more perch than a standard jig. Tip them with a minnow head or body and get loud. Perch tend to eat bigger baits and not care about finesse so move around and stay on active fish.
Bluegill–Bluegill will likely be relating to weeds and shallow water. They will be feeding on bugs in these weeds and matching small jigs to mimic these will produce big gills. Tip jigs with waxies or small plastics that move in the water column to put more fish on the ice.
Have a great weekend and we will talk soon.