Good morning from the Quiet lakes, can’t say it enough how crazy this weather has been this winter.  Today looks to be fantastic for anglers wanting to get out for the last weekend of gamefish, lighter winds today, sunny and a high of 52. Tomorrow may hit 60 with a good chance of rain in the afternoon.  Temps do drop off after this weekend, but they will stay well above freezing during the day and slightly under freezing at night.  

Ice conditions are changing everyday and I am hearing most of the flowage lakes and big lakes have big open water spots.  The smaller landlocked lakes seem to be holding up pretty well with most reports coming in around 5-8″ of ice.  If anglers are heading out from now until ice out be sure to be checking ice constantly heading out to spots.  Fishing has slowed down a bit from earlier in the ice season, not sure if it’s less angling pressure or the fish moving around and setting up on spawning spots.  Most predator fish should still be setting up on shallower structure, be it weeds/rocks/timber especially near creek/river inlets.  That flowing water will be stirring up baitfish and keeping good oxygen in that area.  Also with basically zero snow cover anymore, shallow water bottoms are still getting good light penetration and promoting vegetation growth.  Tip-ups rigged with sucker minnows or shiners should be excellent this weekend to finish out the season for big fish.  The panfish are all over right now, and honestly I would think they are setting up in shallower water as they start to transition to spawning areas.  I personally wouldn’t venture too far out into the basins as the ice is just too unpredictable right now.  Jigs with waxies in and around weeds should produce some panfish in a safe manner!

Going forward there won’t be much of a report until the ice goes out and we get the boats in the water.  Now would be a great time for anyone who owns a cabin/lake house to come up and get projects done before the open water season.  We have no snow cover left so all those outside projects can easily be taken care of and give everyone the opportunity to enjoy their summer playing not working when they come up!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and we will talk soon!