Good morning, my best guess for snow totals we got with the last storm is +/- 10-12″. Hard to tell with the blowing and drifting that was going on. It looks like we may get another round on Monday, although it looks like more of an ice/snow mix with accumulations around 1-3″. Ice travel should be much improved over the last few weeks as most of the ice was bare before this past week’s storm and it being windy. The snowmobile trails are still in excellent shape if that’s the outdoor activity of your choice! The fishing report is ok as I am hearing the crappie bite is staying consistently good and some walleye are being caught both jigging and on tip-ups yet. Gamefish season does close next weekend March 5th at midnight so get your walleye fishing in this week. Panfish does not close, so we can still target them through the ice and into open water season before gamefish re-opens on May 6th.
Walleye–Jigging spoons with rattles/flash/noise will call in eyes’ from a distance. If fishing a lake with more of a weed related bite, work the edges with the same baits and set up tip-ups or deadsticks. On the tip-ups or deadstick rods, walleye suckers and shiners are the most common approach.
Northern pike–Work tip-ups with shiners or suckers in pockets of weeds, on edges and points and you will likely have some flags going off! Dawn and dusk will usually be the best times to target pike, although keeping your tip-ups out all day will catch roaming fish as well.
Crappie–The crappie bite has been good and anglers are finding the fish suspended in the basins from what I am told. Small jigs tipped with waxies or plastics is the go-to approach. Use tungsten to get down fast and work the schools until the fish stop biting. If you can stay mobile and follow them even better!
Bluegill/Perch–I’ve noticed driving around that most of the creeks are still open and flowing some water……that leads me to believe panfish will be in areas of the lake where these creek inlets feed into bays or other shallow shorelines of the lake. Panfish will feed on the larve and other things that get washed away from these creeks. The flowing water will also help keep the surrounding weeds oxygenated just that much more which can hold fish as well. Small jigs that match the hatch tipped with plastics or waxies can be fantastic this time of year.
Have a great weekend and we will talk soon.