area lakes have on average about 10” of ice. With
no snow cover on the lakes, the ice is very slick. Be sure to wear ice
cleats on your boots.
Bluegills were found around green weeds in 8 to 15 feet of water with the
larger gills being found near the bottom. Gills were also found around
deep structure in 20 to 35 feet of water. A flasher is a must to find fish
in deep water. Small, finesse, and slow presentations are needed to catch
bluegills. Use light 1# to 2# test line or a leader along with a spring
bobber to detect bites. A #12 to #16 sized ice jig such as a Marmooska,
Moon Glitter, Ratfinkee, and Gill Pill were effective with tungsten style
jigs working best in deeper water. Wigglers have been the best live bait
for finicky fish. Mousies, wax worms, red or white spikes, or ice plastics
such as Wedgies, Ratsos, and Micro Nuggies also produced.
Crappie fishing was best just before dusk or early morning hours. Look for
them on your flasher suspended over deeper water, or over mid depth weeds.
Present your bait above the school of crappies for best results. Using a
tip down rigged with a light fluorocarbon leader, #14 sized treble hook,
and baited with a small fathead, rosy red, or lake shiner minnow is a
great way to catch finicky crappies. Jigging with a #8 Ratfinkee, Moon
Glitter, or Rocker baited with a wax worm or wiggler produced as well.
Aggressive crappies were caught using a small spoon such as a Swedish
Pimple, Kastmaster, Lil Cecil, Flash Champ, or Jigging Rapala.
Perch were found in deeper water areas, most often near the bottom.
Jigging with a Ratfinkee, Rocker, or tungsten style ice jig baited with
spikes or a wiggler has produced. Active perch can be caught using a small
jigging spoon such as a Hali, Swedish Pimple, or Slender Spoon baited with
spikes or a piece of minnow. Larger perch were caught using tip-ups or tip
downs rigged with a 4# fluorocarbon leader, #14 treble hook and baited
with a lake shiner, small golden shiner, or rosy red minnow. Drill a hole
next to your tip-up, to jig in, when a school comes thru.
Northern pike were very active on the area lakes. Set your tip-ups around
structure in various depths, most often near panfish. Rig your tip-ups
with a 40# fluorocarbon leader, small beads or spinner blade, #6 or #4 red
or glow treble hook, and bait with a medium to jumbo golden shiner, or
medium sucker for the best action. DK’s Magic Powder placed on the tail
of your minnow adds extra scent and color attractant. Brined jumbo smelt
on a smelt rig can also work great, especially for big pike.
Walleye fishing was best during dark hours when they were found along weed
edges in 8 to 15 feet of water, near the bottom. During daylight hours,
look for them in deeper water, 25 to 35 feet. Tip-ups rigged with a 8#
fluorocarbon leader, small beads, and a #10 red, gold, or glow treble hook
baited with a minnow was the preferred method for most walleye anglers. A
medium golden shiner, small sucker, baby chub, or large lake shiner worked
best for minnows. Jigging with a Jigging Rapala, Shiver Minnow, Slender
Spoon, Kastmaster, or Swedish Pimple tipped with a minnow head has
attracted aggressive walleyes.
PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE
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