conditions on the area lakes ranged from 6” to 12”. Use caution on the
large, deep lakes, especially with vehicles and the inconsistent ice.
Bluegills were found around weeds in 10 to 15 feet of water with the
larger gills being found near the bottom. Gills were also found around
deeper structure in 20 to 35 feet of water. A flasher is a must to locate
gills in deep water. Small, finesse, and slow presentations are needed to
catch bluegills. Use light 1# to 2# test ice line or a leader along with a
spring bobber to detect bites. A #14 or #16 sized ice jig such as a
Marmooska, Moon Glitter, Ratfinkee, tear drop, or Skandia Tungsten were
the preferred jig styles. Wigglers have been the best bait for finicky
fish. Mousies, wax worms, red or white spikes, or ice plastics such as
Wedgies, Noodles, or Ratsos produced as well.
Crappie fishing was best just before dusk or early morning hours. Look for
them on your locator suspended over deeper water, or over mid depth weeds.
Present your bait above the school of crappies for best results. Using a
tip-up or tip down rigged with a light fluorocarbon leader, #14 to #16
sized treble hook, and baited with a small fathead, rosy red, or lake
shiner minnow is a great way to catching finicky crappies. Jigging with a
#8 Ratfinkee, Moon Glitter, Rocker, or 1/80th oz. ice jig
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, Jigging Rapala, or Forage Minnow.
were found in deeper water areas, either on the bottom or suspended. A
small jigging spoon such as a Hali, Swedish Pimple, or Slender Spoon
loaded with spikes or a piece of lake shiner minnow worked well. A tip-up
or tip-down rigged with a 4# fluorocarbon leader, #12 or #14 treble hook,
baited with a small golden shiner, large rosy red, or lake shiner minnow
has produced bigger perch. 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 25# to 40# fluorocarbon leader, small beads, #4 to #6 treble hook,
and bait with a medium to jumbo golden shiner minnow for the best action.
Brined jumbo smelt baited 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 18 feet of water, near the bottom. During daylight hours
look for them in deeper water, 20 to 30 feet. Tip-ups rigged with a 8#
fluorocarbon leader, small beads, and #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, or a large fathead and rosy red combo
worked best for bait. Jigging with a Jigging Rapala, Shiver Minnow,
Slender Spoon, Swedish Pimple, or Buck Shot spoon tipped with a minnow
head has attracted aggressive walleyes.
PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE
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