This week’s Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Report brought to you by Tom Neustrom. Tom is a Professional Fishing Guide that is a professional fishing industry representative as well. He was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame.
The weather has been outstanding for being in the Grand Rapids area and I can’t remember December quite like the on we are having. After a good start on forming ice on area lakes, the development has slowed some of late. There is plenty activity on the ice fishing side and anglers have reported good fishing on area lakes for many species.
Pan fish have been the source of good options and the long availability of lakes make sunfish and crappies a good target. From North, South, East, and West, Grand Rapids has lots of places to try. Big and Little Splithand, Loon, Rice, Little Turtle, Little Jesse, Little Bowstring, Cutfoot, and Bass lakes are just a few of the lakes that hold good populations of pan fish.
Crappies most often are more basin oriented depending on available depths. 20-30 foot holes are prime spots on many crappie lakes, There are differences in locations of pan fish in the winter and on some lakes edges of weed beds are options that need to be explored. Even though there are variances in lakes, they also have variances in locations. One thing is for sure your electronics are key to finding fish in the winter. Drilling multiple holes in the area you intend to fish is also critical. Varying depths when drilling can identify routes and feeding areas that pan fish roam in search of food.
Small Tungsten jigs and light line can be the ticket to success in most situations. Plastics, wax worms, and euro larvae of different colors can put fish on the ice in most situations. Remember most species of fish feed up due to their eye location, so it’s essential that when using your electronics you keep the bait slightly above the target fish and entice them to strike your bait. If you have fish that don’t want to hit your bait, change the cadence to a different action. Most often you don’t need to move your bait too much. Small nervous type twitches and just stopping movement can be the triggering action needed for a bite. Once figured out “its game on”. Give a call to Thousand Lakes Sport Shop and other area bait shops for good options for good angling possibilities and current ice conditions.
Happy holidays to everyone and be safe on the ice while enjoying the outdoors – Tom Neustrom.