This week, Tom Neustrom, shares the beginning of the end late season ice fishing report. The walleye and northern pike seasons have ended until May and there is reason to feel a change in species and tactics is upon us.
There are several species available such as bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch. You have to lighten up on your presentations and toning down your equipment to be successful. Two and four pound test are the given when chasing panfish in the winter and it’s the best way to spell success. Light action ice rods are also key with a tip that telegraphs even the lightest bite. There are several custom made ice rods available and it has been a positive change in ice fishing. No one would have ever thought to purchase an ice rod from $80 to $120 and many anglers have 2-8 of these magic wands in their ice shacks. Small jigs are the rule of thumb, but many times just a plain hook and a small minnow can be the trick especially for crappies and perch.
Bluegills most often prefer something that imitates small morsels of aquatic bugs and larvae. Soft plastics or wax worms are the most preferred options when chasing bluegills on a small jig. Always remember this presentation can also attract crappies and perch as well. Some of the lakes in the Grand Rapids area to try are Little Cutfoot, Little Turtle, The Gunn Lake Chain, Eagle, Long and Rice lakes. Being mobile is key and with todays electronics it makes staying on the fish a bit easier. Drill several holes in a small area and hole hop until you contact fish. As the weather warms it’s a great way to be out on the ice.
Remember, it is never too early to START PLANNING your summer fishing trip! Consider Grand Rapids, Minnesota this year. With over 1,000 area lakes you will be sure to CATCH FISH!