This week’s Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Report brought to you by Tom Neustrom, owner of professional fishing guide service, MN Fishing Connections. Now is the time to reach out to Tom for open water guide services. If he cannot fit you into his schedule, he has several Grand Rapids area professional fishing guides that he can connect you with so you can catch fish.
The conditions on the lakes haven’t changed much from week to week, but as they do anglers need to be prepared for the species that are available. Now that the walleye and northern pike angling opportunity has closed until May panfish has the most opportunity for ice fishing.
As the snow begins to melt down a little bit there is some activity that happens in late ice that many people don’t’ pay much attention to. It is another one of nature’s phenomenon’s that create a feeding activity at different times of the day. By changing your tactics, a little bit, it will allow you to catch more fish. As the seasons moves on, a lot of times there is a hatch that happens below the ice in the mud. The only way you can dial into this is good electronics. Not only will it pinpoint where the little critters are, it will also give the spot where fish will be feeding at different times of the day.
Noticeably there will be a melting that will continue for the next several weeks. When that happens, the run off will go into the holes and cracks in the lakes. This will provide additional opportunities to catch fish. Especially on sunny days these bottom dwelling bugs and larva will rise and be anywhere from 3-5ft under the ice. It is imperative that you have electronics to locate the fish because they won’t be in the same areas as they were 2-4 months ago. It is a phenomenon that occurs every year, but most anglers don’t pay attention to the activity of fish or food they are feeding on. It doesn’t happen on all bodies of water. But it predominately occurs on lakes with less than 20 ft depth. Light action rods with a very soft tip and going as light of 1/30 second of an ounce tungsten jig with wax worms and larva or even a tail of minnow can be very attractive to a fish. Paying attention not only to the electronics but putting the bait right in the zone of the fish will help you be more successful.
Some of the lakes to consider are: Little Moose, Little Cut Foot, Round Lake, Shallow Lake and any number of small lakes in the Grand Rapids area that have less than 300 acres of water. Use the MN DNR Lake Finder Resource for Itasca County HERE. Time and time again this has been proven to work really well especially in the last weeks of ice fishing. Only time will tell when the snow will be down again so you can travel several bodies of water to pursue panfish and have different lakes to fish.
Some people are getting really creative to get out on the area lakes by way of cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. Our ski trails are still in very good condition this year due to all of the snow we have gotten. Check out the Trail Conditions HERE. A reminder to get all fish houses off the lakes by March 18th. For more information regarding this check out HERE.