This week, Tom Neustrom, shares with us walleye and northern ice fishing is heating up in Grand Rapids. Now is the time to HeadNorth!
Ice conditions continue to improve daily and anglers are getting out and enjoying the nice December weather. Foot travel is still encouraged on the majority of lakes in the Grand Rapids area, but there are some of the smaller lakes that have enough ice to support 4 wheeler traffic. Make sure you check the ice thoroughly before venturing out.
Walleye fishing has been decent on several area lakes including Pokegama, Big Splitand, Winnie, Moose and Wabana. Jigging spoons with a minnow head or a Jigging Rapala have both been putting walleyes on the ice. As on most walleye lakes in the area the hours of 3-7 pm seem to be prime time. Depths can vary, but 12-22 feet depending on the location and the lake, seem to be the best depths to try.
Northern Pike fishing has been excellent so far with several lakes kicking out nice fish. Pokegama, Wabana, Winnie and Little Bowstring have been good destinations for pike of late. Many of the serious poke anglers like to set tip ups and wait for a flag to indicated a strike. Two anglers can set 4 lines and spread them out along an area and wait for action. The knowledgeable tip up fisherman will drill about 20 holes in an area nd space them 15-25 feet apart. With each angler allowing 2 tip ups they will constantly move their lines every 30 minutes or so until fish are caught. The bait of choice is most often 4-6 inch sucker minnows, but big shiners can work easily as well. Northern Pike are great eating fish and once the “Y” bone is taken out they will provide a great meal. Instead of frying your fish, especially northern pike, try blackening them. You need to get your grill very hot and lay them in a dish with olive oil and soak on both sides. The apply blackening with a pepper base blackening solution and cook on both sides about 2-3 minutes each. Man is that good. Try it next time and you will be amazed.