As winter continues to move forward, Ice fishing has sort of taken a back seat to other winter activities in the Grand Rapids area. With snow levels at ever-increasing levels, snowmobiling and cross country skiing have been extremely popular. It continues to be an “Old-time Minnesota Winter” that we haven’t seen in several years. A gentleman once told me the higher the Muskrats build their winter houses the more snow we are going to have. Well, he was correct. Even the weather folks predicted this winter wrong, but the Muskrats knew.
End of Season for a Few Species- Northern Pike & Walleye
Winter fishing is still a popular time to be out enjoying the outdoors. Right now locations are very important in contacting fish of several species. As we are into the later period of ice fishing, the cold water has definitely slowed the metabolism of fish but that will increase their feeding activity as we continue to move forward. Species such as walleyes and northern pike have only a few more weeks to show in your bucket. February 28th will end the season for both species, but there are still others to fish for.
Ice Fishing Tips!
Northern pike is moist often a fish that is less affected by cold water and they can continue to be active. By using Lakemaster mapping you can target areas where weeds and hard bottom near drop-offs exist. Tip-ups are still a good way to target these late-season pikes and allowing two tip-ups per angler can up your odds if you bring a friend or family member along. Smaller sucker minnows will most often produce the most flags. If I’m going to jig them or fish live to bait with a rod and reel I most often will use a slower moving bait then in early winter, drill several holes in an area from 8 to 20 feet and change holes often until you get bit. Many times attach a small sucker or medium shiner to your jig if that’s your presentation and it will definitely help. If there are weeds anywhere in the holes you drilled, concentrate your efforts in and around those locations.
Great Lakes to Fish for Northern Pike
Several of the good northern pike lakes in the Grand Rapids area that you may want to try are Swan, Trout Lake in Coleraine, Wabana, Big Winnie, and Pokegama. The last 2 weeks of the ice fishing season are coming up for northern pike and walleyes. Get out and give it a try on the mentioned lakes and it may be a good choice for the last of the season ice fishing trip.
To locate lakes, click HERE
There are great lodging properties in Itasca County on or close to the lakes mentioned above. To book/check out the lodging properties, click HERE. If you can’t make it up this winter to ice fish for northern pike or walleyes, don’t worry Summer and Fall are great times to book a fishing vacation too.