Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Report 1-15-20
The Grand Rapids area ice conditions have been improving with the cooler temps we have recently had. Anglers are starting to get out on a few more of the area lakes with minimal slush, however there are still some areas with water on top of the ice, so a little scouting and prep work can save a lot of time digging vehicles out of the snow and slush on the lakes. Most people have either been chasing crappie and bluegill or walleye.
Crappies have been very active in the mornings and evenings. Crappie minnows on a jig or under a bobber have been producing great action as well as a jig tipped with a wax worm or euro larva. 14-22 feet of water has been the most productive. Bluegills have been a little shallower, mostly being caught in 8-16 feet of water on the edges of the weeds. Again, a small tungsten jig tipped with a wax worm or larva will produce great action. Along the weed edges you can also find a plentiful population of Northern Pike on most all of our area lakes, and they are biting good too! Larger shiners, sucker minnows, or frozen dead bait have all been working good for pike under tip ups.
Walleyes have been biting very well. Most of the fish seem to be making their way out to the mid lake humps now. Targeting structures in 18-25 feet of water has been yielding the best results. Sunrise to 8 AM and 2PM- Dark have been the best times to catch walleye. Shiners, rainbow chubs, and sucker minnows have all been good under tip ups or bobbers with a plain single hook. Combining a set line with some sort of a jigging bait like a Jigging rap, rattle spoon, or flutter spoon has proven to produce fish.
Tip: tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Another tip is to leave a note on your vehicle dash at landing with emergency contact. Make sure to check ice thickness as you go. Right now foot travel and snowmobiles are your best mode of transportation. Use the MN DNR Ice Safety guide as a resource.