This week’s Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Report brought to you by Tom Neustrom. Tom is a professional fishing guide and representative.
What a pleasant winter we are having in the northland. Folks are getting out and enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer with ice fishing taking center stage and other options as well. Anglers are finding good ice conditions on Grand Rapids area lakes with foot, snowmobile, and 4 wheeler traffic still the recommended way to access area lakes. Many lakes in the area are providing good panfish opportunities and moving in and around to different lakes seems to be the best option to find active fish.
Northern Pike fishing has been good on area lakes and tip up anglers are enjoying some of the best pike fishing of the season. Being allowed 2 tip ups per angler allows you to drill several holes in the area that you have decided to fish and move your tip ups occasionally to locate active pike. With the use of your electronics and Lakemaster mapping, it makes short work of locating productive areas. Inside turns and cabbage/weed points can be critical spots to set tip ups on the edge of deeper water access areas leading to shallow feeding locations. Some of the better pike lakes to fish in the Grand Rapids area for numbers and size are Big Balsam, Big Jessie, Big Turtle, Pokegama, Big and Little Winnie, and Big Ball Club lakes.
Having a couple family members with and spreading out several tip ups can secure the possibility of finding active pike. It’s exciting when a flag goes up and there is a run to the flag to see what’s on the line. Hand over hand combat with a big pike or really any pike can get the heart throbbing. Smaller 3-6 inch suckers minnows or chubs are most often the best baits for arming your tip ups. They are active live baits that attract hungry pike and make no mistake there may be a hungry walleye or two that may come sniffing around as well. When setting your tip ups make sure your bait is anywhere from 1 to 3 feet from the bottom depending on the depth. Change your baits often and the location of your tip ups every 20 to 30 minutes if you haven’t had a bite. Once the flag goes up and line peals off the reel, wait until the line stops, and tighten up slack before hand setting the hook. Quick strike rigs, when used, can be set much more quickly and are very effective. It also prevents bigger pike from swallowing the hook and cause unnecessary injury before being released. Northern pike are one of the best eating fish available if cleaned and taken care of. Sometimes I will cut my pike filets into 4-6 inch pieces and soak them in 7Up for 4-6 hrs. in refrigerator before grilling Yummm.
Ice fishing and other winter sports are great opportunities for individuals and families to enjoy winter in the Grand Rapids area. Snow shoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, hiking and just enjoying Mother Nature’s winter splendor.
Thank you to everyone that shared their ice fishing photos from the Grand Rapids, MN area with us, you can email your pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org.