**NOTICE** this will be our last ice fishing report. We have been informed that the ice is starting to separate from the edges of area lakes and natural springs are opening up under the ice. There have been reports of several side by sides falling through the ice on area lakes. Please use caution while out on late ice. Right now walking out on the ice is the best recommendation.
Guest: Tom Neustrom, owner of MN Fishing Connections shares this week’s Grand Rapids, MN area Ice Fishing Report.
OOPS. What happened to winter? Ice fishing has taken a hit this last week with the weather and it appears at best there may only be a week or two fishable ice on some of the lakes in the Grand Rapids area. The landings are getting sketchy on several lakes and precautions should be taken soon to get on and off the ice. Shelters should be removed now rather than later as to insure their removal before additional damage is done. Any travel on ice should be done on side by sides, 4 wheelers, snow machines, or foot travel. It appears in the 30 day forecast we will not have weather to form or secure ice that will be safe to travel on.
If there is an opportunity to fish in certain areas, the weather can play a big difference in locating pan fish right now. Over the years we have noticed that small bugs will occupy several depths just under the ice as the melting can create warm water caverns that attract these critters. This will normally happen during the daylight hours and afternoon. At times sunfish and crappies can be caught just below the ice 3-5 feet beneath and the action can be fast. It doesn’t happen everyday, but at late ice it’s something to keep in mind. Your electronics can be a helpful asset to locations of these suspended fish. The Humminbird Helix Ice 7 has allowed anglers to mark fish just under the ice with incredible accuracy. Lite line and small baits will be you best choices when it comes to catching these late season pan fish. One of the dynamite ice baits late in the season is a VMC Tungsten Bull Fry or Tungsten Fly Jig baited with a wax worm. Panfish gobble them up and it will put bluegills, crappies, and jumbo perch on the ice for you in the above mentioned conditions.
WE had a great ice fishing season this past winter and activity was strong throughout the cold water period. With the lack of normal snow, ice conditions were good and anglers were out in force. Make sure you get your 2021 Fishing License and check the rules book for new changes.