Header photo caption: Guests found success while fishing with Jeff Johnson, Northern Drift Outfitters on a Grand Rapids, MN area lake. If you are looking for a memorable ice fishing trip, give Jeff a call: 218-259-8893.
This week’s Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Report brought to you by Tom Neustrom, owner of professional guide service: MN Fishing Connections.
The extreme cold weather of late makes ice fishing rather difficult unless you’re in a nice warm shelter of some type, but make no mistake there are many hearty souls that have been out trying their luck. Fish, especially walleyes, are hard to catch in these conditions. One thing to remember that even with the drastic cold temperatures, consistent weather, no matter can trigger a bite at peak times of the day or night. Fish, as all animal life, need to nourish their bodies, and will look to find food, even it’s smaller in size. Their metabolism slows down and small fragments of food is still food. Smaller baits this time of year will be far more productive then larger ones that we have used earlier in the year. Again there are shorter windows, but they have to eat. Many times the dead bait rods with a live minnow will get the bite. Shorten your distance between the hook and the split shot as to decrease the movement and action of the minnow. This can limit the minnow’s movement and make it a lot more appealing to walleyes that are not as active. Some of the lakes to try late season walleyes are Pokegama, Moose, Trout, Big Split Hand, and Big Cutfoot.
Panfish can be relatively very similar. Smaller baits will most often be the choice and until weather stays even more consistent, moving and drilling several more holes maybe the best options for success. As stated in previous columns a couple waxies or 3-4 euro larvae without a lot of jigging action can be your best presentations for cold weather panfish. They to are effected by cooler than normal can have an adverse effect on getting bit. Using your electronics and hole hopping can put a few more fish on the ice. Those soft tip rods, like the St. Croix CI32ML XF is my go to rod for late season panfish and can be utilized as a great dead stick rod for jumbo perch, big crappies, and finicky walleyes. Some late season panfish lakes to give a try are Little Bowstring, Big Bowstring, Dunbar, Pokegama, Cutfoot, Little Sand, and Little Splithand. Call some of the bait shops in the Grand Rapids area and get some up to the minute information when you are venturing out in the Grand Rapids area.