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Grand Rapids MN Ice Conditions Improved: Panfish Bite Good

With the improvement of slush conditions on the Grand Rapids lakes, the panfish bite is good. This week’s Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Report brought to you by Tom Neustrom, owner of professional fishing guide service, MN Fishing Connections.

Photo submitted by Jeff Johnson, Northern Drift Outfitters.

Ice conditions have improved of late and travel with snowmobiles, side by sides, and wheelers with tracks are getting anglers out fishing. Opportunities for panfish have been good on area lakes and it will continue to get better in the weeks to come. Small tungsten jigs with either euro larvae or wax worms will put fish on the ice. Drilling several holes and using your electronics is key to locating active fish.

Sunfish and crappies most often occupy different depths and locations, but there are times on some lakes where they will be found together. Most often sunfish are found along areas that may contain existing weeds and drilling holes along the edges can be key in locating active fish. Especially with all panfish species try to keep your bait lightly above the fish when found on your electronics. If you drop down below the fish your chances are much less of getting a bite. Because of their eye locations they feed straight ahead and usually will more often feed up.

Crappies will most often occupy deeper areas and prefer deep mud bottom for choice. They feed on blood worms and other critters that live on the bottom. During the day many of these larvae types will come off the bottom and crappies will follow. It’s imperative to use your electronics to pinpoint schools of fish. Drilling several holes and hole hopping with your depth finder can make short work of finding crappies. Some of the better lakes in the Grand Rapids area to try for both sunfish and crappies are Big and Little Splithand, Big and Little Cutfoot, Loon, Rice, and Bowstring. All of the mentioned bodies of water contain good populations of both species.

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