Happy New Year to all Minnesotans and come visit us in Grand Rapids all year long. The start of the 2022 year has brought us lots of snow and very cold temperatures. It is winter that Grand Rapids and all the things one can do when visiting.
Ice fishing is in full swing and with the colder weather, conditions continue to improve. Ice thickness varies from lake to lake and safety should always be implemented when out on the ice. It never hurts to call ahead and find out conditions. Any of the bait shops in the Grand Rapids area can provide you with up-to-the-minute conditions. So give them a call before venturing out on the ice.
Walleye fishing has been good on area lakes and the best times seem to be early and late in the day. Big Winnie has been providing additional options for good size perch and nice northern pike. Now with the additional snow, travel by snowmobile or on a plowed road is the best option currently. Most of the offshore structures are giving up walleyes and nice perch mixed, but moving can be the key to finding pods of fish that want to bite. A Northland Buckshot Spoon or Coffin Spoon tipped with a minnow head is a sure-fire way to attract either species to the hole. If you drill 2 holes close together put a Dead Stick presentation in the hole you’re not jigging in with a single hook spoon or plain hook and a split shot. The “Silent Partner” approach can be the ticket at times.
Other lakes in the Grand Rapids area that are also producing walleyes are Pokegama, Big Splithand, Big Jessie, Moose, and Trout in Coleraine. The panfish bite has been decent on area lakes and especially during the midday. Small creatures that excite bluegills and crappies get active as the day goes on. Drill several holes in an area and use your electronics to locate schools of active fish. The bite may only last a few minutes and by drilling several holes you can literally “Hole Hop” and find the school again. Small tungsten jigs, tipped with a wax worm or soft plastic, in the 1/16th to 1/32nd size are great choices to use on 4# test fluorocarbon. A St. Croix Rod to SCT 30LXF is perfect for detecting those lite biters. Many lakes in the Grand Rapids area offer outstanding panfish opportunities. Little and Big Splithand, Pokegama, Big Bass in Cohasset, Bowstring, and Big Balsam just to mention a few.
Ice fishing is not the only activity available in the winter with prime snowmobiling, cross country skiing trails, snowshoeing and even Fat Tire biking trails becoming more of an opportunity. Couple that with great restaurants, and motel and hotel accommodations, and Grand Rapids continues to be a destination for all seasons.