Winter is always a slow process and an exciting one. In the Grand Rapids area, there is so much to do. Winter brings enjoyment with ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and fat-tire biking. Come ice fish and explore the hundreds of miles of groomed and off-road trails. The beauty of the Grand Rapids area is that all seasons make this destination one to add to your list of places to visit.
There are so many lakes to try out your ice fishing skills. If walleyes are your passion, there are countless lakes to try to catch trophy-size fish. When the ice conditions improve, there are several lakes that can produce walleyes in the 8-9 pound class as well as eating size walleye. Big Cutfoot, Big Splithand, Deer, Pokegama, and Trout lake produce big walleye every season. Most often early in the day and the last 2 hours are some of the best times to do battle with big walleye. A lesser thought of approach is daytime weed beds that can hold the biggest of walleyes during the day, especially during low light conditions. Tip-up fishing with a lively shiner or small sucker minnow can be just the meal they are looking for. Drill several holes along the edge of the weeds and change your tip-up position every 20-30 minutes. There may be a few pesky northern pikes that may come calling, but this can be a great presentation for catching big walleyes.
A most sought-after species that gets little attention until March and early April are the Yellow Perch that are located on nearly all our area lakes. Many anglers across the ice belt come to several of our lakes in search of the fast action of Yellow Perch. Not a very finicky fish but, they can be caught in great numbers and are an awesome species for the table. Big Winnie has had a reputation for jumbo Perch for decades and anglers from Wisconsin and Michigan have made yearly trips to the big lake for consistent fishing. Winnie provides great habitat for producing good numbers of larger Perch and that is what draws the anglers. Other lakes in the area to try for big Perch are Bowstring, Jay Gould, Big Splithand, and Pokegama. Drill several holes in depths of 8-20 feet around rocks and weeds and hole hop until you find them. A small spoon tipped with a minor hear or a couple of wax worms will do the trick.
Merry Christmas to all and put Grand Rapids on your list of places to visit during the holiday season.