Winter Crappie by Tom NeustromThis week’s Ice Fishing Report for the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area by Tom Neustrom, MN Fishing Connections.

In the last months of winter angling many species are on the move in search of nourishment before the rigors of spring spawning begins. Electronics are even more important in late winter because of the nomadic characteristics of species. Drilling many holes and doing a version we call “ hole hoping “ to find fish can be the key to success. With my Humminbird Helix 5 or 7 I can identify the area that gives me the best possibility for success. Finding fish and the depth they are located make your day on the ice a lot more productive. Being on the ice late in the season can be very enjoyable especially when your bones get warmed by the intense rays of the sun. After being in the cold water for several months it is important that scaling down your baits is necessary. 1/32 ounce and even 1/64th  VMC Tungsten jigs with a piece of plastic or one wax worm will get even the more reluctant panfish to bite. Backing down line test can be one of the subtle changes that together with lighter baits will also be key. Two pound test is my choice especially late in the season and will put additional fish on the ice. All these small subtle changes will provide the opportunities for late season ice success.