The warmer temperatures and settled snowpack have definitely helped fishing. With the northern pike and walleye seasons set to close February 28, now is the time to get into that late season action. Because access has been limited due to cold and windy temps, anglers have not been able to get out as much the last week or so, but that has definitely changed and changed for the better.
Walleye action is still pretty much a low light bite with the best action coming just before sunset and into the dark. Jigging spoons seem to be the ticket, with a slower action working better. Northern action on tip-ups with large chubs or sucker minnows has stayed steady through the day, with some giants being taken right along with some good “eaters” and “picklers.” If you are looking for northern “picklers” check for the regulations regarding selected limits of up to nine on certain lakes.
The tulibee/whitefish bite is just beginning. Call our local resorts for information. These abundant fish are great smoked. Perch are extrememely active and catching a hundred is no problem, the only problem is the larger perch seem to come every fourth or fifth fish. As the weather warms and fishermen are able to “run and gun” to find the larger perch, getting a “nice pail” will be a lot easier. Smaller spoons with some rattling noise tipped with small crappie minnows have worked the best. Pan fish action pretty much parallels the perch bite.
Once mobility improves and the weather warms enough so people can drill lots of holes and search them out the bite will definitely get better. When fishing panfish, be sure to bring along small minnows, waxies, and fake waxies and a wide assortment of your favorite crappie jigs. There always seems to be one that works better. The ice is thick, the fish are ready, and the best and warmest part of the ice fishing season is here. Call bait shops, sporting goods departments, resorts, and ice fishing guides for the latest information.
Nik Dimich is a fulltime, year round Grand Rapids, MN and Lake Winnie area fishing guide. To book a trip, please contact him at www.DimichOutdoors.com or “like” Dimich Outdoors on Facebook.