Fishing Report 3-20-14
Now is the time to grab your fishing gear and head out onto the Grand Rapids area ice sheets. The ice conditions are great. When you do, here are a few tips. The first thing to consider is mobility, both vehicular and by foot. As the snow melts slush appears and when slush forms motorized vehicles get stuck. Right now snowmobiles and chained or tracked atvs/utvs are the best. Trucks are still an option, but the risk factor is huge.
While traveling on ice, stay away from old plowed roads, as they are veritable lakes and do not try to go over any drifts or snow banks as you might get hung up. Always try to have a shovel and tow strap with you.
Things to bring along when spring ice fishing include sun glasses, sun lotion, ice cleats, waterproof boots, auger extensions and, of course, the proverbial bucket to sit on. Also use sleds as they are really easy to pull, but more importantly, many times “hole-hopping” is the best way to catch fish as sometimes even ten feet can make a difference. Keep in mind if you pull your sled behind a vehicle; be sure to have it covered as slush and water are really kicked up when traveling. Also consider a lightweight “spud” (chisel) as many times old holes have only frozen over a couple inches.
At this time of year remember diversity is the key. Bring not only minnows, but also minnows ranging from tiny to large as the bite varies from day to day. Also carry not only waxies, but also spikes and even an assortment of plastics. Due to this varying bite, don’t be afraid to switch up presentations.
Probably the most important thing to remember while fishing those lazy hazy days of spring is to trust your electronics. If you don’t see fish, move around the deep basin or flat you are fishing. Some crappie and perch fisherman, in fact, won’t even put in a line until they see fish on the screen.
Panfish and perch will also often hit up so when your spring tip goes from slightly bent to straight up, the fish is hitting up so use an immediate soft lift to hook it. If you don’t use a spring tip, be sure you have a “noodle” rod, as sometimes these fish bite lightly.
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.