This weeks Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Report brought to you by Tom Neustrom. Tom is a professional fishing guide and has been inducted into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame and the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
*Note: Ice conditions have been changing weekly and it is ill advised to venture out other than foot travel for now.
One of the cool ways to catch fish first ice is the use of tip ups, and finding the correct place to put them. Most anglers that use tip ups are typically chasing walleyes and northern pike. At first drill approximately, a dozen holes in the area in which you would like to fish. Most good locations to start are break lines, edges of weed beds, and points coming from shore. If you have someone else to fish with that will give you each 4 tip-up locations. Spread them out along the area where you drilled the holes and move your tip up approx. every 15-20 minutes. Baits that you might want to consider using are sucker minnows, shiners, and larger chubs. The wrong style tip ups with seal the hole and less freezing will occur. The paddle style or what we call beaver dam tip up, is one of the most commonly used with the start of tip up fishing many years ago. Some of the biggest fish of the season can be caught using this technique. Keep your baits 1-2 ft from the bottom. Because Northern pike and walleyes are cruising for a meal and typically are looking straight ahead or up. It’s a great way to start your ice fishing season and can be a lot of fun.
Some places to consider early ice in the Grand Rapids area is Spider lake, Rice lake, Trout lake in Coleraine, Balsam Lake, and several of the smaller lakes north of Grand Rapids.