This week’s Grand Rapids Fishing Report brought to you by Andy Walls, Thousand Lakes Sporting Goods. The Grand Rapids area has been kicking out plenty of walleye for anglers to target. Generally, people are having the best success fishing in water ranging from 4’-18’. This may seem like a large area, but the majority of the walleyes seem to be relating to the first break line on the lake. So depending on the area you are fishing the depth can vary. A simple jig tipped with a minnow is a great starting point because most of the walleyes are in the shallower water chasing baitfish as they come up to spawn. 1/16 to 1/4 ounce jigs have been the go to sizes depending on the water depth and wind speed for the particular area you are fishing. The fish have been grouped up pretty well, so if you get one in an area make sure you go back through to see if there were any more!
Crappies and sunnies have also been very catchable the last few weeks. Most of the panfish in Itasca County are starting to be found in the emergent vegetation of the shallower bays. Water temperature is critical in the spring for crappies and sunnies as they will typically inhabit the warmer water areas of the lake first. Going to the backs of the warmer bays and looking for weeds sticking out of the water in 1’-4’ is a great starting point for some panfish action. A simple slip float equipped with either some live bait like a crappie minnow, wax worm, or night crawler, or a jig with your favorite panfish plastic will definitely put some fish in your boat! Remember to release the larger panfish to help keep the larger fish present in our lakes for our future generations to enjoy!