Ice Conditions are Improving in Lakes Area

By Randin Olson, Lock Jaw Guide Service

Things are on the mend in lakes area! Yes there is still A LOT of slush on area lakes but with the recent cold snap, a good amount of the slush has started to freeze solid. Travel will get easier from here. You still need to be mind full of the ice thickness and please try to avoid drilling any holes on or near a road as this will surly ruin the road for a while.

We are entering into the mid-winter time frame which can be tricky for anglers looking for a quick meal. If your willing to put some time in and some extra work, you can still put together a good meal and have fun doing it!

Panfish paradise is thriving! Some lakes will have established community spots, one tip to improve your success on these lake is to move away from the crowd. The fish living in that area are roamers. The food that brought them to the community spot is starting to dwindle and the fish will start to roam outside of the crowd in search of new bug hatches. Spoons, jigs, and rattle baits are top producers in these basin areas. Don’t forget to check the shallow weeds as well!

Walleye’s are set up in predictable locations but can be touchy.  Area’s with fresh ice will hold better odds. 20 to 28ft has been my productive depth. I like to use a two pronged approach this time of year. a set line with a large fathead set within 8 inches of the bottom and a aggressive loud bait worked within the bottom 4ft. This combination will attract fish to you and give you greater odds of getting your knife dirty! 

Pike are roaming the weedlines. large deadbaits or suckers under a tip up are a great way to connect with some big pike. 8 to 16ft has been key lately and if your looking for a challenge, move out to the basin and set a line 3ft under the ice. Large pike like to cruse just under the ice in search of an easy meal.

As always, be safe and check ice conditions often, and most importantly HAVE FUN!!