End of February Ice Fishing Update

The fishing remains very good around the area.  I really can’t complain about the quality of the bite for any species.  Northern, walleye, crappie and sunfish are all going quite well right now.  I expect there to be a decent number of anglers headed out this weekend for the last couple days of the walleye/northern season.  I know I will be out there!

We had a couple slow weeks of walleye, but we are back to some very respectable numbers.  Two to three walleye per guy a night has been very common with some even getting a limit.  But if you are staying in a wheel house for the weekend those kind of numbers really stack up.  Plain shiners on a plain #4 hook has been best with an 1/8oz jigging spoon coming in second.  Depending on the lake the depths have varied greatly.  Shallow or deep, the main thing to look for are points and drop offs.  These types of structure have been producing some nice walleye at sun up and sun down.

The crappie fishing has been best at low light as well with a decent bite going throughout the night.  The fish houses are clearing off of the lakes recently due to the MN state law, but that doesn’t mean the fishing is slowing at all.  The deeper basin (15’-25’) crappie spots around the area are almost all producing some good numbers of crappie.  A plain #8 hook and a crappie minnow has been doing fairly good lately.  Also actively jigging your typical sunfish jig tipped with a Euro larva has been working well.  Either one of these techniques will catch you crappie.

Lastly, the sunfish have been biting well most of the day on a #12 Lindy Toad type jig tipped with a Euro larva as stated above.  Weedy areas in 15’-20’ foot have been best as of late.  These areas are full of sunfish of every size, but it does help to move until you get a keeper or two.  The larger fish like to congregate so it’s important to stay on the move until you find what you are after.  The northern pike are also very active in these areas and they will become even more so, as we get closer to ice out.  Unfortunately the season closes for walleye and northern at midnight 2-25-18.  The northern have been hitting minnows on tip-ups, as well as biting your sunfish jigs and at times even the sunfish you are reeling up.  They can certainly surprise you at any time.

The ice is still over 30 inches think in most places, so we should be ice fishing for quite some time.  With the warmer weather we will have over the next month I can’t think of a more enjoyable time to get the family on some nice panfish.  As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Joe Scegura is a fishing guru with years of experience and a guide for the Alexandria area lakes.

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