We have ice again! After the mild temps last week we are back to winter. This past weekend with lows in the single digits most of the medium to large lakes froze over. There are only a couple inches of ice on those lakes, but many shallow lakes and bays have 4-6” on them.
Anglers that have been getting out on the ice are reporting a decent bite for sunfish, crappie and walleye. I’ve been making good use of the boat until this past weekend, but with most lakes frozen over I’ve officially put the boat away. This was definitely the latest I have ever fished a lake in MN out of a boat.
As I said earlier the ice is quite good on the shallow lakes and bays, so I hit the ice for the first time this past weekend. I checked the ice on a few lakes and some were good and others needed more cold weather before I’d fish them. For me I like to have a consistent 4” of ice or more to feel comfortable. Once I have checked a lake and I know the ice conditions, only then will I take family or clients out on the ice to fish.
My son is only two years old, but he was very excited to finally get out ice fishing. He was able to land his first walleye of the ice season as well as some nice crappie. His smiles are priceless! I’m pretty sure if you asked him he thinks he can out fish Dad already. Most of the fish that we caught were quite aggressive; in fact we used mostly plastics. For the walleye, we used a 1/8 oz Frostee jigging spoon tipped with a fathead and for the crappie, we used a small #12 Lindy toad tipped with a plastic tail. This fast action was a perfect way to start off the ice fishing season.
If you decide to go ice fishing over the holidays, make sure you target the lakes that are 15’ or less. These shallower lakes froze earlier than the deeper ones and they have the best ice on them. Merry Christmas, stay safe and good luck fishing!