First Frozen Lakes

November 18, 2014    //   

Huge pile of tasty crappie 1

I don’t think anyone thought winter was going to hit us this quick, but it’s definitely here!  Only two weeks ago we were fishing on open water and now most of the lakes are frozen over.  I’m already getting reports of 6-10” of ice on many of the shallower lakes.  Luckily, almost all of the snow we received melted in the water prior to the lakes freezing over, so the ice is in very good condition and traveling is easy.

This weekend I predict there will be plenty of fishing activity across the area lakes.  If you’re headed out I recommend traveling on foot first.  This time of year I always check ice thickness as I walk to my fishing locations.  After I’ve checked the ice conditions and I’ve confirmed consistent quality ice the entire way, only then will I take an ATV or snowmobile on the ice.

My first fishing locations for ice fishing are almost always the same areas I fished last out of a boat.  These fish will not have moved far from their fall locations.  Early ice is an excellent time to get in on the continued fall feeding frenzy.  I’ll be fishing crappie during the day near deep water in 15’-20’.  As for the walleye, I’ll spend the last couple hours of daylight on a nice steep break near deep water.  Walleye will be cruising these areas come night fall and the anglers that are ready will be rewarded.

I love early ice fishing, but please never take ice thickness for granted.  I firmly believe it’s a very safe time to fish, as long as you check the ice thickness as you go.  Once you’ve marked a safe path out onto the ice, grab the family and enjoy a great time.



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