We are a couple weeks into spring and it appears we are still making ice in the Alexandria area. In fact, as I type this the thermometer reads only 15 degrees! There is still 30” of ice in most areas and the edges that were melting have all refroze. Keep in mind it is spring and there is still snow melting, so there is moving water near inlets and outlets. The sun is also very strong which can melt ice near sandy shorelines and shallow rocks. I’m not trying to talk you out of fishing because the fishing is great and so is 95% of the ice. I’m just reminding you to use your head and respect the ice, especially if you are headed out with a large vehicle and wheel house. I plan on heading out tonight to sleep over a couple nights and I have zero concerns, but make sure you know your lake and check the ice before you drive out just like any other time of the winter.
Up until recently I have seen very little fish movement. We have been catching fish in the deeper midwinter areas for the past couple months. However the shallower areas are starting to finally produce some fish. I think over the next week we will catch fish both shallow and deep. If you can find green weeds shallow there will most certainly be fish keying in on them. My plan for the next couple days is to set up in deeper water for the crappie night bite in about 18’ of water. Then fish as shallow as 5-6’ in the early morning hours for both sunfish and crappie. I think the fish will tell me what they want to do from there quite quickly. The fish have been very aggressive so keeping on the move until you locate them is very important. A small #12 jig and a Euro larva has been all I’ve needed most of the winter.
There are dozens of lakes right now putting out some great panfish in the Alexandria area. That said there are relatively very few anglers out there going after them. The few guys that are hitting the ice are getting rewarded quite well for their efforts. I expect there to be vehicles driving on the ice this week, probably slowing down when the forecast mentions a slight warm up. At that point I’m sure it will be ATV’s and walking for the rest of the season. If you’re looking to get out on the ice one or two or three more times yet you are in luck! Even with the warm up forecasted I expect there to be fishable ice yet for weeks! Feel free to comment if you have questions otherwise come on up and do some fishing!