February 26, 2016    //    Joe Scegura
We are fast approaching the end of the walleye ice fishing season and the deadline to leave houses unattended overnight. Normally during this time of year the walleye bite is hit and miss at best, and most anglers usually move on to crappie or sunfish. This year, on the other hand, we have been experiencing a very strong bite to end the season. I have talked to a number of anglers on a few different lakes that are also noticing this strong bite.
I have had my best luck in the low light time periods. For me, the midnight and midday bites have been nearly nonexistent. We have caught almost all of our fish in the prime hour at sunset and sunrise. Our best luck has come from 18-35 feet of water. Keep in mind that with the slow start to the ice fishing season, many of the traditional walleye “hot spots” have had very little pressure, so fishing those areas have been yielding some very good fish recently. Both 1/8” jigging spoons and set lines tipped with minnows have been producing fish. Most of the walleye have been eater size (15”-18”) but we have had a number of big picture fish as well.
The sunfish and crappie have also been cooperating, and by the sounds of it there has been some extremely good sized fish coming in. I’ve seen pictures of 13”-14” crappie and some sunfish pushing 10”. Those are great fish no matter where you live! Most of the panfish have been coming from weed flats in 10-20 feet of water on Euro larva or wax worms.
The ice is still in great condition around the Alexandria area. We have around 24 inches of ice with little to no snow. Last week we had a very warm Friday and Saturday that melted most of our snow, but then that water refroze on Sunday. It looks like we are going to have some very nice temps again this weekend, so get out and enjoy the lakes whether you’re after panfish or walleye!