As of last weekend, walleye fishing closed in Minnesota, but there are still plenty of other fish to chase. Especially in the Alexandria area where there are dozens of excellent panfish lakes. Every one of these lakes is unique and has its own characteristics… big, small, deep, shallow, clean or stained water. All of these are pieces to a puzzle that the avid ice angler loves to put together.
Just last week I was fishing a smaller lake and found some trophy sized panfish. We were able to catch numerous bluegill pushing over a pound. Hitting these small lakes requires quite a bit more effort, but the payoff can be huge! This particular day I drilled between 75 and 100 holes before I caught a couple medium sized bluegill. After I located these fish I continued to drill circles around this area until I was able to locate the majority of the fish in the area.
When I’m hopping from hole to hole in search of fish I like to use a tungsten jig. They fall much faster than lead jigs and allow me to cover more water. If I fish a hole for a couple minutes without seeing a nice fish on the locator I reel up and move. My favorite style jig is a horizontal jig like the Lindy Toad. I hook one or two euro larva on the jig and I’m ready to go. (Quick Tip: I recommend anglers to smash or pop their larva. This will help let scent out of the bait and can help trigger bites from those big finicky bluegills.)
Check out the Alexandria Fishing Resources page or come back soon for more reports!