With tough winter conditions of deep snow and extreme cold hanging on last week there was plenty of PG-13 and rated R language coming from anglers these days. I think all of us are more than ready for spring to arrive. Let’s not forget that March can be the snowiest month of the year.
For those ambitious enough to tackle the conditions, fishing last week was in fact good to great, and that should last as long as the ice does.
Lake Superior has been the most accessible ice in the region and thousands of anglers continue to visit the Gitch. Lake trout continue to be caught in the Duluth/Superior area. Lots of anglers are traveling to deeper waters, but lakers, especially active lakers, can be caught in waters as shallow as 40 feet. Anglers should have the proper gear while tackling these fish. I prefer a medium to heavy rod stringed up with braid tied to a fluoro leader and heavier spoons tipped with plastics and/or meat. Best success for us still continues to be the patience game, not moving much.
The St Louis River panfish bite has been escalating lately. Crappie minnows under floats in shallow water has been good. This bite will continue to build as we climb into spring.
Everyone is aware of the inland lake situation with permanent houses, snow machines and trucks getting stuck. Most anglers have decided against ice fishing until we have a good melt. I am looking forward to late ice and no snow as well. Until then, fishing the deeper transitions and basins is a good move for schooling panfish. The challenge of course continues to be getting out, but those willing to endure the workload are having good payoffs. Using heavy tungsten jigs tipped with crappie minnow heads has been good. Don’t be afraid to utilize the soft plastics game though.