We have passed the peak of Winter and it should be all downhill from here, although Mother Nature is notorious for gnashing her teeth refusing to relinquish to Spring. The bite can often become tough this time of year, but certainly not impossible. Fishing in the high opportunity windows can still produce satisfying results even in the pits of February, especially since we are now in the final weekend of the Inland Walleye/Northern Pike Season, season closes this Sunday 02/23/2020.
Ice Conditions are extremely good right now, and probably the best we have seen yet this season as the snow has settled and the slush has firmed up on most of the area lakes. Which has led to more fish house and vehicle traffic, but as always use extreme caution and call area resorts and shops to check conditions prior to making your trip. It is also always good practice to periodically check ice conditions while you are venturing out there.
Bluegills and Crappies can be found cruising the weed edges, but there is not much for “green weeds” left this time of year on our local lakes, so any standing weeds or structure would be the area to target over the next couple weeks. This is where having a quality underwater camera like a Vexilar Fish-Scout really has it benefits. The inside turns of weed flats or along the steep weed points have been good for active fish anywhere from 7′-22′ depending on body of water and clarity. Don’t forget the basin fish either as February into March is a great time of year to chase those deep roaming schools. We generally fish basins from 18′-35′ of water. However, use caution when fishing anything deeper than 25′ if you do not plan on keeping the fish. Many people do not realize but panfish are not able to rapidly adapt to depth change, unfortunately there is no trick in the book that can prevent this, and a majority of fish will die after being caught in those depths even if they appear to swim off. A small tipped jigging spoon has been working phenomenal for both weed and basin fish. Somedays the waxies have been far outperforming the plastics, other days it has been the opposite, a minnow head has worked well also.
As mentioned, we are heading into our final days of the Minnesota Inland Walleye/Pike season. But there is still fun to be had! Along with Panfish and Trout some of our favorite species to target would include Whitefish, Tullibee, and of course Burbot. Eelpout will begin starting to stage for spawning soon, and there is no limit to the action that can be had! Our area has a lot to offer for those who are wanting to experience something different. With the beautiful ice conditions and some gorgeous temps in this weekend’s forecast, now is the time to get out there!
Our books are now open for our open water season! Next Up… Rainy River!! Come enjoy the extended walleye season with Captain Justin Wiese on one of the most renowned walleye fisheries in the world. Visit our website or give us a call at 218-275-7525 for more details!