Fishing with the Guides by George Langley. Week of 3/19 to 3/26.
The weather is ever so slowly warming as we head towards the end of march, but it has been a tough month for everyone. We had that false sense of spring in February when it got so warm, but it has been cold since then. This part of spring – that last 3 – 4 weeks, can be really special for outdoor people. This will produce the best ice fishing for panfish of the year, and towards the end the holes will stay open overnight, so you don't even have to drag your augers out there. There is the problem of yard work in front of us, but we can generally ignore it long enough to get that last ice fishing in.
When is the ice going out? There are always a lot of opinions on this, and it hard to predict. This writers guess is somewhere in the second week of April. The sun is so strong at this time of year that it can go quickly with sun and rain. While there is still snow in the woods, most of the open area snow is gone and there is no snow for skiing or snow shoes.
The ice is pretty thick. We added a lot of ice during that cold spell, and it is running from 14 to 20” thick throughout the area. It is pretty good, solid ice also. That thickness will dissolve quickly if it gets warm.
The fishing has been pretty good for bluegills for those few guys that got out there. The 'gills are both in the weeds and in deeper water (the bigger ones), and are mostly being caught on waxies or spikes. By the time the ice thins, the 'gills will all be in the weeds. Crappies have been hitting in deeper water pretty well. Anglers are setting tipdowns with minnows and are jigging with waxies for them with a fair amount of success in the deeper water areas. Perch are moving in schools close to the bottom and feeding on mayfly larvae. These wigglers are great bait for them at this time of year, fished very close to the bottom in softer bottom areas where they are in the mud.
The walleye guys are getting their boats ready for the river trips, which will start soon. These trips are a great way to get your tackle ready for the year and to test your equipment out. Another opportunity for anglers at this time of year is steelhead or trout fishing up on Lake Superior or in the rivers that empty into the lake.
It's a time of change, so get out and enjoy some outdoor time.
Good luck and good fishin'!
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