Absolutely beautiful weather followed the very cold weather during the first half of February, allowing anglers to get outside and enjoy what is left of winter. 

There is only a little more than a week of game fishing season (ends March 7) and it has held up pretty well this year. There is really not a lot of snow cover this winter and if we don’t get some more storms, it seems like there might be an early spring. We’ll see what happens. 

There is a fair amount of ice at this point and anglers are driving on many lakes. That sun is getting strong, however, so use care, especially on lakes that have some current like those on the Chain.

Walleye fishing has remained pretty good this winter. Anglers are still getting fish in the evenings with medium shiners under tip-ups. On the bigger lakes, there is some deeper-water fishing going on in the afternoons by anglers deep-water jigging near rock structures. Vertical jigs with minnow heads are working well now, with anglers then moving shallower with tip-ups in the evenings and after dark.

Northerns have been especially active after the warmup started, with good action in the weed beds. Large shiners are working best in those weeds, but we find anglers also jigging for these fish at this time of year. The best concentration of fish can be found in the greenest weeds, as the panfish will be feeding on aquatic life in those weeds.

Panfish action has been much better since the warmup. Areas with green weeds are much more attractive to fish than the dead weeds. Crappie action is still good in the deeper water on the Chain, but the fish will move shallower as the water warms. Some of the best crappie action of the year will be in March, especially in the evenings as the fish feed daily. Bluegill action is good in the weeds also. These fish are near the bottom, “digging up” wigglers from that mud. Fish right near the bottom for them. Waxies or spikes work well for them.

It is a great time of the year to get outside. Ice fishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in late winter.

Good luck and good fishin’.