The North Woods had some absolutely wonderful weather following that severe cold stretch of early February. The nicer weather allowed a greater number of anglers to get out on the ice. 

The great late-season ice fishing for panfish is here, though the game fishing season runs through this Sunday, March. 7. This means it is almost time to put the tip-ups away and get those tip-downs ready for crappies.

For many anglers, this is the best time of the year to be out there. There still is some slush on many lakes, but the snow is being flattened out by the sun and the warmer temperatures. 

Walleye fishing is still going along pretty well for this time of year. It has been a good year for this fish. As usual, evening fishing is best, with action on tip-ups best after 5 p.m. Medium shiners or walleye suckers are the bait of choice under those tip-ups for all anglers. Evenings until after dark produce the best results. In some of the deeper-water lakes, deep jigging during the afternoons have been producing some fish near rock bars in the central basin. Just a vertical jig with a minnow head works best.

Northerns are still hitting well on all lakes. Tip-ups in or near the deep edge of weeds are still working best, and as the fish are daytime feeders these warm-weather days are perfect. They don’t mind sunny days at all. Large shiners work best.

Panfish action remains good, with crappies leading the way. You can generally find these fish suspended in water of roughly 15 feet deep. Good electronics really help find these fish in the deeper water. A vertical jig tipped with waxies works the best. Perch, on the other hand, seem to be bottom feeders at this time of year. They are moving in schools feeding on mayfly larvae they are digging up. So they are generally in near-bottom schools in soft-bottom areas. Bluegills are in the weeds as usual, and feed on waxies on smaller jigs.

Not much remains of the ice fishing season. Get out there as the game fishing season ends Sunday.

Good luck and good fishin’.