The snow over the weekend and on Monday is sitting right where we don’t want it — on the ice. At this point, we are worried about ice development with all that insulation on top of the lake ice.

This is beginning to resemble last year, when we had slush on lakes right from the start. We would really like some of that very cold weather as soon as possible, before we get any more snow. At least a few of the big, open lakes will have a chance to get thick ice.

The early ice provides good fishing for walleye and panfish anglers. Annually, we see some nice walleyes and perch caught by these anglers.

The anglers are setting tip-ups, usually on the deeper sides of the weed beds and trying to intercept the walleyes as they move toward the weeds to feed in the evenings. Medium shiners are the bait of choice for most of them, but some anglers use walleye suckers.

The walleye anglers should station themselves on the inside of the weeds so as not to scare the fish as they come in. Then, later in the evening, move the tip-ups shallower into the weeds.

Perch can provide good fishing in those same areas. They can drive walleye anglers nuts by hitting their shiners under the tip-ups. They’ll carry the shiners off a little and then drop them. Some anglers fish the perch in these same areas with waxies on jigging rods. Some of these perch are good sized.

We generally don’t hear too much about crappie fishing right in the beginning of winter because the crappies are generally going deeper and we just can’t get to the fish in the deeper holes until the ice is much safer. This deep water pattern is a great winter technique for crappies, basically for the rest of the winter.

As much as we hate the cold weather for getting around outdoors, it is good for our ice development both on the lakes and in the marshes for the snowmobile riders.

Good luck and good fishin’.