Man, is the ice going quickly this spring. The combination of very warm weather and the rain has made for a lot of black ice out there. To me, this ice is scary stuff and I won’t go on it, as it is honeycombed.

The other problem for ice fishermen is that the ice fades from the shorelines at this time of year, so anglers need waders or planks to get on the ice in many places. It sure looks like an early spring this year! It may be time to get those boats ready.

The best late ice fishing is for crappies, but be careful out there. The very best time to fish for these fish are evenings, and with the weather so warm, that water will be running back in the holes. Small minnows or small vertical jigs (silver) that flutter will work best. Fish the weed beds basically on the deeper edge of those beds in the evenings. The best time is just as the sun dips and hits the treetops.

Unless we have a drop in the temperatures (always possible here), some North Woods lakes could be open in late March or early April. When that happens, the target fish will be perch, as the game fishing season does not open until May 1. Perch are easy to catch, as they will be on the shorelines to spawn. Use minnows, waxies or worms. Look for shoreline cover, such as downed trees, or look for the warmest water in bays. 

Many anglers also will head south to fish the Wolf, Wisconsin and Fox rivers for walleyes or to fish parts of Lake Michigan or Lake Superior for trout and salmon. This nice weather makes it a great time to test your boats out for the season.

Watch that ice and be careful out there.

Good luck and good fishin’.