Much better weather over last weekend brought out a large number of ice anglers and they had a fair amount of success on the ice. 

That ice, by the way, is now from 18 to 24 inches in thickness, except for the current areas on the Chain. That is enough for people to drive on, and there were cars all over on most lakes. That is nice for those without shacks, because they can warm up when needed in their cars. There was no slush on the lakes.

There are only four weeks until the end of the game fishing season (March 3) and after that the panfishing can get really good in March and early April. 

The North Woods received a good amount of rain Sunday night and Monday, so it make take a few days to learn what it will do for the lake ice conditions.

Walleye fishing has been just OK, with some action throughout the area in the evenings. The Chain has been productive on a daily basis, with Catfish, Yellow Birch and Cranberry all producing some fish on tip-ups in or near those holes. There also have been some fish on the deeper weed edges in 10 or so feet of water. On the deeper lakes, jigging in deeper water has been productive in the afternoons, with minnow heads on vertical jigs. As always, these fish move shallower in the evenings to feed. 

Northern fishing is good now that the awful cold weather is over. Both tip-up fishing and jigging for these fish has been good. Look for the deepest weeds you can find for the best action. On the tip-ups, large shiners work the best. Some good action has been reported on Anvil, Boot and Dam lakes. Dam, by the way, has produced some really big northerns in the last few years.

Panfish action has been better since the cold front ended, with good crappie action on the Chain. Schools of crappies are roaming on all these lakes, so you must do some searching both vertically and horizontally for them. They are in the holes on the Chain and near the deeper weed edges on other lakes. Perch are moving in schools near the bottom on most lakes and hitting well on any bait near the bottom. Look for soft-bottom areas for the best action. Bluegills are in the weeds and hitting as usual on waxies or spikes. Some good lakes have been South Twin, Boot and Pioneer.

The good thing about February — it is our shortest month and the end of winter is in sight.

Good luck and good fishin’.