We now have significantly different conditions on the ice, as the snowfalls have unfortunately created significant slush out there. 

Be careful to stay on the plowed areas on the bigger lakes. There have been some stories of guys getting bogged down with their trucks and four-wheelers on some of the mid-size lakes. Also, if you don’t have rubber winter boots, get some for dry feet.

The snow sports people are delighted with this snow and it looks like more coming. This will set it up for the rest of the winter for snow activity. You have to admit one thing — it is beautiful out there.

We’re now on the downside of winter, so we know that there is a limited amount of cold weather ahead of us. Let’s hope that we don’t have a spring like last year, with snow well into April. It’s a little early to mention it, but we’ve got some great panfishing ahead in March and April.

Walleye fishing has been just OK, with some spotty action reported around the area. There have been some decent late afternoon runs on the Chain and some of the bigger lakes, but all in all the action certainly declined with that cold weather. As more people get out on the ice, we should get better reports on some of the area lakes. Walleye have been in or near the holes on the Chain and there has been some tip-up action with shiners. On some of the deeper lakes, anglers have been getting some walleye action jigging with minnow heads in deeper water.

Northern action has been the most consistent game fish for the last several weeks. Both jigging over deeper weeds and tip-up action has been OK. The best thing about this fish is that it is a daylight feeder. Try setting some tip-ups in or near weeds and doing some panfishing at the same time in the same areas.

Panfish action slowed way down during the cold front, plus there has been a reduction of the number of anglers out there with the snow and cold. We have heard of some decent crappie action in the holes on the Chain, as schools of crappie are roaming through these holes at different depths. Both tip-downs rigged with minnows and jigging with waxies on vertical jigs have been productive. We’ll see a lot more of this action as it warms. Bluegills have been hitting on waxies in the weeds. Perch are in the same weeds, but deeper. Look for these fish to be near the bottom in softer-bottom areas for the rest of the winter.

Enjoy winter now. It’ll be spring before we know it.

Good luck and good fishin’.