Chill Fishing Report
Another weekend of storms and a week of more storms has come and gone and for once the ten-day forecast looks like we might warm up some and stay there (NOT HOLDING MY BREATH). This past weekend we were scouting for a tournament instead of a traditional customer trip. The mindset must be a little different when scouting for tournaments and a pro said it best “you are looking for 10 big fish not a live well full of eaters.” We tried a few spots to find big crappies and I don’t know if crappies are starting to leave the basins or if I just picked the wrong ones to check but we covered a lot of water and found a lot of two-inch perch. After two drained batteries and lots of miles put on the Rangers, we finally found fish and when we did, we caught three or four huge crappies then the blue gills pushed the crappies away. It’s a good feeling when you pull 3-4 crappies up in less than 5 minutes and they are all over 12.5 inches with only three holes drilled for four people. We stopped fishing and went onto scout more spots.
We did find out a lot of things this weekend. The snowpack on the lakes has for the most part become packed down and prior to this last blizzard we were able to get around with a wheeled Ranger without issues. Crappies wanted smaller presentations but wanted some scent from wax worms to commit. Blue gills are starting to migrate to their normal spots but seem to be a week or two behind their normal schedules and the way this year has been going it isn’t a big shock. We covered a lot of ice then the wind picked up and we decided a hot meal at Zorbaz and a nap felt better than getting beat up by the wind all afternoon.
What worked for us was 4 mm tungsten jigs with smaller Ripper plastics over the larger Syren seemed to be better. The fish were really interested in the bigger presentation, but they didn’t seem to commit and bite. We used the same presentation for the blue gills and that seemed to be working on catching a few nice blue gills and if you can hunker down, you’ll pick through to catch some nicer sized fish. If you are one of those that use the drill for an auger you may want your extension installed on your drill. I barely got through the ice this weekend and I’ll be mounting my extension on
This upcoming weekend I’ll be busy with the Women Angler’s of Minnesota tournament being hosted at Thumper Pond which is exciting for a tournament to be held in our area. I believe they have 70 plus people signed up for the team tournament which will be targeting panfish only using a catch and release format using Fish Donkey to score their fish. Sunday, I have a trip planned to chase some tullibee and I’ve been hearing positive reports that they are starting to pick up in our area.
We have some very important dates coming due in the next few weeks. First is our fishing license expiring February 28th and you will need to purchase a new license. With the new license purchase please be aware some lakes the limit change so please take some time and freshen up on your local lakes to verify nothing has changed for the upcoming season. Second, the date of March 7th is coming quickly that is the shelter removal deadline. A lot of people have been removing their houses and with the weather we’ve been having it wasn’t a bad idea to get them off early.
Weather this time of the year can change quickly and if you are wanting to get out, I strongly suggest doing it before it gets too late. I’m really hoping March brings us some nice warm temperatures so we can enjoy some of the late ice fishing for giant crappies, bull blue gills, and my favorite silver bullets (Tullibee).