Ice fishing report 2016

Winter walleye

As winter sets in with thicker ice and colder days, and when I say colder days, I'm talking 20 degrees above zero to 20 degrees below. Winter walleye head deeper below the thermo line. Major points feeding into the lake along with submerged rock piles, humps and stock dams, in or near deep, are the water places I concentrate. These structures are possibly the same grounds you might find yourself fishing in July and August. But they are the first to warm up in any warm up weather and are great places to ambush forage or baitfish.

17'-21' is the depth most of the time I find myself when the ice is 8 inches or thicker. Some cover on the ice/overcast/barometer fluctuation my play all. Occasionally maybe 13'-16'. But the first thing I will do in finding a ledge to structure, is drilling a bunch of holes in any one direction 5-10 yards apart. Once I fished a dropoff or transition in depth, I'll drill more holes going the other way 5-10 yards apart. By doing this, for the most part, I find 'eyes either on the dropoff or on to of the ledge. Cold frigid temps, they usually are hugging the bottom, although I've seen and caught them in 4' off the bottom in 21 ft, with -20 degree windchill before.

Spending time drilling and marking will greatly increase your odds in locating 'eyes on or off structure. I'll never forget, fishing buddy and I were fishing in 16'-18' water not having much luck, couple of cigar eyes. I noticed an angler who was fishing in the same depth we were running, 15-20 yards out towards deeper water checking his tip up. In curiosity, I grabbed the auger and Vexilar and worker 20 yards out towards deeper water and drilled a bunch of holes parallel t the shore, which was roughly 200 yards to the east of me. We immediately marked fish. As soon as we dropped all lines, it was a Chinese fire drill on schools of crappie. Don't settle. If you're not seeing action within an hour of your depth, Move!

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The bite on Poinsett has been great. Reports of nice perch. jigs of depths 15'-18'. Here's a few recent pics of my buddy Jim S. and his success. I've also been hearing good reports on Bitter Lake, SD. Also Whitewood, just outside of Lake Preston is doing well on perch. I drove by there last weekend and it looked like a small town with shacks 20 yards from the landing, stretching around the west side of the bluffs.

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