Guess what? We have finally broken the string of below zero temperatures. As I write this the temperature is approaching 30 degrees, but there is a strong south wind that makes it feel like 9 degrees. I am are running out of words to describe this long, brutally cold and snowy winter we have had this year. The good news is that it is March and we can start to look forward to Spring beginning March 20th – maybe. The game fish season is now over, so the focus will turn to panfish until May. The conditions on our area lakes remains poor with deep snow and slush limiting mobility, but a few, very few, anglers are trying to catch some panfish.
Bluegills were fairly active in the middle of the day. They are hitting well on waxies in the remaining standing cabbage weeds on many lakes. A few have been caught suspended in deeper water. These suspended schools move around, so most anglers will watch their electronics and wait for the fish to pass by rather than struggling through the deep snow.
Perch action has been decent. Anglers are catching them on waxies in the shallow weedbeds, on minnows and waxies on the deep, soft bottom flats.
Crappie fishing has also been fair. These fish can be found in schools in deep water and they too move around. Sometimes they are right on the bottom, other times they are suspended just about anywhere in the water column. As the weather warms, or if it ever does, the crappies will tend to be suspended farther up from the bottom. Most crappies are being caught on minnows, but waxies have also been producing fish.
Many anglers are anxious to get out there for some serious late-ice panfish action. Keep hoping for some warmer weather and a reduction in the snow levels. Whatever the weather brings it is still going to be wet so be prepared.
The new license for the 2014 -2015 season went on sale March 5th. 2013 – 2014 License expire on March 31st. Anglers purchasing the new license can use them immediately, but must follow the regulations for 2013 -2014 season until March 31st
The season is still good for all you snowmobilers and skiers. Trail reports is that they all are in good to excellent conditions. Just a word of caution to snowmobilers, stay on the marked trails when crossing the lakes. There has been several rescues of snowmobilers stuck in the slush.