Editor’s note: Following is a report from Rice Lake Tourism, with fishing tips provided by Jordan Marsh of Marsh Outdoors.
It’s safe to say that winter is here to stay. Cold temperatures blasted us from the north which in turn helped us get more ice on the lakes. It is still very early and I can’t stress enough to be safe out there. One major factor has been the amount of wind we have had. Small open water pockets added with the strong winds can chew up the ice underneath without any signs it’s happening. Always check the ice when venturing out right now.
Panfish are holding in shallow water along the outside edges of weed beds. They can easily find lots of food in the weeds so they will move in and out of them during the day. There’s no need to concentrate on the open water basin right now as you can find more and highly aggressive fish in shallow bays or the edges of the break line leading into deeper water. Fish cribs and woody debris are other good areas to target.
Walleyes will be cruising the shallow water shorelines in low light and during the evening. Cover a little water by throwing some tip ups at different depths where you want to fish, while actively jigging up and down a break can trigger those active fish as they move in to feed. Right now is a great time to catch fish on jigging spoons and it allows you to cover water to find the active fish.
Good luck fishing and remember, introduce someone new into the outdoors. They will appreciate it for a lifetime.