So what's your favorite strategy for early ice fishing?
I personally love catching the panfish. Weeds are still abundant so I go to the shallow bay areas and try to find some big bulls hiding in the cabbage. Then I'll drill out a few holes off the edge of that cabbage where it starts to drop into deeper water. Last year those deep holes provided a few walleyes but I haven't figured the walleye part out quite yet.
A few of my spots have great sunfish that turn to crappie as the sun goes down and usually these fish are ready to eat. This time of year all you need to do is drop bait in the hole and maybe give it a lift and drop.
Early ice walleye can often be caught during the day in deep holes at the bottom of a steep break. Check out tips of points and inside corners (deep) during the day but move shallow about an hour before sunset and sit there until it's good and dark. Walking out on Mille Lacs or Leech for early ice perch can be a lot of fun. Walk out into weedy bays and fish the weed edges or clumps. Some bonus walleye can be caught right at dark when the perch quit biting. Dave
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If you've got short, stubby fingers and wear reading glasses, any relaxation you would normally derive from fly fishing is completely eliminated when you try to tie on a fly. ~ Jack Ohman, Fear of Fly Fishing, 1988