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Ice Fishing Report, December 24th, 2018

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Warmer weather threw everything for a loop this last week! Ice conditions stayed pretty stagnant and didn't make much for new ice, and the freeze/thaw cycling created some issues on some of the lakes. Overall though, we didn't go backwards, and a little cooler weather here will get us back on track. Also, the weather pattern change knocked the fish patterns around a little bit - it took a couple days for things to even back out.

Leech Lake has been consistently producing decent walleye and perch action. It hasn't been lights out up there, but there has been some consistent evening bites for those that want to go out, sit, and catch the wave. For the guys out working the flats and searching out fish, you can get into some good action during the late morning and early evening up shallow 8-16'. Most other lakes have been a dawn and dusk bite. Those that spread out tip-ups and anglers are doing better taking advantage of the bite when it comes through. Shiners have been working well, and when the bite is a little slower a live shiner on a deadstick or bobber has worked well - if the minnow is too lively it seems to turn them off.

We've heard a lot of reports on the crappie. Mostly basin fish related to major points and structure in the evening. You can get into the fish earlier if you get out in the deep water and find them, but it can require some serious hole punching to find the schools and stay with them.

Bluegill have been all over the board depending on what lake your on and the time of day. Many of the guys chasing crappie in the evening are picking up gills in the shallow holes before the crappie move in. They are a little sluggish, but you'll get a few if you work them. If you're targeting gills specifically, the anglers finding them most consistently are in the deepest weed flats you can find on the lake, usually in that 12-16' range. 

The pike fishing has been very good for the guys out there chasing flags. Temps have been ideal to prevent hole/tip-up icing, and the bite has been great. Nothing hotter than a big shiner right now. There are nice pike being caught on many area lakes - usually you'll have to go through some snakes, but there are some big slimers to be had.


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