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Ice Fishing Report, January 7, 2019

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We've had everything thrown at us over the last couple weeks in regards to the weather. We've had cold, we've had a warm snap, we've had snow, and we've had rain. The water has come up on most lakes and created some slushy situations, but the snow has settled quite a bit which helps. We just got some freezing rain overnight which will make it a little tougher getting around with wheeled vehicles. The ups and downs doesn't help on the fishing front for consistency, but anglers have been finding fish on many lakes throughout the area. The key seems to be flexible and mobile as the fish may not be in the same place they were yesterday! 

Walleye fishing has been hit and miss on many smaller area lakes, but for the most part the evening bite is good for a couple fishing between Birch, Woman, Pine Mountain, Baby, and Leech. Some nights can be very good, but it definitely varies. Evening tends to be best, but first light in the morning has been decent as well if you're willing to get out there before light.

Perch fishing has been a bright spot early this winter on Leech Lake and Woman Lake so far. They are nomads right now with one day finding them in 6-10' and the next in 18-20', but if you search around they've been biting well. Many reports coming off the main lake on Leech and some areas in Walker Bay/Agency Bay. They've been pretty aggressive and the fatheads have been working pretty well for the bigger jumbos. 

Panfish on the area lakes has been pretty consistent considering the weather patterns changing. The blugills have been working those shallower weed flats in 12-18' and are usually cruising in schools. Punch holes scoping the different areas until you find a little bluegill activity. Once you have some bluegill activity found, punch a pile of holes across the whole flat and start jumping hole to hole with a jig and locator. When you're near a small school of multiple big gills they'll move in on your jig before it even hits the bottom. 

There have been some day bites reported in the area, but primarily the evening bite has been king. Find some structure off the main basins on the lakes, and camp out with a bunch of holes an hour or so before sunset. Bounce around the holes until you find where the fish move in closer to sunset. Multiple anglers makes it easier to pinpoint the schools. Some nights they come in an hour before sunset, others they come in after sunset. It's hard to beat a small tungsten jig with a crappie minnow. 


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