Fishing pressure has dropped off a lot since the close of walleye season last week, but thankfully the fishing hasn't dropped off on the panfish and perch! The panfish bite continues to be pretty consistent across the area. Crappie are still hanging in that deeper water in and around 20', and we've heard reports of suspended fish still holding over basins. As we move later into the month, we should start to see those fish pull in towards structure and start stacking on the edges with some moving up into shallower water. Some lakes have started heading this way already, but within a week or two we should see it more consistently.
The larger bluegill have been starting to show up in the shallower water on many of the smaller panfish lakes. Hearing more and more anglers getting them under 15', but don't be afraid to try deeper if you can't find them shallow as there are still lakes holding fish on the deeper edges. Similar to the crappie, we should see the bluegill start to pull in over the next few weeks providing some great late ice action!
Perch are still hitting pretty consistently up on Leech over the deeper structure of their normal late ice flats. Quite a few reports coming from the 12'-16' range on the main lake and in the Bay. We'll definitely be seeing the fish hitting the shallow sub 10' range flats that are typical over the late ice frenzy!
Tullibee and Eelpout are getting chased a fair amount as well, though neither have ramped up much yet. Bites vary quite a bit day to day out on Leech. Anglers are definitely catching both, but we should see it heat up along with everything else over the next couple weeks as we head towards the thaw.
Ice conditions are still pretty good across the area. As always this time of the year, the sun can put a beating on the ice and access points in a hurry, so be careful while you head out to get in on the late ice bites!