Ice then snow creates slush -- don't freeze in!
By the time you are reading this, we have had Christmas and have seen the New Year in. The kids are ready to go back to school and all the holiday tournaments and bowl games are done. I hope you received some new fishing toys and gear for Christmas and had time to try your luck on the lakes.
At the time we got about a foot of good clear ice, we were knocked down with a foot of snow. This has made a layer of slush on top of the ice, covered by a layer of snow. We get the slush from the weight if the snow on the ice bowing the ice and, as you know, water seeks its own level and will come up through cracks or holes in the ice. Make sure you are careful if traveling out, as getting stuck is no fun at all. Block your permanent houses up so you don't freeze your house in. If you can, move away from the crowds, as many houses, snowmobiles, 4 wheelers, and vehicles will create even worse flooding.
The fishing has been just like fishing, good one day, difficult the next. Walleyes have been in 17 to 22 feet of water in most lakes around the area, with some also being caught in deep basin areas and some caught in shallow pockets in the weeds. Jigging with spoons and minnow heads is producing, as is bobber fishing with jigs/hooks and minnows.
Pan fish are taking small minnows or wax worms on small jigs in pockets in the weeds on the flats or on the weed edges in 10 to 14 feet of water.
The best bite time for walleyes has been from 4 to 5:30pm. The pan fish bite will produce all through the day, with active periods scattered throughout the day.
Always remember to be selective with your harvest and seed for our future fishing.
(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)