This week has seen an uptake of larger walleyes landed. Fish in the mid-twenties to over 30 inches have been active. Successful presentations have included the basic jig and minnow under a bobber to aggressive jigging tactics. The bite has been soft, though, and fast action rods with soft tips have worked well. Watch the tip load, then set the hook. Walleyes have been most dominant, with a few less sauger lately. The perch have been coming in small numbers, but have run in the 12-13 inch range. 20-28 feet has been best. Snowmobile trails are in the best condition they have been in all winter.
Cool temperatures lately have not slowed down the fishing at the Angle. Slot fish and limits of nice eater walleye from 15-19 inches have been coming in. Saugers limits are happening as well, but need to be worked for a little more. Some jumbo perch are showing up and northerns have been active. Productive depths are 18-28 feet in transition areas on the edges of the rock structure on the softer bottom. Jigging a glow in the dark bait has been good, but the plain hook and minnow has really been putting the walleyes on ice. Weekly snows have the lake trails in good condition and the mainland trails are in great shape too. Watch out for monster pressure ridges on the lake and possible detours to cross them. Ontario reports have solid with a good walleye bite between 20-30 feet and crappies in the 25-35 foot range.
The fishing has been great in the Little Traverse Bay area. Limits of walleye are being caught and saugers as well. A variety of basic jig and minnow setups under a bobber have been doing well at a variety of depths from 18-28 feet. Active jigging with a buckshot spoon in glow in the dark and a minnow head or tail has been a good producer as well. Trail conditions have been good for snowmobiling in spite of recent warm temperatures.
The action has varied a little from day to day at the Northwest Angle. One day, action will be hot and the next day will be slower and then good again the next day. Overall the report is good. There is a mix of eaters and slot fish being caught. Walleye has been dominating the catch lately but saugers are still being caught and their size has been good. Lipless crankbaits like the Rapala Rippin Rap and Salmo Zipper tipped with a minnow head have been working well for aggressive fish. Tulipee are showing up quite a bit as well as the eelpout. Both are good eating if prepared properly.
Action continues to be good at the Northwest Angle. In MN waters, walleyes are being found in good numbers in a variety of depths, 20 feet and under being the best. Saugers and jumbo perch are holding out on the mud in 20 feet or deeper waters. For the walleye, morning and evening have been the best times with some of the largest walleye happening during the overnight. A plain red hook with a lively minnow has been the go-to presentation. Active jigging with gold or glow and part of a minnow, while watching the Vexilar has been holding it’s own as well. Midday has been best for saugers and perch. In Ontario, the crappie bite is still happening, with anglers bringing in decent numbers with a number of fish over the 14 inch mark. Snowmobile trails are groomed and have good cover, while the rest of the lake is drifted up to a foot or two with bare patches of ice between.
At the Northwest Angle and Oak Island, auger extensions are required. There is a lot of ice and snow and the end of ice fishing this season is nowhere near. As the fronts move through, the day bite has been variable, some days catching fish all day, and on the high pressure post-frontal days slowing the mid-day bite considerably. The afternoon and evening has been more than making up for it, with limits or near limits of sauger and walleye coming between 3-6pm. The after-dark bite has deteriorated. Good depths have been 16-22 feet with the 28-30 deeper depths not being as consistent. Both jigging and bobber presentations are working well.
In the Northwest Angle and Islands, the February bite has continued to be strong. The 27-30 foot range on the mud and adjoining structure is best for the all day bite for walleye and sauger, while the 18-22 foot waters are good morning and evening for mostly walleye and perch. Both areas are producing limits. A lively minnow under a bobber is even producing walleye at night, between 11pm and 4am on rattle reels. In Ontario waters, crappies and walleye are coming out of 30-36 feet. Trout have been more active with some nice size lakers coming in.
Action at the Northwest Angle is varying by day depending on the weather system moving through. The post-frontal high-pressure days have been slower. On the flip side, the days leading into the fronts have seen very good action. Walleye size continues to be good. Both slot fish and nice eater size walleye are dominating the catch with additional sauger being mixed in. 20-30 feet of water has been productive. Gold jig-a-bit and minnow under a bobber has been a go-to, while pink glow and a minnow head is working for jigging presentations.
Action is good in the Little Traverse area near Oak and Little Oak Island. Walleye and sauger have been working the 18-25 feet of water range. Bites have been happening very early at 7 am, from 3 pm onward and scattered throughout the morning and midday. There is a night bite materializing, with walleyes coming in as late as 7-10 pm. Eelpout are on the increase as well, showing up in both the daytime and throughout the overnight. Northern pike are still biting. In Ontario, walleye and crappie continue to be active.