Well with march knocking on the door here in a few hours I want to give an update on the end of february here to get everyone excited for the 4th Quarter of ice fishing. Across much of the ice belt march is the last ice fishing we will do for the year. I have been ice fishing since the first days of december and look forward to march every year. The last few weeks we have seen alot of changing weather fronts to go along with 12-16 inches of snow in most places on the lakes up here.
I have continued to target fish on deep points in 23-25 fow using 1/8oz slender spoons in silver with red stripe along with silver with green stripe. A wad of red spikes is working the best for me. Some fish continue to be finicky and are fooled by red checkai and majmum jigs. I like to have two rods ready when I am perch fishing, the spoon is rigged with braid and the jig is rigged with 2lb mono. I run 24 inch leaders on all my perch rigs to avoid line twist. Schooling perch seem to race up to 7-8 feet off bottom to hit a falling slender spoon. I really like bigger profile spoons on schooling perch as they keep the perch coming back and the rolling flash of a slender spoon calls them back in after they disperse.
Alot of perch have also been found fishing deep transition lines from soft to hard bottom. In South Dakota that means the ends of deep ditches from flooded road beds. We have been finding fish on one particular road bed in 19fow that goes drastically from sand/gravel to a mud bottom. The fish run up and down this line throughout the day and when when a school comes through it is fun for all involved.
I did step outside my local area this week and headed down into the SW sandhills region of SD towards nebraska with a good buddy. We fished alot of smaller dams and impoundments in the middle of some private land and some in the middle of public hunting land. We covered 7 small bodies of water some yeilded tiny fish and some were the diamonds in the rough I drove many miles to find. We found perch up to 13 inches along with some nice largemouth, walleyes, catfish and bluegill mixed in. We used rapala jigging raps in green and chartuese as well as 1/16oz slender spoons in gold with glow to entice these perch into biting. Hope you all have a chance to get out soon, I work the next 6 of 7 then have the 7th to the 13th off so will be fishing every day of that stretch in the glacial lakes region of south dakota. If you have any questions do not hesitate to shoot me a pm or shoot me a text. Hope you can all get the hands slimey, -Q