Well March is here and the artic air has not left us one bit. Despite a small window where I snuck out west for some pond fishing and the Missouri River it has been nothing short of the polar vortex they have been calling it. Daytime highs in the negatives combined with wind have made it downright miserable at times. The otter is like second home this winter for me. Hoping that March brings some warmer temps and a chance to legitimately hole hop so to speak. I have been doing a mixed bag of fishing including some crappies, perch, and walleyes. A few pike are cruising along shallow flats offering some excitement at times. I have left the bluegills alone for a few weeks here but rumor is they are still taking small jigs with plastic or bait.
I have been finding crappies on shallow flats in 8-10 fow cruising at peak times. I tried a few midlake holes which have also held fish but the fish are far less aggressive in the deep water. Crappies have been coming on pug bugs in pink and white with euro larvae as well as 1/8 oz Tinglers in UV green glow as well as perch with silver back. Me and my brother employed a tag team approach a bit back here where we both jigged large spoons. Small schools would come in and either smash the Tinglers with a minnow head or else slide over to the pug bug. Running the TUCR power noodle propped up in the snow or sitting on a pail makes an awesome deadstick for applications like this. I know using a $90 dollar custom rod to sit in the snow seems like running a Cadillac down a gravel road but it gets the job done.
I have been finding Eyes and perch on similar shallow flats as well as in particular two even shallower flats in 5-6 fow. Points that extend out to 25fow near 30 fow have been concentrating perch as of late in the morning and evening hours. I have been using a similar 1:2 punch for the perch and eyes since I have been forced to fish inside. On the Jig stick I have been using a VMC rattle spoon in glow red or orange with a pug bug with a small lively minnow on the noodle for shallow water applications. The shallow water is dirty and stained which I feel makes a better situation for the hard pounding rattle bait. The deeper 25 fow is clear with great visibility thus making the silver backed Tingler a better choice. I like to free spool the bait allowing it to fly way off the cone of the Marcum and then dragging it back into the cone angle. Sometimes the rod tip loads up before you can even see the bait again. When a school comes in the dead stick offers another chance at bonus fish as perch are notorious for being here and gone when ice fishing.
– Looks like a break in the weather is on the way and hopefully gradual warm up is in our future. Looking forward to March and fishing outside with the sun on my back in the company of good fishing friends and family. This last picture is of my biggest eye for 2014 thus far didn’t weight her taped at 28.75 and 17.5 girth and let her swim. Love watching a fish come up the hole and fill it up. Fish like this keep me getting up at my usually 0500 wake up time I have become so accustomed to. Give me a jingle or drop a PM if your gonna be out in the area. – QB