Adding to your Arsenal – Mississippi Backwaters

Water Body
Species ,

Author Dave Koonce with a Stud Backwater Gill!

As most of you know me… I fish the back waters of the Mississippi River about 80% of my ice fishing time.. This outing was exactly that.. My first outing of the year at a community spot called Gremore Lake…

There are a few things that make this back water of the Mississippi River a GO TO place for early ice..

This is a dead end of the slough
This still may have green vegetation
Best chance of safest ice travel
Lakeview Resort for a hot lunch !!!
Add this river bite to your arsenal!

Add this river bite to your arsenal!


`Gills crappies and perch will all come here with the safety of a cover over their heads and an abundant amount of food which makes jigs like the VMC Waxie Jig and a Mustache Worm irresistible for a panfish to take !! I was fishing in an area that varied from 5 to 7 fow and with these shallow waters it’s important to fish the full water column.. Most of the time you will find the gills and perch on the bottom and the crappies suspended from a foot or so off the bottom to just under the ice..

I like to use the Marcum LX-5 for a couple of reasons for the shallow water bite… Having this unit set on Super Fine Line is fantastic to get a good jig to fish size mark on the screen… I like to keep my jig to show up as just a yellow blip something showing up on and off and when a fish comes in I can releate to it as… Just outside the cone or right under the hole…or…If the return is waving at me with a yellow green and red return I am certain it’s hungry and I’m getting interest in my offering !!! One more tip I like to do is to keep the transducer as far OUT of the water as you can… This will help to keep the line wrapping around the cable and it will give you a bigger range of coverage under the ice..


Be safe out there !!!


The Tug is the Drug !!!
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Dave Koonce

Koonce’s home waters are Pools 9 and 10 of the Mississippi River, neither of which is too far from where he lives in Prairie du Chien, Wisc. “It only takes about 15 minutes to have my boat at the landing,” Full Bio ›


  1. Dave, I haven’t fished the Missi backwaters for a long time. Use to go to Guttenburg on up to Mac and Marq and even over to your neck of the woods. ( water ). Quit going though. Got disappointed in the size and number of fished I was catching. This has been several year ago though. I mainly fish the local lakes ( Macbride ) and ponds down here in East Central IA now. My son and I would like to give your area a run. Any places into particular that a couple of Hawkeyes could get into some fish to make our trip worthwhile?

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