Pool 9 main channel from below Lansing up to lock & dam 8 is ALMOST open today. Many ice jams still between the wide open spots. With temps below freezing until after this weekend access will be dicey until St. Paddy’s Day…and challenging after that!
It’s smart to head UPSTREAM when ice is still a factor in the event some massive floes are pushing down. Also smart to have a plan B exfil point UPSTREAM in case your launching point gets blocked with ice.
Removing the sonar transducer is a good idea until ice is less of a factor. Probably won’t put transducers back on the boats until April Fool’s Day. Don’t need ’em at ice out anyway. Walleyes/ saugers are in wintering holes. Walleyes holding 29/32, saugers a little deeper (maybe a lot deeper!) Pulling saugers out of water much deeper than 35′ will kill them as air bladders rupture. Better stewardship of the resource if you just fish shallower than 30’…bigger fish, too!
Early on I drag a lot of hair jigs & plastics. Seldom use minnows. Also fish echotail blades, especially the Teddy Cat. Once ice is a lesser nuisance pulling 3-ways can be very effective.
With ice sticking around longer this year than last, i anticipate peak spawn will be mid-April, the traditional time. Last Spring the walleyes were spawning April 1, with water temp 48+ in several backwaters where they often drop eggs when spring comes early.
Filled the Lund up with boat gas today. She was just over half-full. Pump shut off at EXACTLY $100. LETS GO BRANDON! The idiots who are currently running this country dumped Russian ‘blood oil’. Talking about buying from Venezuela or IRAN. Great way to cut to the chase and jump into Armageddon–in which case both slot & bag limits will be waived in my boat.
The only guys out ice fishing in a traditional march spot this afternoon were jerry Boardman & me. Jerry got off the ice about 3:45. Bottom 6′ of the Vex LIT UP. Put 8 butterflied fish in the smoker @ 5 pm. Gonna eat good tonite!