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Ice-up Diversity by Ron Anlauf
First ice is made for hooking up with more than walleyes.  Sure it can be good (even great), but a little diversity might round out the perfect plan.   Walleyes are notorious for turning on during low light periods, especially when fishing shallow water early in the season.   Activity during the day can be almost nonexistent  Rather than pressing the daytime issue you might have more fun by switching target species and chasing down a bunch of jumbo perch. 

 

Let the Good Times Roll by Ron Anlauf 
It’s time to get back on the ice and get after a few walleyes, maybe a bunch of fast action perch, or even some big slab crappies or hefty bull bluegills.  Whatever the case; let the good times roll. However, before you grab your gear and go charging out to make history, it might be a good idea to take a little time and make sure you’re prepared.  There are some basic items besides the obvious that you really couldn’t get by without, and if overlooked or forgotten your first trip might not be what it could have been.


 

Hot Tactics for Icing Monster Walleyes
There's nothing like the feeling you get when you stick a big walleye in deep water and it can really be exciting. First you see it, then you entice it, then you hook it, and then you hope like heck that you can work it to the top and get it through the hole, or at least get it close enough to get a good look. The whole process is exhilarating and makes the work of finding the right spot, being there at the right time, and using the right bait all worthwhile.

Mid Winter Slabs
The time for putting a bunch of big slabs on the ice is here and now. While early ice can be good, the action after the first of the year can be even better and is something you really don't want to miss out on. Somewhere between first ice and mid winter crappies can be a little hard to pin down and even a bit unpredictable, but not now. Now is the time when solid patterns set up that are custom made for taking advantage of.

Down But Not Out for Mid Winter Panfish
If you can find them you can catch them, plain and simple. Mid winter sunfish and crappies will usually bite as long as your bait is in the right neighborhood, and location then really is the "final answer" to hooking up with a nice bunch of panfish. One of the hottest mid winter patterns to set up is no where near anything you might consider "classic" (at least when compared to open water), and could be as a basic as the middle of the lake.

The Crappie Slide - By Ron Anlauf
Early season crappie location eventually gives way to what the middle of winter can bring, and often varies greatly from whence they came. The sharp shoreline breaks and deeper points and humps that held so many slabs early in the season typically dry up by late January, and the next hot spot may have no resemblance at all to early season honey holes.

 
The Crappie Slide - By Ron Anlauf
Early season crappie location eventually gives way to what the middle of winter can bring, and often varies greatly from whence they came. The sharp shoreline breaks and deeper points and humps that held so many slabs early in the season typically dry up by late January, and the next hot spot may have no resemblance at all to early season honey holes.

The Devils in the Details - By Rick Olson
It keeps growing and growing and growing, with no end in sight. Devils Lake in North Dakota has ballooned up into a real monster, which has created serious hardship for property owners and an incredible angling opportunity for perch and walleye fisherman.
The Hunt is On for Mid Ice Walleyes - By Ron Anlauf
The first ice period may have already come and gone but what’s up next is nothing to sneeze at. The following stage of the frozen water period can actually produce some of the most consistent walleye action of the entire season. Instead of waiting impatiently for hungry ‘eyes that may or may not show up just before dark on the shallow bar or reef that you bet the house on, ...

Technical Walleyes on Ice - By Ron Anlauf
It’s time to make a bold move, a move that could take you into the great unknown, where no man has gone before (at least not this year). Walleye anglers working early ice had better be ready to make major moves, especially if the hot action takes a sudden turn for the worse. They say that when the going gets tough the tough get going, and with that being so the question arises; Just exactly where do the tough go? When the hot spots of the early ice season dry up the “tough” could be well served by taking a hard look at deeper water.
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Slab Jam 2005 - by Ron Anlauf
The time for getting in on some hot early ice slab action is at hand, and it’s there for the taking. Tying into monster pole bending crappies is a whole lot of fun and is an experience shared by far too few. Once you’ve had the pleasure you’ll want more of it, as it can be rather addicting. Getting your share isn’t all that tough and is a simple matter of finding them, and then enticing them. -

Get a Jump On First Ice Jumbos - Ron Anlauf
The most important key to cashing in on early season perch action is location. The fact is, you can’t catch them where they’re not. If you’re doing everything right but in the wrong place you’ll come home empty handed. On the other hand, if you’re doing everything wrong but in the right place you can still catch a few. Fortunately for us finding perch at first ice is a relatively easy task and is as simple as following the good ice. The first place to develop good ice is the shallows (especially the shallow bays), off the main lake.

Hammer Time for First Ice Walleyes - by Ron Anlauf
Great things could be happening right below your feet right now, if only your feet were in the right place at the right time. The “right place at the right time” is the key and isn’t all that hard to pin down, especially if you understand a couple of the basics to early season walleye behavior. The basics include shallow water rocks or even weeds, depending on what’s available. Rocky reefs and bars can be the hot ticket in cold water and may be your best bet for finding active first ice walleyes.

A Winter Walleye Experience - By Adam Johnson
The ice was 12-inches thick.  Thick enough to drive on for some anglers whose cars were parked next to their stationary shelters.  I wasn’t yet comfortable knowing that I would be heading to a spot about a hundred yards farther out, that just a month earlier had been open water.  When I drilled my holes I realized my caution had paid off.  The ice was only eight-inches where I set up in my portable shelter.

Tackling Late Season Perch by Ron Anlauf
It ain’t over till it’s over, and if you’re a perch fisherman, it ain’t over!  In fact, the best of the best is yet to come, and is something you really don’t want to miss.   Jumbo perch are what we’re talking about, and the action is never better than it is during the late, late, ice period. It’s not that big eye poppin’ perch suddenly turn on and go on a mad rampage, as there are some good catches made all season long.  It’s just that by late ice they’re more likely to be bunched up, and the odds of finding at least a few that are in the right mood greatly increases. 
 

Burning the Midnight Oil for Big Crappies - by Rick Olson
They say timing is everything and that certainly holds true when it comes to icing late season crappies. If your timing is on you can fill a pail full of big slabs in no time flat, but if you’re off you may completely miss out. Missing out isn’t much fun and is an occurrence that can be avoided if you apply some basic late season principles. The first and most important is location and will depend on the body of water you happen to be fishing, but there are a few rules of thumb that can help you get pointed in the right direction.

South Dakota’s New Frontiers - by Rick Olson
When is a duck slough not a duck slough and when does it become a primo crappie, perch, walleye or northern pike lake? It happens when what was a duck slough fills up and overflows it’s banks and keeps filling until it’s deep enough to carry fish throughout the winter. The process is certainly not common, but it has happened and rather recently in fact. The site of this natural phenomenon is North Eastern South Dakota and South Eastern North Dakota.

 Walleyes - by Rick Olson
Serious hard water walleye anglers live for first ice, and for good reason.  First ice walleyes are never more active than the present and the sooner you can get to them the better.  As the season progresses the action can only deteriorate as active walleyes become much harder to find, and to catch.  That doesn’t mean they can’t be caught because they can, it’s just that the very best is the very first and if you wait too long you could easily miss out. One of the top hot spots in the entire country for taking advantage of first ice walleyes is the Mobridge Area of Lake Oahe. 

The Low Down on Low Light Walleyes
by Ron Anlauf:
As the sun begins to sink in the western sky good things start to happen, especially if you’re an ice fisherman looking to hook up with a few walleyes. When the last bit of the daylight disappears the action can really heat up, and is one of the best times for finding good numbers of walleyes with a serious nackin’ attitude. By design a walleye’s eyes provide them with exceptional low light vision, allowing them to herd up and scarf down minnows and baitfish that aren’t as fortunate. Walleyes instinctively know that a low light situation is custom made for fulfilling their basic need to feed, and when they can do so with the least amount of energy expended. It’s all part of a natural scheme, and is where anglers in the know come into the picture.

To Spoon, or not to Spoon
By Jeff Beckwith:
There’s no argument, the vertical jigging spoon is ice fishing’s dominant lure. Fish have surrendered to hammered metal and forged lead since, well…since folks decided that ice could no longer separate them from quarry. I’m talking eons. In contemporary times, spoons are linked to the pursuit of walleyes, lake trout, and perch, although, when given a chance, flashing hardware will swindle crappies, whitefish and tullibee (ciscoes), bass, northern pike and bluegills too. And yes, I said bluegills.

Kidding Around With Perch
By the On Ice Tour Pro Staff - Catching Perch through the ice can sometimes be like taking candy from a baby.  Cut a dozen holes, drop an underwater camera down, find a school of perch, drop a minnow or a lure down, watch the lines come together on the Vexilar, feel the bite, reel ‘em in – one after the other.  Suckerrrrrrs (unintelligent perch, that is).

Multitasking Walleyes & Perch

Calvin Christopher - It’s politically correct and nearly clichéd, the term “multitasking”.  In the hustle and bustle work-world it means engaging two jobs at once, say tooling widgets and managing idiots in chorus – or at home, changing a diaper while disciplining other offspring. On the ice, multitasking suggests catching one species while, well, catching another. And the best example involves walleyes and perch.

Lakes Will Soon Begin Freezing, Ice Anglers are Urged to Use Caution
Iowa Department of Natural Resources -
LEWIS – The recent warm spell may cool hopes for an early ice fishing season, but winter weather is not too far away. As the lakes begin to freeze, ice anglers will be itching to get out.


Women and Ice Fishing
On Ice Tour pro staff member Ineke Leer is featured on the cover of In-Fisherman’s Ice Fishing Guide and has become the first women ever on the cover of this major publication.   Traditionally ice fishing is thought of as a male sport, the decision to put a female on the cover of the In-Fisherman Ice Guide is proof that ice fishing is growing and enjoyed by everyone, not just “the guys”.

Top Tactics for First Ice Walleyes
By Ron Anlauf -
Either you’re in or you’re out.  If you’re in, you’ve already gone through the preparation period of re-rigging and rearranging all of your gear and making sure that everything is up to the task.  If you’re in, the fun is just beginning.  If you’re in, you’ll be on the first safe ice that develops doing you’re best to put a few walleyes on the ice.

Bottom Dragging for Perch: A new method in an age old game
By Jay Weinecker -
Ice anglers continue to refine or adapt tackle and techniques to fill a wide spectrum of situations that dictate adapted presentations. The traditional ice fishing presentation is a vertical affair where the lure or bait is brought to life by jigging.

Secrets to Icing Walleyes
By Jason Mitchell -
Half the bottom appeared to rise and separate from the bottom so fast on the Vexilar that I practically flinched when the rod buckled. There was no question about getting hit, the fish was on and the game began.


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