The ice is going fast and it's time to fish from shore. On Gull Lake, try the pier by Bar Harbor, the ditch by Squaw Point, and the dam. Crappie minnows, wax worms, and crawlers all are worth trying in shallow water.
The spring crappie bite has yet to develop even though ice-out is progressing rapidly. Look for the crappies and sunfish to really start hitting in the shallow water channels and bays after a day or two of bright sunshine and warm weather.
Ice is still very visible on the lakes in this area. Even so, most of it is not in good enough shape to venture upon. The small lakes are starting to open and the shorelines are in poor condition on most larger bodies of water. Earlier this week there were still a handful of people ice fishing even though it was not advised.
Ice is still covering the majority of lakes, but it's not safe enough to get on in most instances. If a person really wanted to fish through the ice, a few of the smaller lakes can still be approached. The shorelines may be a problem though, especially if it gets warm in a hurry.
You could probably find a small lake tucked in the trees somewhere that offers ice safe enough for walking. Anything exposed is in poor condition and should not be trusted. A significant stretch of warm weather is all this area needs to eliminate the majority of ice that's left; then expect the open-water crappie action to begin.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Anglers are still walking out or driving ATVs on the ice in the Morris Point and Graceton Beach areas. Warmer temperatures this week could change that in a hurry so use caution. The Rainy River is open shore to shore five miles west of the Frontier Landing. The access at Birchdale also is open, although small boats are your best at Birchdale.
The weather this past week didn't melt much ice, and a few diehard ice anglers continue to venture out. They need planks to get on the ice, but they're still fishing. Tullibee and perch action has been spotty. Look for the majority of tullibee to be suspended over deep water; the bigger perch seem to be hanging in 12 feet of water or less.
There were a few people sneaking on the ice earlier in the week but it was not advised. Most have chose to wait for open water and the crappie bite that should soon follow. Lakes such as Minnewawa and Big Sandy should be the first to start producing panfish.
The shorelines are open and preventing anglers from getting on the main part of the lake. There are still a few people fishing Wahkon Bay for perch with limited success. With a few days of warm weather, walking on the bays also will end.
There's still plenty of ice up here thanks to a week of colder weather. Sand Bay is kicking out walleyes during the morning hours in 30 feet of water and the American Narrows is worth checking out in 40 feet.
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