This is the time of year when many ice anglers shake with excitement. Being the first one on "the spot" can be a real treat, and I've been there a few time myself.
After the recent cold weather you'll start seeing fish houses gathering on these spots. I've had winters when the bite was consistently good on one spot right through the season. But more often than not I've had to make a few moves. This keeps the anticipation level high. But before you make a move, scout your next spot for a night or two.
My favorite method for icing winter walleyes is to tip a jigging spoon with a minnow head. If you notice on your electronics that fish are coming up for a look and then swimming away, switch to one of the many swimming lures available and tip it with a minnow head, too.
If neither of those methods does the trick it's time for old faithful -- the jig and minnow. I like a 1/8- or 1/4-ounce jig tipped with a small to medium sized rainbow chub. Hook the minnow through the mouth and back behind the head. If that fails, go with a slip-bobber rig and pick up the newspaper!
Beginning this week, "Walleye Dan" Eigen will share timely ice fishing tips. A lifetime of fishing local waters and an annual average of almost 200 guide trips the past several years have made Eigen one of the area's most knowledgeable fishermen. He's the only local guide who runs a winter guide service. His ability to ice winter walleyes is known statewide. Readers are encouraged to send their fishing questions to Walleye Dan by writing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck and fish smart. -- Walleye Dan
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