Winter Fishing Reports
Fishing reports for the lakes area are provided by Joe Scegura's Guide Service. Contact Joe at email@example.com or 320-260-9056.
February 4, 2019
My last report was all about the cold and now this one could easily be all about the snow! We are sure getting our moneys worth out of this winter. Snow fall after snow fall has made travel much more difficult recently. We are getting off the roads in some areas but I think it’s safe to say if you are in a truck you will need a plowed road. This has really congregated a lot of anglers around the lakes area. The majority of the anglers have been fishing sunfish and crappies. The panfish areas seem to get the most attention so naturally that’s where the plowed roads lead. The sunfish bite during the day has been quite good, as has the low light crappie bite. I’m still just using a small #12 horizontal jig and a couple euro larva. This combination has caught most of the fish pictured in my reports. A plain hook and minnow has also done well on the crappie after dark.
Based off of the reports from the guys fishing walleye, the bite hasn’t been all that bad for this time of year. The number of active walleye anglers is much fewer than normal though. To get on a decent walleye bite you will need to get away from the groups and on some unpressured structure. With all of the snow this has been a much more difficult task this year. The guys willing to walk, use a snowmobile or plow their own roads are the ones catching the most walleye right now. If you put in the work there are plenty of walleye out there to catch.
I’ve been getting A LOT of calls, texts and emails about snow conditions, so if I missed anyone I apologize. Keep the questions coming though, that’s why I’m here. I’m always happy to help. The most common question I get is “can we get our wheel house out on the lake?” The answer is yes most definitely! Many of the lakes have plowed roads, especially the larger panfish lakes. If you are inquiring about a certain lake feel free to call a local resort or you can text me and I will tell you what I know. Good luck fishing!
- Joe Scegura's Guide Service
JANUARY 25, 2019
Cold, cold, cold! We are definitely making ice now. Travel isn’t too bad out on the lakes right now. Trucks and wheel houses can get around most everywhere. But getting stuck is a real possibility, so stick to where others have been driving. We did get a few inches of snow during the last storm, but if you carry a shovel you shouldn’t have an issue. Every day that goes by more and more roads will be plowed back open. I was out driving around yesterday and I was able to get around okay. It was actually easier driving off road at times because of the snow that drifted on to the old plowed roads. The nice thing is there isn’t a lot of snow so if you do get stuck it’s generally not a major event. Usually just backing up and picking a different route is enough to get you back on your way.
The Bass and sunfish have been biting very well all day long. A simple #12 jig and euro has been doing the trick for us. I’d also recommend 2-3 lb test line. Our waters are very clear and these fish can be smart. The crappies tend to come into the same panfish areas after dark. All you have to do is put down a crappie minnow on a plain hook and wait. Some lakes have a great bite right at dark where others bite all night long. The average sized crappie for most of the lakes are 9”-11” with 12”-14” fish being quite common.
The walleye fishing reports have been much fewer recently. I think most of that has been due to travel being a bit difficult after the snow a few weeks ago. Now that much of the snow has melted and refroze, I expect anglers to get back out after the walleye again. The guys that have been going out have been doing very well. One guy texted me that he has had a limit of walleye in short order his past two times out. Shallow rocks in 15-20’ as well as deeper basin areas 25’-30’ have all been putting out walleye.
As always if you have any questions feel free to email me or text.
- Joe Scegura's Guide Service
JANUARY 11, 2019
Last week we had quite a bit of slush and water coming up on the ice. It was a combination of snow weight and melting snow, so last weekend it was a little wet out there. Now a few days later we find ourselves with normal temperatures for January and the slush and water has nearly all frozen solid. This should make getting around much easier this weekend.
Fishing is still very good for walleye and panfish. We set the houses up for crappie this week and it has been very productive. Some areas are producing crappie and sunfish all day where others have a better evening/night bite. Either way a small #12 jig and a euro has been catching plenty of fish during the day. This technique works after dark too but I prefer a plain #8 hook and a crappie minnow under a small bobber for the crappie. The fish are usually suspended a few feet and roaming the deeper 15’ areas near shallow weeds.
As for the walleye, I’m still hearing decent numbers of fish coming from 18’ feet of water. The best times as always are the evenings and mornings during low light. The trick to walleye in my opinion is to get to areas that have not been fished too heavily. The snow has restricted travel so there are plenty of great areas left out there. If you have an ATV or snowmobile you really put the odds in your favor. That said the snow melted significantly last week, so I think this weekend you should be able to get to most areas with a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Pick out underwater points, inside turns and bottom transitions. For example, if you can find where the rocks stop and the sand starts or where the sand stops and the mud starts… these are great areas to try for walleye.
As always feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions. I’ve been trying to get back to everyone within a day or two of receiving their emails. Good luck and enjoy the weekend!
- Joe Scegura's Guide Service
December 28, 2018
The ice fishing remains solid going into the new year! We are catching walleye and crappie at will for the most part. There is 12”-14” of ice on many of the lakes so many anglers have started driving half tons with wheel houses out. As always make sure you check the ice the entire way prior to driving.
We’re catching our walleye in 18’-24’ feet of water. Somedays the walleye will hammer the artificial jigging baits and other days it has to be live bait. I usually start with a jigging spoon on one rod and a plain hook tipped with a 3” long minnow on the other rod. If I see a strong preference to one or the other I can make adjustments from there.
The best crappie action has been in shallow basin and bay areas in 15’-20’ feet of water. The crappie have usually been coming through 2-3 feet off bottom. A small #12 jig tipped with a euro larva has been working very well and after dark I like to use a small crappie minnow on one of my lines.
Low light has been the best time for both species. I like to hit the ice a couple hours before dark and fish an hour or so after dark. We do have about 12” of snow on the ice, so it will make travel a bit more tricky. For the most part though you should be able to get around fine. Especially on the more popular lakes where there will be plowed roads. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.
december 14, 2018
It appears we've switched weather patterns for November and December. A month ago we were much colder than average and now we are warmer than average. The good news is we have 10 to 13 inches of ice across the Alexandria Area. This goes without saying but check the ice the entire way on foot prior to driving an ATV or small vehicle.
There have been a lot of anglers out fishing the past couple weeks. The permanent house villages are popping up all over the place. There has been a good number of crappies, Sunfish and walleye being caught. The best walleye and crappie fishing has been in the low light time periods. A couple hours at sunrise and sunset is your best probability of catching either species.
I've been finding my walleye in 18 to 24 feet of water. Set lines with a minnow or a jigging spoon with a minnow have been catching most of my walleye.
The crappie have been in similar depths but suspended off the bottom 2 to 3 feet. As I mentioned above the best crappie fishing has been low light but you can catch them during the day as well. I like to use a number 12 horizontal jig with a wax worm or Euro larvae. After dark the same jig and a crappie minnow under a bobber work very well.
I personally haven't targeted Sunfish yet but I've heard pretty good reports from 15 foot of water. Look for areas with green vegetation. The same number 12 horizontal jig and a Euro larvae will catch your sunfish.
The weather for the upcoming weekend looks extremely nice! If you check the ice on foot the ice is very safe for travel. It's only when you take the ice thickness for granted that you can get into trouble. Leave a little bit earlier, take your time and you will stay safe and dry! Good luck!