WEEKLY FISHING REPORT: Prime pan fishing season is just around the corner
The walleye, pike and bass season is now closed until May 13, but some of the best pan fishing of the season is right around the corner. Just be careful when venturing onto the ice late season.
With the walleye, pike and bass season now closed until May 13, I thought I’d recap the ice fishing season and then we will be back with our fishing reports once we get into spring and open water.
But if you're an ice fishing enthusiast, some of the best pan fishing of the season is right around the corner, just be careful when venturing onto the ice late season.
The ice fishing season started off nicely last fall, as Lake Irving was completely frozen over on Nov. 17 and by the 21st there were already people out there fishing with their portables.
Lake Bemidji completely capped on Dec. 1. I was walking out with a portable on Dec. 7 and there were 7 inches of ice and the early ice walleye bite was good. On Dec. 14 it snowed for three days and when it was over we had received 12-14 inches of heavy wet snow, not a good combination for the ice.
I finally got my wheelhouses out on Bemidji on Jan. 5, which was the latest it had ever been for me. Plowing roads was tough with big drifts and lots of slush under the snow.
On Jan. 12, I was moving one of my rental houses to a new spot so I plowed a road to it, went back and hooked up my house to the truck and was getting close to my spot when a large crack opened up on the ice. My truck and wheelhouse almost went through the ice, needless to say, that was the scariest moment I’d ever had on the ice!
After that it was just a constant battle to keep my roads open as many of them filled with water and slush from the heavy snow, it definitely was a challenge this winter.
Other than a fair amount of fish houses on the south and northwest ends of the lake it felt like a ghost town out on Lake Bemidji and even those areas didn’t have near the number of houses as usual.
The perch and walleye bite was good some days and other days not so much — but that’s fishing!
As much as I love the winter season and ice fishing, I have to admit that I’m looking forward to getting back out in the boat this spring. With a lot less ice than most years, the ice should go out sometime in April, not in May like last year.
See you back here once the open water season begins!
Dick Beardsley is the owner and operator of Dick Beardsley Fishing Guide Service in Bemidji. He can be reached at (218) 556-7172 and email@example.com. For more information, visit www.dickbeardsleyfishingguide.com.