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Early Ice Walleyes

Oh where oh where have the cold temperatures gone, oh where oh where is the ice...o.k. that's enough, you get the picture.

I do have to admit this warm weather has been great, but it's time to hit the snowmobile trails and the hard water for some fast paced, lip ripping, walleye fishing.

The last couple of days working at the ice fishing show at the St. Paul Rivercentre proved that ice fishing has increased in popularity over the years. This years show displayed all the new and old products that have helped ice fishing become a more comfortable, easy and enjoyable sport for all ages and incomes.

With all of this competition here are some early ice walleye tips to give you the edge.

Walleyes are nocturnal we all know that, but even with the surface frozen the fish go shallow in low light conditions to feed just like any other time of the year. Start with the structure you caught them on last or know the best, drill some holes around, don't be lazy drill a lot of holes and then check the depth with a locator.

What you want to see is a break coming from deepest side of this structure up onto a flat or point but don't go to the top just a couple feet from the top and set up camp here for the evening bite.

The other hole should be kept in mind for if the fish don't go where you,re at, just move to another hole. Evening is the best time in the metro area to get into a limit of fish within an hour or so, then it will end as fast as it started.

A must is to be quiet, because these fish are very skittish and will avoid any noise on the surface. The best presentation is a minnow and bobber positioned 6 inches above the bottom, the minnow must be active and moved a lot to keep active.

A jigging Rapala with a minnow head on the treble for scent is a good choice when the fish are more active but the bobber is a good all around choice.

A locator should be used to determine if the fish are even there and what depth. Remember if there are no fish, go to your other holes but quietly and try there.

Here is a tip when drilling a lot of holes in the ice write the depth in the snow next to the hole that way it's like a lake map. good luck.

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