The cold weather has finally started to sweep across the ice belt and lakes across northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas are starting to lock up. Early ice brings some of the best panfishing of the hardwater season and in this clip from Virtual Angling’s latest livestream, Jason Mitchell and Ryan Salemi discuss if it’s better to run and gun or stay quiet when fishing for early ice panfish.
Most ice anglers over the past 5 years or so, most likely subscribe to the run and gun theory. Covering water and using electronics, whether it’s live imaging or flashers, can yield a lot of fish. Once the school of panfish is found, the angler can pick off the aggressive fish and adjusts or moves when the bite slows down. Ryan Salemi subscribes to this strategy for the reasons above.
On the other hand, Jason Mitchell often finds staying quiet and patient can produce some great early ice bites as well. While staying mobile can find schools of fish, the noise and commotion that comes with it can also push the school around, forcing an angler to constantly be in chase mode. If on a lake where the angler has prior knowledge of where panfish will be, getting to that area, setting up, and sitting on a spot can be extremely effective. It may require a bit more patience at the start, but once the school comes through, they will be less skittish with less noise from above.
To watch the full version of Virtual Anglings Early Ice Fishing Tactics livestream featuring Jason Mitchell and Ryan Salemi, please click the link below: