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Central MN (Feb. 13th, 2024)

Beautiful warm weather means no ice houses needed!  

      Northern Pike are becoming more active as their early spawning season is getting closer.  They can be found cruising the edges of “still green” weed beds in the 10-14′ depth range.  Snap jigging ½ oz. Kast Master or Swedish Pimple spoons tipped with a minnow head.  Work the bait 2-3′ off of the bottom with rapid upward snaps so the spoon shoots up and then flutters back down to the original starting point.  Make sure to smash the bait into the bottom once in a while as well to stir up some silt/dust. Silver, Gold, or chartreuse are good color choices.  Tip-ups rigged with a #2 chartreuse or florescent red hook tipped with an active 3-5″ shiner will also put some pike topside.  Again, suspend the bait 2-3′ off of the bottom. 

       Walleyes are chowing as well.  Schools of eater sized walleyes can be found cruising mud flats in the 20-30 ft range next to main lake sunken points or sunken islands.  They tend to slide up to the shallower edges of these areas at dawn/dusk.  Look for them on the deeper edges during the daylight hours.  Tip-ups or a dead strike rig tipped with a shiner minnow suspended between 6-10″ of the bottom will make them commit.  A #4 glow hook works day or night.  

      Bluegills remain active but are really starting to show up in larger schools roaming deeper mud flat areas—scrounging for insect larva that live in the mud.  Depending on the lake, these muddy areas can be anywhere from 17-25′.  The best areas have been adjacent to shallow weedy shoreline flats that the fish have been in almost all winter—they are shifting a bit deeper/further out is all.  Small jigging spoons (1/32 oz) tipped with a wax worm or a lightweight jig (1/64 oz) tipped with a red worm imitation plastic will do the trick.  Crappies still remain suspended over/in the deeper holes the lake(s) have to offer.  The 30-40′ range is quite common.  A slip bobber with a #6 circle hook tipped with an active crappie minnow or fathead hardly ever fails.  Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun!

Capt. Josh,
Minnesota Fishing Guide Service,
218-732-9919, 320-291-0708,
 www.minnesotaguideservice.com