Fish are biting during spring thaw

Bill Bartusek, Jr., Outdoors Columnist

It sure is amazing to see what the weather in Minnesota can do. It only seems like yesterday when the fish houses were coming off the area lakes. Now, just two weeks later and our snow is all gone. The ice is still in good shape, but it will become sketchy if this warm weather continues.

Right now anglers are enjoying some great pan fishing around the state. Reports of some great fishing are coming in. The perch bite is going on Leech, Cass and Winnie. I better include Mille Lacs Lake too. The fish are still in deep water and anglers are still driving on the ice. Crappies and sunfish will be heading to the spring bays soon. Just check areas of deeper water near the spring hangouts and you should be in business.

As always, Lake of the Woods is doing well. This Lake seems to do well late in the ice season. Most of my trips there in the past were in March or April. I have always done very well then. As I mentioned earlier, the ice is holding up pretty well. However, there is some very warm weather in the forecast. The snow cover is completely gone from the lakes, so the warm weather and rain will really do some damage to the ice. Ice usually leaves the Lakes in April, so I guess we're right on target.

Before the ice leaves, I will visit both Leech and Cass Lakes this week. I'll let you know how things went next week.

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