Two warm spells in January and early February had ice fishermen scrambling to salvage their season. Ice quality was questionable by the middle of February, and a week later the main lake, channels, and the reserve were all open water. Warm temperatures brought out the fishermen. According to reports some nice crappies are being caught along with a few bluegills. The fishing is at least three weeks ahead of schedule. Some nice crappies running 10-12 inches are being taken by the good fishermen who know how to locate fish. This time of the year, crappies can usually be located by fishing off the top of pad beds. Fishermen are using small jigs and fishing roughly two feet above the pad stems. These spots will become difficult to fish as the pads develop. Long Island and the Game Reserve saw a number of fishermen. The North Channel also gets a lot of fishing pressure. Deeper water in dead-end channels can also produce fish from time to time.
Warm weather and open water also brought out the saugeye fishermen. Bank fishermen are having some success. Weather and wind direction have a major effect on bank fishing for saugeye. A few fish were caught trolling in the usual deeper water areas. According to reports, Dream Bridge produced some fish. Jigging with blade baits like the Vibe E, Slender Spoon, and Swedish Pimple is a popular fishing method. Some fishermen were trolling crank baits. Indian Lake has a 15-inch limit on saugeye and walleye. A 10 lb. plus saugeye was weighed in at Lakeside Pro Bass on February 9. The new spillway construction continues. As long as the river has good water below the dam, fishermen are expected to be checking for fish.
According to reports from Lakeside, from the traffic, fishermen are definitely focusing on spring fishing.