Walleyes Inc. Your one stop internet fishing resourceDaiichi Hooks Try the Bleeding Bait series for the best hooks on the marketLindy Little Joe Fishing TacklePanther Marine ProductsDual Pro Charging Systems the Chargers the Pro's UseRAM MOunting Systems the Ultimate in Electronic Mounting systemsBait Rigs TackleRanger Boats Still buidTrojan Batteries Simply the strongest battery on the marketThe only underwear you need for extreme cold weatherBedfors Sales Illinois # 1 Ranger Boat DealerDaiwa Fishing ReelsDrift Control The Best Drift Sock AvailableWe Didnt Invent Planer Boards we just made them easier and better to useWalleyes Inc. Your one Stop Internet fishing ResourceWalleyes Inc. Your one Stop Internet fishing Resource


Walleye In-Sider save 58% click here

Bass & Walleye Boats Magazine Save 64%  Click here

Cranking For Walleye T Shirt
Check out our T-shirt Line Now in colors and long sleeves

  Walleyes Inc. Pro Team Team Favorites Lodging, food,tackle, equipment and more

Pro Page
Pro's Pointers
Fishing Reports
Fishing Articles
 Fishing Clubs
Fishing Links
Resort Links
Guide Links
 Press Releases


 Walleyes Inc. Store
New Products
Product Links
Boats For Sale
Contact Us

Survivior Livewell Intake System on the Run
Survivor Livewell
Intake System on 
"The Run" 

Click Here For 

More Information

Walleyes Inc quick Change Spinner Pack Special only $5.95
Walleyes Inc. 6 
Pack Spinner 
Pack Special
Only $5.95
Click Here

Lowrance Instructional DVD

Click here for Bruce Samson's Great New Instructionsal Interactive DVD

Pathfinder Scent Dispensing Crankbait Kit

Click here to See New Scent dispensing Crankbaits

Welcome to Walleyes Inc.com Click Here to Check Out Our On-Line Tackle Store

March is the Kindest Ice Fishing Month
By Dave Genz and Mark Strand
March is the Kindest Ice Fishing Month

Living in a place where ice covers the lakes through the month of March provides you with one of our sport’s greatest pleasures: ice fishing for active fish in nice weather.
The sun, functioning mainly as a light source in Jan and Feb, begins to add warmth to its list of features, hitting you more directly. In the midday hours, layers of clothing can come off instead of going on. Daylight hours are longer, fish are stirring, preparing for spawning, eating more.
The fishing is as good as the living.
If you fish through the ice in the month of March, you wonder how travel agents sell any tickets for people to go to warmer climates.
Dave Genz wonders this every year, as he rarely fights crowds on the best fishing spots, as he wonders why people would rather sit in their boat out in the garage than get in on some fantastic fishing.
For today, let’s key on panfish species.
Sunfish, crappies, jumbo perch.

The ice begins to fade as February gives way to March, but the action gets really good for those who continue to drill holes. Here, Dave Genz holds a brute bluegill taken in shallow water. (Photo: trueblueicefishing.com)

During the late ice period, oxygen levels increase in shallow water. The same dynamics that cause many people to think the ice is no longer safe triggers shallow fish movements and increased activity.
“People see water on top of the ice, or the ice breaking away from shore,” says Genz, “and they think (ice fishing) it’s over for the year. That’s what re-oxygenates the shallows and draws life in there.”

Genz makes a study of current conditions at this prime season, chasing late ice opportunities north until he runs out of winter. Reluctantly, when it finally is all over, he packs up his Fish Trap, Vexilar and Strikemaster, and checks to see if his boat will start.
“That might be different than what other people do,” he admits, “but if you do it once you’ll look forward to it.”
This is a little off the subject, but Genz and his fellow Team True Blue pros are experts when it comes to traveling to find hot ice bites. Genz has racks in his van to organize ice gear, and pulls an Arctic Cat snowmobile, rigged for ice fishing, on a trailer, moving from one hot rumor to the next.
The trend toward traveling as a modern ice angler will gain momentum in the coming years, because anything this fun and productive is bound to catch on.
“People think of pulling their boat and dumping it in the water all over the place,” says Genz, “but for some reason, most people only go ice fishing close to home.”
The perspective that comes from fishing a wide variety of waters is priceless, stresses Genz. “That’s how you see what works,” he says, “no matter where you go.”
Finding Fish in March
Sunfish and Crappies
Let’s look at where to search for iced-over bluegills and crappies, during the late-ice period.
Any lake that still has plenty of ice in March has had ice on it long enough to have driven most panfish out of the shallows. This is not always true, but on most lakes, even the shallow weedbeds that had plenty of fish at first ice become dead zones at midwinter. As weeds die off and oxygen levels decrease in shallow water, most fish are forced to head for deeper ground.
But as spring approaches, a return to shallow water is a classic movement.
“The weeds don’t even have to be growing,” explains Genz. “When the oxygen levels increase again in the shallows, that can bring the fish in.”
But when you find new green weeds, you often find a panfish bonanza.
“Weeds grow under the ice in the winter,” says Genz. “Anywhere sunlight can get through and penetrate to the bottom, that can get the weeds growing again. Most of the time, you find them by having pieces of green weeds come out as you finish drilling a hole. But I always look for them by looking down the hole, too. If you find new green weeds, don’t leave that area until you check it thoroughly.”
One big secret to finding shallow March fish is keying on big bays on the north end of the lake. That’s the zone that gets most of the daytime sunshine, and what you have heard about this is true. Particularly if your fishing time is limited, don’t waste any of it drilling holes on the south end.
As always, fishing is a big experiment. If you don’t find sunfish and crappies in the shallows, a great secondary search area would be sticky-bottom areas in the middle depths. Genz was the guy who broke this concept in his book, “Bluegills!”
“It’s still a place most people don’t look,” says Genz.
Look on any contour map of any lake. Find places where the contour lines are relatively far apart. That indicates a ‘flat,’ either leading to the first dropoff or between dropoffs.
Shallow flats, even when they’re in the middle of the lake, can have weeds on them. But at the middle depths (deeper than weeds would grow on a given lake), can be flats that house an abundance of burrowing insects.
If the bottom consistency is not too hard and not too soft, you have probably found a sticky-bottom flat. If the flat is big, you might have to spend some time searching it, drilling lots of holes, to find fish. But if you find an area holding fish, it can be one of the greatest ice-fishing experiences of your life.
“As you search across these areas,” says Genz, “concentrate along the base of the slope if you can find it. Fish will use that base like a wall.”
Jumbo Perch
“If you’re a perch fisherman,” says Genz, “this is the time of year when scattered pods of fish turn into big schools, and they move toward the spawning grounds. Look shallower than you do at midwinter. Look in reeds and weed beds. If you’re fishing in an area that’s going through a high-water cycle, check flooded brush.
“Perch string their eggs on something; they don’t lay them on the bottom. They string them across weeds or brush, so those are the areas to fish at this time.”
As with the sunfish-crappie suggestion, if shallow cover is not holding perch, look for those same sticky-bottom flats and you might find big perch on them.
Safety at Late Ice
Safety is always number one, but during the late-ice period it’s especially important.
The ice is as thick as it’s going to get, but eventually begins to rot away.
Genz always wears a life jacket and urges all ice anglers to do the same.
During the pleasant weather of March– and even into April in the northern reaches of the Ice Belt– great fishing goes begging every year.
Note: Dave Genz, known as Mr. Ice Fishing, was the primary driver of the modern ice fishing revolution. He is now the captain of Clam’s Team True Blue, an elite pro staff dedicated to helping people catch fish through the ice. For real help learning to catch fish, go to www.trueblueicefishing.com

www.walleyesinc.com website is maintained and designed by InnerVision Web Design & Graphics, a WalleyesInc.com affiliate. All rights reserved. © 1999/2008
Please Check Out these links below to our site Sponsors