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Changing Conditions for Iced Walleyes
By Colin Crawford

As winter ice fishing progresses some tactics have to be changed. Early  in the season the action is fast and as the ice gets thicker and the  days colder the fish have a tendency to slow down and move. In fact, in  most bodies of water mobility is crucial if you want to stay on fish.  Fish small lakes at the beginning of the ice fishing season and move to  larger lakes later in the ice fishing season, where there is more oxygen  in the water. In addition, smaller lakes freeze sooner thus extending  your ice fishing season. Structure is as much the key to success for the ice fisherman as it is  for the open water angler. Structures take many different shapes, but  they share one thing in common, and that is they differ from the  surrounding bottom enough to be noticed by the fish. The most common and  most recognizable piece of structure is the point of land that extends  from shore out into the water. Points create a raised portion of land 
beneath the water's surface, making it different from the surrounding  bottom. These points extending from shore may be classified also as bars  or reefs. Sunken islands and rock piles can also be ideal fish holding  areas, and areas where you want to concentrate your efforts. Pieces of  structure found in a migration route created by current from a nearby  river that flows into a lake, can offer a choice hunting ground for  walleye seekers, in winter as well as summer.
When I am looking for a lake to ice fish, I like to go to a lake that I  am familiar with. For example, I spend a great deal of my summer on lakes around the Phelps, Wis. area. I know where the dropoffs are and  the weedbeds, but probably the most important structure are the rock  piles. The early winter pattern will have the fish moving around in the  shallower water and they are still aggressive and feeding, but it's not  like you can just drill a hole anywhere and catch fish. Therefore, 

Lowrance Global Map 100 I  also use a handheld GlobalMap 100 GPS to find the location during the  summer and fall months and mark these areas so that I can return to them  during the wintertime.Effective scouting may require drilling a lot of holes. If you fish a weedline early in the year it might take several holes to find the right area the walleyes are in, and of course they move along the weedline so it is important to stay with the fish as they cruise the shallows in 
search of food.
Fish the Lindy's Veg-E-Jig^(TM) along weedlines, weed edges and pockets. The front eyelet position and slender profile allows the Veg-E-Jig^(TM) to slip through all weed vegetation without the frustration of snags. Jigging ice-time walleyes is the most deadly method of all, if done properly. Proper size, color selection and action all come into play.  Early season fishing I like to use a Lindy Pounder jig in chartreuse or  silver and black and this past year I really liked using the rainbow  trout color. I also spend a little extra time in putting on the next  size bigger treble hook. This additional size hook allows me to put the 
head of a fathead minnow on and still have plenty of play in the hook to  jig a natural action and increase hookups with additional space between the shank and the barb of the hook.It is a good idea to keep your jigging action down to a minimum. But, you also have to respond to the mood of the fish. Jigging action 
combined with the sound of rattles has also been a new innovative method 
that has really worked well. For this I will put on a Rattl'r spoon. This added sound and vibration many times attracts fish when they are turned off with other bait presentations. Always remember these walleyes want an easy meal.Light conditions and weather are two over looked aspects of early ice fishing. Weather and time of day affect walleye activity in winter much the same way they do at other times of the year. As you probably already know, in the summertime most walleyes feed during low light conditions. The light gathering qualities of the walleye's eyes are far superior to that of the baitfish they prey upon. Naturally the walleyes use this as an advantage and feed during the dim light periods. Likewise, during overcast days they tend to bite more than during high skies and bright sunshine.
Lndy Techni glo Fat Boy Jigs
Lindy Techni Glo
Fat Boy Jig
Lindy Genz Worm Jig
Lindy Genz Worm
Therefore, Lindy Little Joe has added the fish-attracting power of glowfluorescence to its popular Fat Boys, Flyer and Genz Worm ice fishing jigs. Available in four living colors, these Techni-Glo^(TM) jigs are essential for fishing dingy water, at night or when fish want that "something extra." Techni-Glo^(TM), give them a try, you will up your odds by trying something the fish have not seen.
Lindys New Techni-Glo Tazer
Lindy Little Joe
Techni-Glo Tazer
If you are interested in reading more about walleye fishing and other 
stories that use a variety of techniques log onto www.northwoodsfishing.net. Hope to see you soon on the net. If you are interested in a guided trip, a personal media interview, or photo shoot, please call 715-545-8347. I am located in the Phelps, Wisconsin area

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