This has been a terrific ice season mainly because the snow has been minimal and ice thickness has been outstanding. Getting to our ice destinations has been no problem giving us a much better winter than last year.
Late ice is considered anything after mid-February. Most anglers tend to hang it up by now but in reality some of the best crappie and bluegill fishing is still ahead.
I will be pulling my Ambush skid house off shortly and going back to the pullover portables from here until mid-March. Mobility now is the key as the panfish tend to transition to almost Springtime patterns. This is when traveling light with the basics in equipment motivates you to move and drill a lot of holes in search of active fish. The less equipment you haul around the better mobility you will have when searching.
Green, healthy weeds are really a top choice for late ice fishing as the crappies and bluegills tend to gravitate into oxygen rich water versus the deep basins of mid-winter. Depths of 8 to 12 feet are a good choice depending on the water clarity and quality of your lake choice. Find a good weedline and start drilling shallow to deep until you make contact. These late ice fish can sometimes really surprise you on how shallow they are and don't miss those really shallow areas under 8 feet.
Don't put your ice gear away quite yet, some of the best action of the winter lies just ahead. Don't forget your auger extension as we made a ton of additional ice from this last polar vortex.