The Flag Outdoors Expert Steve Carney has your weekly Outdoors Angle right here!
We are blessed this winter with terrific ice conditions and with the thickness we currently have you can expect ice fishing will linger well into the month of April.
I have already noticed the panfish transition into the shallows as the crappies and bluegills are making eggs and preparing for the eventual spawn. Meanwhile, they have retreated to very shallow water in the 5 to 8 foot range. I have been doing very well in the 8 foot depths this week when I have found green cabbage or coontail along some steeper water in the area. Panfish like to have deep water nearby as an escape route just like walleyes and northern pike. This shallow bite is also triggered by young-of-the year hatches. Recently I had a great crappie and bluegill bite in the shallows and almost every fish I caught was burping up itty- bitty sunfish about the size of a penny. Yes, panfish do eat their own! If the food is there the crappies and bluegills will be too.
Hole-hopping is a term we use for drilling lots of holes and hopping from hole to hole in search of active fish. Often you pluck a fish here and there and soon you have your fish to take home. I spend no more than 5 minutes per hole and then move on. With the balmy temperatures of March, hole-hopping is a breeze!
Steve Carney is The Flag WZFG Outdoors expert. He can be heard every Thursday morning at 8:05 on AM 1100 WZFG. Check out his weekly podcast on am1100theflag.com and hear his Outdoors Angle reports every Friday on AM 1100 WZFG. You can also visit stevecarneyoutdoors.com for more information.