Sometimes it’s OK to get skunked when searching for new ice fishing locations
As the ice fishing season transitions into the late-ice period, community fishing holes have seen massive pressure for months. Many keeper-sized fish are gone and the ones that remain become wary after seeing every type of presentation.
Fishing is a constant learning game. New technology, better equipment, and just more information help improve your angling prowess. So put those skills to work and seek new fishing locations to help you put more fish topside. Look at where you had fishing success, then look for similar structure on other parts of the lake away from heavy traffic.
When I search for new locations the first thing I examine is community fishing holes. Pay attention to the depth and type of structure they are fishing, then look at a map of the lake and find similar structure also capable of holding fish. Pay attention to possible hazards that could make for unsafe ice. Check as you go and stay dry! (FISHING TIPS: HOW TO PREPARE FOR A NEW-TO-YOU LAKE)
Once you select and arrive at your spots, the real work begins. If the ice is clear you can read through the ice with your sonar units by dumping a small amount of water on the ice and reading right through it, but if ice surface is rough, then drill holes to investigate what is below. (ICE FISHING TIP: SEARCHING FOR SUSPENDED CRAPPIES BEFORE DRILLING HOLES)
Occasionally you get lucky and drop right on the fish. Most times you will be drilling out a large area to find them, and then other times you’ll end up empty handed. Try again until you get it right. The real reward is when your hard work pays off and your sonar lights up with walleyes, perch, pike or panfish just waiting for you to catch!
Good luck fishing and stay safe!