Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Friday, February 3rd, 2023

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Pro Tip of the Week: Strategies for your first trips on the ice

By Tom Neustrom

As of this writing, I have yet to get in any ice fishing, but that all looks to change this coming weekend. First off, you always need to check the ice as you go. I like to frequently check the ice as I head out, hitting the spud bar two or three times to make sure the ice is safe.

For walleyes, I head out to a breakline that drops off from, say, 18 to 24 feet where I’ll drill 8 to 10 holes in the ice before I start fishing. I like those edge breaks to start my ice fishing for walleyes.

For panfish, I move out to the deeper, nearby water from where I last tracked them. They will ussually have moved out to deeper water with a mud bottom. They are looking for bugs and larvae. A lot of times these nearby spots will have them set up to feed for the early winter bite.

Neustrom is a multi-species guide in the Grand Rapids area. He runs Minnesota Fishing Connections ( and can be reached at (218) 327-2312.

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