Ice Fishing is now in full swing on area lakes. Ice depths vary greatly, and some of the mainlake areas over deeper water still have thin ice, especially on the larger lakes. Always exercise caution. Anglers are reporting between 4-10 inches in the bays and protected areas.
Panfish are biting on a variety of plastics, live bait and jig combos. Look for green weeds between 4 and 12 feet of water. Bluegills will likely be nearby, and can be taken on jigging rods throughout the day, but expect action to go through cycles as the fish turn on and off.
Crappies are relating to current areas, or areas with scattered bottom cover adjacent to current. A teardrop jig with a tail hooked small fathead is always a solid bet for crappies, but don't over look a very small red hook tipped with a wiggler, waxworm or spike, and remember, crappies feed up, so keep your presentation just above them when possible.
Pike are biting in full swing. Tipups with live bait or smelt are the biggest producers, and most of the fish are coming at/ or near the mouths of bays and backwaters. Lots of smaller pike are being caught, but a few are starting to come in over 35 inches. Large live bait, either medium suckers, large shiners or smelt are producing the bigger fish. If you just want some action, smaller pike in the 20-25 inch range are actively biting on medium shiners, especially over the roadbed or gravel drop off areas.
Good Luck, and be safe. I'll see you in 2011.