Sorry I have been away. I'm back, and thanks for sticking with me.
Well its pretty nice outside, and that has put a little damper on the fishing. Don't get me wrong, the fish are biting just fine, its just that the ice conditions have been very spotty on area lakes.
Several lakes have people out, but I would still exercise some extra caution if you're ice fishing locally. PFD, the buddy system and a spud bar are all excellent tools you should be using. Stay away from deep water, and especially from moving water/current areas that look a little sketchy.
Fox, Nagawicka and the Genesse Lakes have been pretty active.
Panfish are biting a couple times a day. On high pressure days, the fish are suspending over bottom structure or fish attractors. You'll need electronics to fish these effectively. On the low pressure days, the fish have been tight to the bottom. Smaller jig, bigger bait presentation is always good for early ice, and it seems to be working right now. Watch for light bites, and vary your jigging stroke till you find the right move to trigger the bite. Then repeat.
Pike are biting, but it seems like the most active fish have been smaller, more aggressive fish. This is typical of this time of year, as smaller buck male pike go on an early pre-spawn feeding binge. If you're using a tip up and consistently catching smaller pike, move out just a little bit deeper and set back up. Shallow water and green weeds will get you some action, but the larger pike are probably still using the first deep break and the sandgrass. The closer we get to spring, the closer you should move to shallow marshy areas.
Walleye have been biting, but in a feeding window in the evening. I'm not sure about a morning feeding window, but everyone I have spoken with (ie the other guides and the network of old fisherman I stay in contact with) has been talking about an evening bite. According to information I'm hearing, 8-12 and 12-15 feet (where there is safe ice) has been on fire. Go big with your bait though, it seems like the larger shiners have been better than suckers or smaller shiners.
More as it comes in. I suggest checking with the local shops for ice conditions on a daily basis until our weather decides to catch up with the season.