Big Stone Lake Ice Fishing Report (New Years) Perch, Bluegill, and Ice Conditions
Updated: Jan 5
My last Big Stone Lake fishing report talked about a recent snowstorm and the thick layer of slush the lake had accumulated. That problem was resolved by last weeks bitter cold temps which left us with some excellent ice conditions.
Checking out ice thicknesses in the central portion of the lake this week, I found a pretty consistent 17"-19" of ice. I also found there to be very little snow accumulations on the lake. Vehicle traffic was pretty heavy over the holiday weekend and it appears that trucks and fish houses made their way all over.
Perch and Bluegill Bite
Fishing has been a little up and down over the last week, I believe the big swings in weather have had a big effect on the fish. Last week perch and panfish seemed to be spread throughout the basin. You could catch fish in a lot of areas, but you couldn't catch a lot of fish in any one spot. Yesterday that seemed to be changing. The fish were moving, and it appeared that the schools were growing.
Fishing Techniques and Locations
Mobility has been the key to good perch fishing recently. After checking many different areas of the lake, I found that the basin (as usual) was where the vast majority of the fish were hanging out.
Generally when looking for new schools of fish in the basin, big moves of a quarter mile or so at a time are necessary to cover water. With the fish being scattered, we would instead pick an area apart. Large moves weren't necessary. I would drill a few dozen holes in an area, and we would catch a fish or three out of each hole before moving to another area.
This type of bite may continue for a little while but, yesterday I noticed more fish beginning to school up again.
Fishing techniques were pretty typical with maybe one caveat, heavy spoons. In order to fish fast the last couple of days, I've been employing some heavy (1/4 oz) rattle spoons. Big spoons catch aggressive fish, and loud rattles help to call them in from a distance. While most of the time I fish close to the bottom, I've been using the spoons up high to attract fish from a larger area.
The bigger rattle spoons call in aggressive fish as well as curious fish. After catching a fish or two on the spoon, I will sometimes still see some fish on the flasher. Thats when I'll opt for finesse, and pull out the tungsten jig.
Don't be bashful to use the big spoon on big gills, they'll crush it on Big Stone!
Good Luck Fishing!