Phillips Area Fishing Report. This is one winter that is ready for the books, with the heavy snow and slush conditions on the lakes combined with the severe cold weather ice fishing and many other outdoor activities were put on hold for the last 3 months. But now it's time to enjoy the next couple of weeks of late ice fishing.
As the weather warms and snow melts a fresh supply of water loaded with oxygen enters the lakes. The warm oxygen rich water triggers fish into a feeding frenzy. Caution must be taken at this time of the season and only foot traffic is recommended. The running water can erode ice quickly and I recommend staying away from heavy run off areas also take caution when fishing flowages like we have in our area, there is a lot of water moving under the ice as well and the ice can be eroded from underneath showing little sign of danger above.
The Game Fish season is closed in all the lakes and rivers of Price County but fishermen can still fish for panfish and rough fish, Crappie and Bluegill are the most sought after fish and are starting to bite well. Crappie are still in their winter pattern so look for them to be suspended in the deeper basin areas of the lakes, I like using larger heavy lures at this time. The heavy lure falls faster so I can get down to the hungry active fish fast, I also like my lure to be larger because I like to target the bigger fish. I like using larger tungsten jigs with plastic or #6 Ratsos. This is also a good time to set out a couple of Deadsticks or Tip-Downs with a minnow as bait.
Bluegills are starting to make the move from the deeper areas of the lakes to the mid depth ranges, look for them in 8 to 15 foot mud flats and around wood structure. Tungsten jigs tipped with waxies, spikes, or plastics always seem to entice a hungry gill into eating. Here too you want a heavy jig to get down to active fish fast. When the bite is on the fish don't seem to mind the heavier weigh jigs at all.
This past Sunday I went fishing with my Dad for the first time this winter, We went out looking for some bigger Crappie and we found some. The fish I'm holding in the picture fell victim to a #6 orange Ratso.
Good luck on the ice and be safe!!!!