Was out Saturday off of the North side and the ice was good. There were a couple of spots where the ice was soft with a lot of water under the snow crust but my 4 wheeler did not go through and the ice next to shore by the ramp was good when we went out in the morning but you could tell it had softened up by 2:00 pm when we came in. I haven't been to the west side but some of the guys that were fishing with us said they were going out with atv's. Right now it is 27 deg. and it will warm up after midnight with snow that will change to posible rain tomorrow. Hope this helps just bring your portable shanty to get in out of the weather.
We were out Friday afternoon, stayed out until about 5 a.m. Saturday morning. Lots of guys accidentally finding abandoned holes, so watch your step. The lake still had about 2 feet of ice, and was making ice all night after midnight, low hit something like -2 degrees. Sounds like it's going to be sloppy again this week, though.
Nobody in smelt village was catching fish between 2pm and 10pm. By the time we left, a couple hundred guys had crowded into the village, nobody catching anything. We pulled out and went looking for a new spot. Found one and left with a good haul of fish (I had 100+ for the evening).
Since I've gotten so many great tips off this site, here's one for anyone seeking late season smelt on Higgins: go looking for them. The west side boat launch might be crowded, but that doesn't mean the fish are happening there. We found them in a totally different part of the lake, in 20 feet of water. Fish were thick and hitting hard in every part of the water column.
Take a walk. Think perch. Don't hatch a hole if it isn't producing.
Wigglers were a loser. Spikes were working better than waxworms. Small ice flies with hackle were taking some, small green, glowing Ratfinke jig with a spike was my leading fish-getter, and small, red, glow Hali with a perch minnow head was running a close second. They're out there. Watch your step and good luck!
I went out tonight did fair about 90 for the evening. Was cold and was making ice fished in 35 fow had 12" ice and 6" slush pack. If the weather holds we probley have two more weeks. The west lauch ice was fine no problems took quad out will try again in a couple of days.
Did good Sat w/150 smelt off the North State Park Campground. Sunday, we couldn't get a bite. Got back to the truck and talked to a couple other guys. They got into the smelt 200 yards away from us. Lesson learned. If they're not biting, move til u find them!
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