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We've been out on North Long pretty regularly this winter, and the consistency of the panfish bite has been sporadic at best. It's not that their not there, they are.

The best days we've had is when the snow is coming down. We get the crappies and some nice gills the last hour of light. The days that we've had clear blue skies or nice weather, you can see em down there but they wont touch your jig. I don't mind just watching them, but the 6 year old runs out of patience fast.

I've experienced this type and these days of fishing in the past, but not to the same level as this year.

The other thing is that the water is super cloudy this year, and it's not because of the snow cover. I have been going out on the ice since we had 3" and even then the water was cloudy. Seems like the eastern half of the bay (Merrifield) is ultra cloudy and the farther west you move, the better it gets. It's almost as if the lake never finished turning over or didn't settle once it did.

Again, I've experienced the cloudy phenomenon out here in past years, but never to the same extent, or for as long as this year.

Anyone else noticing the same thing?

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Same here about the cloudy water. I have been out a lot fishing for eyes. They are there, (camera) but will not bite. I have put everything down there but the kitchen sink. I had a great open water year but this winter is tough.

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Yes I have noticed it has been cloudy as well. I haven't been out in since last saturday, how are the ice (slush) conditions? I am on the Merrifield Bay. The wife outfished me that day- she pulled up a 21" wally around 7pm on a golden eye jig with a golden shiner at 18 feet. I got a 13" wally earlier that day.

Good Luck!

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The panfish bite since early ice is tough, they will bite once you put what they want in front of them. Last year crappies AND sunnies were smashing forage minnows tipped with whatever you could find, this year they hardly touch it. So we decided to downgrade size. I put on a nuclear ant, with the rubber things ripped off, and has seemed to have done the trick, especially with the crappies. Although they wont touch a wax worm hardly this year, they are preferring whole minnows, and the best ones seem to be the smallest crappie minnows u get in your scoop. Yes, it takes longer to get down to where they are at, but worth the wait. Once they see that minnow dropping about 7 feet above bottom, 3 or 4 will fly off the bottom up after it and fight over it. The walleyes have been finicky for me as well, still trying to figure them out, and ideas the the whitetips?

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Back out today - water is still super cloudy at my spot in the bay. Was much clearer as I went west towards the scout camp. Picked up a few slabs and gills, but the bite was super slow. Lot's of fish on the camera, but seems they have lockjaw when you put a jig in front of them.

As far as the slush, I broke through the top 4" crust and found about a 10" - 12" pocket of air and water before I hit solid ice again. Glad I had the chains on the wheeler or I would have never got out of that mess.

Time for supper - fryed fish and taters tonight! Beats fish sticks!

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