The tail end of winter can serve up fine fishing on two fronts, as hungry panfish move shallow in lakes while walleyes surge upstream in rivers on their annual spawning migration.

Lindy pro staffer and veteran guide Jason Muche knows the drill, and says savvy anglers can enjoy great ice fishing and open-water action on back-to-back trips.

He should know. Just last Saturday he iced fat sunfish from still water in Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago system, then launched his boat downstream on the Fox River at De Pere in pursuit of walleyes, plus bonus perch and catfish.

“This is a fun time of year,” he said. “We’re catching white bass on Lindy Perch Talkers and Frostee Spoons in 7 to 8 feet of water on Lake Poygan, and bluegills on Toads and Fat Boys in channels and weedy bays on Winnebago.

“Meanwhile, male walleyes are stacking up below the dam at De Pere. A 3/8-ounce Lindy Jig tipped with a minnow is taking fish averaging 15 to 22 inches in 16 feet of water along the channel edge. Catching 45 fish per trip is not uncommon.”

Muche notes that with water temperatures hovering around 35 degrees, a slow jigstroke is key to consistent walleye catches. “Keep the jig close to bottom and slowly move it up and down 6 to 8 inches at a time,” he says. “Simply dragging it along bottom can be good, too.”

Where warmwater discharges from power or wastewater treatment plants meet main-river structure, pitching ¼-ounce Lindy Jigs is an option as well. “Anchor up, cast out and drag the jig back on the bottom,” he advises.

The opportunity to double-dip on ice and open-water action will continue through ice-out, Muche predicts. It’s hardly an isolated phenomenon, either, as lake and river systems across Lindy Land offer similar chances to enjoy the best of both worlds.