6.5 miles E of Plato on US 20, one mile S on CR 1150E, one mile W on CR 100S.
The smallest body of water on our list of prospective ice-fishing lakes is Appleman Lake in LaGrange County. One of the reasons this lake is so popular with ice-fishermen is that it is one of the first lakes in the area to freeze (mainly due to its small size -- 52 acres). The most important reason for its popularity, however, is that it produces plenty of nice-sized bluegill and redear sunfish.
According to Paul Culler, the owner of a local bait shop called The Angler in nearby Helmer, Appleman Lake is a good place for ice-fishermen to try this winter. Appleman has a lot of good quality bluegills, he said. There are also redears, bass and crappies, too. Its just a small lake, but its amazing how many fish come out of it!
Culler has owned his bait shop for 19 years, so he has seen plenty of fish come out of Appleman and other nearby lakes. When asked where the best places to fish are, Culler responded that it is not hard to find fish on Appleman. Most people just go straight out in front of the public access site on the north end of the lake, in 12 to 15 feet of water.
One thing to keep in mind about Appleman Lake is that it has a reputation as a low-light lake. Like most lakes, the bluegills and sunfish here tend to bite best early and late in the day. But Appleman is REALLY that way, LaVigne reported. The very early morning bite is good, and then they really shut off until just an hour or two before dark.
Weedlines, brush, dropoffs, holes
One local angler who likes to fish Appleman Lake is Bill LaVigne from Fort Wayne. LaVigne fishes the break line just south of the access site that Culler mentioned, but he also likes to get right into the weeds at times. The weedy dropoff is good, he said, but you can also do well if you can find small holes in the weeds in that 10- to 12-foot depth.
When the fish wont cooperate in the shallower water, LaVigne moves to the deeper water a little farther out. There are quite a few fish that are caught right out in the middle, in 22 to 24 feet of water, he continued. The bluegills are often within 12 to 18 inches off the bottom in that deep water southwest of the access site.