Some ice anglers constantly try and target trophies through the ice like big Lakers, Walleye, Pike and Whitefish. Other anglers are more interested in fast-aced action and catching panfish that are great eating and plentiful. I think both attitudes are good, catch the trophies and release them, catch the panfish and enjoy some for the table!
Some anglers like Ed Dolstra that live very close to water can fish almost every day and they make the most of it. Ed focuses on catching panfish all winter long. He loves to catch and eat decent perch and crappie.
While in some lakes both can be found deep, in many of the shallower southern Ontario lakes and reservoirs they can be caught very shallow. I have caught crappie under the ice as shallow as only 2′ water. Most anglers find them in 5-10′ water and especially around weedbeds and weedlines. Once you locate them it’s a matter of figuring out if you can catch them on small minnows, just jigging a bare spoon or jigging Rapala, or having to go to a tiny jighead and a live grub like maggots, waxworms, and even “mousies” (special maggots that have a breathing tube that looks like a tail).