Every winter, as the ice forms on the top of our lakes, most fish, especially panfish, begin a migration from their deeper water haunts that they have been occupying as summer turns to fall. Understanding this activity that is happening below the ice is key to being able to find the fish when we hit the ice. Almost always, these shallow areas to which the panfish are transitioning have an abundance of weeds. As long as there is enough sun light reaching the weeds and the weeds remain green and upright, the panfish will continue to inhabit these weeds. As the season progresses and these weeds begin to die off, a couple of things will happen. As they die, the weeds turn brown and can no longer stand upright. The other thing that happens is that these now dead weeds will start to decay which consumes oxygen in the immediate area. As both of these things happen, panfish not only lose the cover of the weeds they had enjoyed earlier in the season, but they will also become starved for oxygen. With both of these things working against them, they will begin to migrate away from the shallow weedy waters and back into deeper, more oxygen-rich water.