Start your search in the sunfish's middle winter locations (mid lake humps, deep flats, or deep
break lines). If the Panfish are not there, you can trust that they have made the migration back to the shallow bays. They will not go into the shallows quite yet, but they will stack up on the drop-off leading into the shallow bay. Follow the contour lines, and look for inside turns or points.
One trick professionals use, is to look for micro transitions. These transitions can be small changes in depth along a flat, or a change in bottom composition (hard bottom, to soft bottom change).
Soft bottom is the key at this time of the year. The panfish will be feeding on blood worms (or any bug hatch). A lot of the time, the Perch will have what they are feeding on still in their mouth.
Why Panfish move back to the shallow bays in preparation of spawn. This act is called staging. They usually don’t make their way up to the shallow flats until ice out, but they are stacking up on the break lines waiting for their chance.
Tactic When ice fishing for any fish, it always comes down to Location, Location, Location. It is important to drill a ton of holes, and only setup at a whole if you are marking fish on a sonar. Use a heavy jig (Tungsten) that can get down to the fish fast, that way you don’t waste any time.
Once you find the fish, you can slow down your presentation and fine tune it (colors, weight, bait choice) until you find what the fish want. Keep changing until you have a successful pattern.