Snow has created problems here in the Northwoods as the insulation and weight of winter’s blanket has shut down the ice making abilities of even the coldest of nights.
Caution and high waterproof boots are required for fishing the ice right now. Areas of good ice are being fished heavily as access and ice thickness are NOT good everywhere.
Walleye: Very Good – Thin ice and some mild temps of late are bringing in some shallow action at dusk. Lots of eater (to 20”) fish with some trophy fish of 27–29 ½” again this past weekend. Suckers and chubs have been tops on tip-ups while jigging Raps, Slab Raps and Hyper Glides have produced large aggressive fish even in water as little as 4-6’.
Northern Pike: Very Good – Big, lively bait producing larger than area average Pike of 30-39 ½” this past weekend. Weedy flats of cabbage in 4-8’ best. Rigging big shiners on Finicky Foolers or Danglers so as to get the Rod/Reel experience has been fun.
Bluegill: Very Good – Numbers are good, but for those willing to search out some off the beaten path lakes big Gills have been very good. Tungsten Fly’s and #3 or #4 Fiska’s tipped with moussies or small plastics. Reports (and photo evidence) of honest 10”+ Gills, including a 11 ¼” over the weekend.
Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Taking medium golden shiners on tip-ups. Also being caught on jigging Raps meant for Walleyes and small jigs meant for Gills.
Yellow Perch: Good - Shallow bites in flats of 4-8’ using small-medium fatheads or 2-3 waxies bunched on Northland Forage Minnow jigs.
Crappie: Fair – Very few reports so far, anglers with cameras seeing few fish.
Ice thickness reports are running from 2-7”. The snow from last week is keeping ice from building and causing slush. Can’t recommend anything but walking and spudding your way around right now. If the snow doesn’t arrive and we get the cold that’s forecasted for next week, we should be good. Keep your fingers crossed.