Despite the bracket of cold temps and added snow this past weekend, the lure of February’s Ice Derbies brought anglers out in droves to fish a little and get a chance to win something, as well as help raise money for good causes.
Fishing picked up over the past weekend for many, though “the day after the derby hangover” seemed to have slowed things a bit.
Crappie: Good – Most action deep. Tip-downs (when not too cold) tipped with small rosie reds best. When Crappies turing their nose up at minnows, try jigging chartreuse, orange, glow or gold #4 or #5 Fiskas tipped with waxies. Keep movement to a minimum when dealing with these negative fish. VMC Tungsten Flys also working well, here the subtle movement of the added hair may be what’s making the difference. Most reports of Crappies in 18-30’, usually 1-2’ off bottom. One group found nice fish suspended 15’ off a 30’ mud flat.
Yellow Perch: Good – Deep mud flats best. Venom tungsten core glow rattle spoons, Halis, pimples, Chandeliers and Flash Champs. Red spikes and wigglers best. The rattles and glow of the Venom spoons help pulling in fish. Bang bait in mud to attract attention.
Northern Pike: Good – Action improved, a few 30”+ fish reported. Best on large shiners. Where a deeper, 10-14’ weed edge is applicable, fish there as larger Pike being caught along these edges.
Bluegill: Good – Not great numbers, but good reports of 7, 8, 9 and even 10”+ Gills! Anglers finding Gills in 8-12’ standing cabbage using small Tungsten jig flys or just plain #3-#4 Fiska jigs tipped with red, purple, motor oil and sometimes clear/silver J&S plastics or wedges. Some open water Gills holding over sandgrass in 16-23’ preferring clear, motor oil or black plastic on Dude jigs of red or black.
Walleye: Fair-Poor – Catches few, but better than previous week. Smaller suckers, shiners or large rosies. Jigging Raps, Hyper Glydes and spoons with light by Northland and 13 Flash Bangs for after dark. The smaller Rippin Raps also working, though Walleye don’t seem to be as aggressive as earlier in season.
Largemouth Bass: Poor – Cold not conducive to good action. Use medium shiners on tip-ups or a shiner head jigged on a #4 pimple.
Ice thickness continues to grow slowly, 18-22” on average. Travel good despite recent snow. A few reports of slush on lakes with heavy snow and little traffic.
2/10 Plum Lake Tournament – to Benefit Sayner-Star Lake Lions Projects
2/17 Bob Lemer Tournament - Lake Katherine
Wisconsin High School State Championship
2/24 Carroll Lake Ice Derby
Lake Tomahawk Fisheree