Accidents and tragedy put a pall over ice fishing and outdoor activities this past week as reports of two ATV’s and three snowmobiles broke through the ice. Two of the snowmobilers did not survive which had effects from where it happened (Lake Nokomis in Tomahawk) to up here and to the families and hometowns of those who passed.
To clarify, the snowmobiles broke through over a channel of current, not the main lake itself. One of the ATV’s hit a current pocket that created thin ice in that particular spot. Still, caution is advised anywhere you go. Walking and pre-drilling or chipping with a spud bar by all means before traveling with a motorized vehicle on the ice.
Northern Pike: Good – Less action than previous week. Still nice Pike to 36” reported. As usual, big shiners and suckers best for larger fish.
Bluegills: Good – Very early mornings in and around 8-10’ cabbage for the biggest Gills (measured an 11 ¼” at shop Saturday), tungsten jigs in green, black, purple and red tipped with waxies, mousees or piece of beaver tail.
Crappies: Good – Bites come in windows, sometimes for an hour or less. Late afternoons still best. In and around tall, narrow leaf cabbage in 8-12’ use a gold or white #8 rocker tipped with a yellow, white or pink plastic or piece of beaver tail.
Walleye: Good-Fair – Bite from previous week slowed. Varied reports with most anglers finding better bites late (9-10 pm). As bite less aggressive, better on live bait (suckers) than artificials.
Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Not getting much for deeper reports as mid-lakes still off limits to most anglers. Those finding Perch over mud flats doing well with wigglers on Clam bomb style jigs or Halis in 15-18’.
Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair – Tip-ups with medium shiners in cabbage of 6-10’ best.
Ice fishing is taking place, and safely, in many areas. The access (or lack of) due to inconsistent ice or slush has been the biggest draw back. Areas of current (flowages, inlets, etc.) should be avoided or used with caution. Areas near marshy shorelines should also be used with caution, as these areas hold heat and don’t freeze as well as more solid bottomed areas.
All said, we want to encourage anglers to use the ice, but with caution. There is plenty of fishable ice, but due to the strange way it has frozen, its not the same everywhere.