Two and a half days of continuous, light, warm snow (yes, it was), have added a new layer of messy slush to our lakes, making travel not so fun!
With some lakes experiencing 4-8”+ of water to the ice surface, slush is causing issues for snowmobiles, ATV’s and UTV’s. Looks like any hope of enough good ice for truck travel will be out of the question this year.
Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Nice fish up to 34”+ caught over the weekend as Pike action picked up. Big shiners or suckers as the usual, anglers say lots of “full bellies” on the Pike they caught proving that the “feed” was on!
Walleye: Good-Very Good – Not everywhere and all the time, but when the window opened up, good reports of anglers icing lots of Walleyes to 28” using suckers on tip-ups on the top of ledges. Bites lasting only 45 minutes to an hour, by most accounts from 4:30 pm-5:30pm had flags flying. One group reporting fish in as little as 7’ using Slender Spoons and minnow heads.
Crappies: Good-Very Good – Like the Walleye bite, very time and location oriented. Tip-downs with minnow best as warm temps seemed to “heat up” bite. Rockers tipped with Beaver Tail or white or silver plastics working. Some areas in 8-12’ tall weeds while others (even on the same lakes) were found over mud in 18-22’.
Bluegills: Good-Very Good – Some reports of anglers limiting in 1 ½ - 2 hours. Small dark tungsten jigs tipped with red plastics, spikes or pink Beaver tail. Other times, bite slower, drop in size to entice bites.
Yellow Perch: Fair-Good – Lots of little “dinks” being caught around weeds and mud flats of 12-15’. Better fish over deeper mud of 16-22’ on Halis, Flasch Champs and Pimples tipped with wigglers.
Largemouth Bass: Fair – Oddly quiet considering warm temps. Medium shiners on tip-ups in 8-12’ weeds meant for Walleyes or Pike best.
With the coming week seeing temps in the upper 20’s to mid 30’s, don’t see any relief from slush. We need very warm (mid 40’s+) or very cold (-20 or below) and neither is on the horizon. Be prepared to have to walk to most areas, though lighter snowmobiles and tracked ATV’s/UTV’s still getting around. It was definitely worse in February last year, but not nearly as nice as conditions just last week.
Ice Fishing Events
Feb 1st – 15th Annual United Way Ice Fishing Jamboree – Lake Minocqua at Stack’s Bay **CANCELLED**
Feb 1st – Kids Ice Fishing Day – Big Arbor Vitae Lake at Mielke Bay
Feb 15th – 4th Annual Rob Lemmer Memorial – Lake Katherine in Hazelhurst
Feb 22nd – Lake Tomahawk Family Fisheree – Lake Tomahawk Town Bay