Warm weather (for the end of January) made for comfortable conditions temperature wise, but more slush and added frustration for anglers, mobility wise.
With truck travel, and now ATV travel, out of the equation this past weekend (and snowmobile/tracked vehicle use limited), walking was the best way to get around. Tall boots were required as slush was deep in areas.
Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Good reports from anglers using the standard tip-ups baited with large shiners or suckers. Did not get reports of any larger Pike, but plenty in 23-28” range.
Walleye: Good – Best from 4 pm thru 6 pm. Get set up prior to prime time with suckers along weed edges, depths varying from 6-14’ depending on lake. Short windows of action, so jigging Slab Raps, Chubby Darters and Z-Vibes working as fish move in.
Bluegills: Good – Reports of Gills riding “high” under the ice, most likely due to warm temps, had anglers catching in 5-6’ of water over the weekend. Lead jigs such as Moon Glos, Shad Darts, Snickers, small Marmooskas tipped with waxies, spikes, mousses or red plastics worked well as once anglers found fish, the bite was good!
Crappies: Fair-Good – Access and the ability to move around once on the ice were the biggest factors to the bite. Once located, a fairly good bite on minnows with tip-downs, Lethal Cecils tipped with waxies and Shrimpos, Rembrandts and light plastics working well.
Yellow Perch: Fair – Access to deep mud flats due to slush biggest hindrance. Those who were out found success using wigglers on Kastmasters, Pimples, Inferno spoons and Flash Champs over mud in 18-24’.
Largemouth Bass: Fair – Incidental catches on jigs meant for other species or tip-ups baited with medium shiners.
The warm spell made things messy for sure, but it did knock down the snow depth. Starting Tuesday (2/4), lows in the single digits to below zero with no highs forecasted the coming week above freezing, hopefully we should see better travel come this weekend!
Ice Fishing Events
Feb 15th – 4th Annual Rob Lemmer Memorial – Lake Katherine in Hazelhurst
Feb 15th – 18th Annual Winter Rendevous – Manitowish Waters – Rest Lake Park
Feb 22nd – Lake Tomahawk Family Fisheree – Lake Tomahawk Town Bay