Brrrrrrr… That seems to be the common theme around here lately. These temperatures are tough on even the hardiest northlander! Thank goodness for portable shacks and heaters… We’re in a typical mid winter pattern, and fishing has been predictably inconsistent. We’re catching fish on a daily basis, but some days have definitely been more productive than others with no rhyme or reason why. As the days get longer action should continue to improve, and there’s still plenty of good fishing and nice fish to be had out there.
On Thursday, Josh Guided Bruce and Lucinda Kiefer from southern Wisconsin for their 40th anniversary. Let me tell ya, Bruce knows how to treat the ladies! They fished for a half day with the couple each catching their largest fish ever. They iced browns up to 22″ and a coho during their trip. Jigging spoons and tip-ups in 20′ – 40′ of water produced fish. Josh also made note that there are a lot of suspended fish with the majority of action coming just a few feet under the ice. Happy Anniversary Bruce and Lucinda, and congratulations on some great fish!
A mixed Minnesota and Wisconsin crew Chris, Phil, Ben, and Mike joined Josh on Friday. Fridays have been a tough draw for some reason lately, and this one was no different. They guys put fish on the ice, but it was a slow bite with lots of time between fish. A few undersized splake and lakers along with a 16″ brown and 17″ whitefish were caught on jigging spoons and tip-ups in 20′ – 30′ of water. It’s days like these when you really have to hang in there, and every fish caught is well earned. Hey… If it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Again, Josh made note of suspended fish just a few feet under the ice. Way to stay with it fellas!
Saturday was a group effort with with Josh leading the way, and action picked up considerably. Josh guided a group from Minnesota and Wisconsin, and I fished with a crew of fellow Ashlanders. Josh’s gang consisted of Chris, Jim, and Dan, and they ended up with a mix of several cohos up to 16″, an undersized brown, and a 21″ herring. Shawn Lund, Spencer Sundeen, Todd Kyrola, Paul Conley, and Ryan Pralle teamed up with me to put several cohos up to 14″, whitefish up to 22″, browns up to 24″, and a herring on the ice. Our two groups were spread out along a 30′ break line, and the action was dictated by the current throughout the day with fish coming throughout the water column. One group would get into fish when the current was slack, and the other when it was ripping. Strange… but that’s fishing on the big lake! Jigging spoons and tip-ups all caught fish, but the majority were caught jigging with downsized presentations definitely being the most productive. I just hope Shawn will forgive me for dropping his dinner back down the hole. Hey, those things are slippery! Sorry brother!!!
Don’t forget guys, Valentine’s Day is Friday. A little thoughtfulness on your part this week could pay huge dividends down the road. It’s a small price to pay for all of those fishing trips you have yet to plan!!!