Chequamegon Bay & Hayward, Wisconsin Ice Fishing Report 2-14-14
Happy Valentine’s Day! Guys… If you’re in the dog house right now, you can’t say I didn’t warn you!!!
As for the fishing… A much welcomed warm up this week sure felt good. I’m not positive if there’s any connection, but the fishing on Chequamegon Bay was more consistent to go along with it. With daylight lasting a bit longer and fish activity picking up, it’s got me thinking we may have turned the corner on the extremely cold conditions we’ve dealt with since December. Stable weather generally means good fishing, and it held true this week. On Monday, Josh and Acorn fished with Matt and Kurt from central Wisconsin for a full day. Several whitefish up to 18″, splake up to 20″, and lakers up to 16″ all came in 30′ to 70′ of water on an action packed trip. All fish were caught on jigging spoons and were aggressive all day long. Nice way to start the week guys!
Scott, Dan, Tim, and Cal joined up with Josh on Tuesday and the action continued. In total, 11 whitefish up to 23″, 2 browns up to 23″, a 23″ laker, and 9 coho were iced. Jigging spoons and tip-ups in 20′ t0 70′ produced fish on another awesome day. This was great to see for several reasons but mainly because it got us out of that hit and miss cycle that had been going on for awhile. Josh was definitely on fish, and they were most definitely cooperative. Just how we like it!
Now for the big test… Would they bite three days in a row. Absolutely! Sort of… The trout decided to take a break on Wednesday, but the whitefish picked up where they left off. Scott, Dan, Tim, and Cal finished their trip with a half day and ended up with 10 whitefish up to to 23″ and a herring in 20′ to 60′ of water. Everything was caught on jigging spoons, and I think it’s safe to say Josh is onto a consistent pattern. With warmer temps allowing guys to get out of their shelters, the odds of finding aggressive fish will continue to increase.
On Thursday, we were back inland. It’s been awhile… Josh had Dave and Sue for a full day of panfishing, and the bite was tough. They ended up with 20 gills up to 8″, 8 crappies up to 12″, and one small pike. Fish were mostly inactive throughout the day as the gang worked over weed beds in 12′ to 15′ of water. There was some excitement however as they lost two muskies that had grabbed bluegills. Sue battled a 40″ fish for a half hour only to lose it half way up the hole. Bummer! Josh said she fought that fish like a pro and couldn’t have done a better job in those circumstances. Heck Sue, are you sure that fish wasn’t 50″???
Ice travel on Chequamegon Bay hasn’t changed much however a recent blanket of new snow may provide some difficulties. In recent days ATV’s had been getting around pretty well between Bayfield and Washburn on the hard packed snow, but snowmobiles are still the preferred choice if you have access to them. New snow also tends to hide hazards, so be careful and vigilant in your travels. Going is still a bit tough on the Ashland side although there are a few roads plowed with folks driving on them. To venture off the roads, you’ll need to do it with snowmobiles or by foot. Inland lakes continue to be tough going with lots of snow and reports of slush pockets still occurring. If you don’t see a plowed road, don’t even think about driving a vehicle on the lakes. Again, snowmobile and foot travel are the safest bets. Even though most areas have a lot of ice right now, it will slowly deteriorate over the next two months. Check ice depths frequently, and always think safety first. Have a great weekend everyone!
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