Chequamegon Bay & Hayward, Wisconsin Ice Fishing Report 2-18-14
Well… We were on a roll last week, but the weekend proved to be a different story. A couple of weather systems moved through, and changing weather will usually do one of two things for fishing. We found out what that other thing was…
On Valentine’s Day, Josh guided Greg, Marta, Anne, and Kai Swanson for a half day trip. The Swanson’s decided to add a fishing trip onto their day after exploring the ice caves north of Bayfield. If you haven’t heard of the ice caves, you really need to check them out. They’re very cool, and this is the first time they’ve been accessible in a few years. After seeing what the caves have to offer, the Swanson’s were able to land an 18″ whitefish on a Kastmaster jigging spoon in 45′ of water. Not a bad way to spend Valentine’s Day. I’m already planning for next year!
On Saturday, Josh guided Dan, Brad, Kyle, and Davis for a full day on Lake Superior. They caught a 23″ brown, 3 undersized splake, and a 17″ rainbow. Kastmasters and Jigging Raps in 20′ – 30′ feet of water landed all of the fish. Even though the bite was tough, that’s a great picture of an awesome brown trout. What a trophy! Congratulations guys. You earned it!
Just when we thought the bite couldn’t get tougher, well… Dave and Tim were on the receiving end of an incredibly slow day on Sunday that only produced one 23″ whitefish and a small perch. The guys covered a lot of water and fished anywhere from 20′ to 70′ with little to show for their efforts. Ouch!!! That’s a tough one to deal with. Things were so tough that we had to get Acorn back on the ice just to get a photo. Leave it to that guy to find the camera! Way to go buddy!
O.K… Now it had to get better, and thank goodness it did! Josh guided Jeff and Dave, and Acorn came along as well. Hey… We needed all the help we could get! The guys landed 5 lakers up to 20″ and 2 whitefish up to 21″ in 30′ to 60′ of water. Everything was caught on Buckshot Rattle Spoons and Vibratos. It was much needed end to bad stretch that we’re happy to put in the rear view mirror. Nice job fellas, and way to hang tough!
I joined forces on Tuesday with my good friends Greg Miller from The Hunt and Jordan Gensmer from Angler’s Haven for a day of scouting inland lakes for panfish. Well, we found plenty of panfish, but we didn’t find any panfish of size. Beggars can’t be choosers I guess! We found lot’s of little perch and crappies in 10′ to 12′ of water. When I say little, I mean little (notice no pictures). Action was steady however, and we caught everything on small jigs tipped with plastics and waxies. It warmed up into the high 30’s for the first time in forever up here, and it felt great to be out in the sun without needing a shack. Never fear folks… Better days are ahead!!!
Ice conditions on Chequamegon Bay remain unchanged except for an additional 6″ to 12″ of additional snow we received over the weekend. There’s 12″ or more of ice from Bayfield to Ashland. Snowmobile travel is still best, and will probably continue to be for awhile. I know this has been a cold winter folks, but don’t be fooled. Longer days will deteriorate ice as we move into and through March, and currents around the Apostle Islands always make for inconsistent ice. Stay vigilant. Inland lakes continue to be tough going with lots of snow and slush pockets. Without plowed roads, vehicle travel is almost impossible. Snowmobiles don’t handle the slush well either. We spent Tuesday on snowshoes, which made for good exercise and relatively smooth sailing. Not a bad way to get in shape gang. I’ll sleep well tonight…
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