Well, it took until the end of February, but our crazy up and down weather has finally produced some of the best ice/travel conditions of season. The slop and slush created last week, has smoothed out with near perfect conditions on Chequamegon Bay and most Hayward Area lakes. Fish continue to cooperate as well, and this is by far the best late February bite I remember reporting on in a long time. As unpredictable as our weather has been, it’s funny that the fish have remained active and willing to cooperate. Hey, don’t question it. Just get after it!
Aron Kastern reports that the good mixed bag bite on Chequamegon Bay continues to stay strong with excellent catches of whitefish and trout being the norm. Big fish are on the prowl as well including a 32″ brown iced by Aron’s customer Eric Bouman. Wow! The presentation really hasn’t changed much with small flashy spoons tipped with waxies, plastics, or minnows drawing most of the attention. Colors and sizes can vary upon the day. Once fish are located, stay flexible until you find the right combination that get’s their attention. 20′ – 60′ of water continues to be the sweet spot, but be prepared for schools of fish to move frequently. Stay mobile and ready to move when fish disappear, and don’t forget to work the entire water column with fish often suspending anywhere from right below the ice down to the bottom. Aron also included a cool picture from his good buddy Davis Oliphant of a 40″ musky pulled through the ice on an inland lake in the Hayward area on a tip-up. After a few photos, it was promptly released. What a beautiful fish. Even the muskies are biting… Keep up the good work Aron. Awesome!
Josh Teigen reports a strong Chequamegon Bay bite also along with consistent inland action on the Hayward Area lakes. He spent some time this week inland finding a good mixed bag of active fish including panfish, pike, and bass in 12′ – 20′ relating to weed lines. Gills and crappies continue to be caught on small jigs tipped with plastics or waxies. Pike and bass can be caught on tip-ups baited with shiners placed at various depths. Josh reports ice and travel conditions in Chequamegon Bay as being good with 5″ – 7″ of ice from Houghton Pt. to Washburn and 10″- 12″ of ice from Washburn to Ashland. ATVs or snowmobiles will have smooth sailing, but you do have to watch out for several pressure cracks that have formed. Most of the slush has disappeared from the Hayward area lakes with up to 15″ of ice and smooth travel by ATV or snowmobile. There are larger vehicles traveling on some bodies of water, but do so at your own risk. I’d suggest sticking with smaller modes of transportation or even getting a little exercise and walking. Just a thought…
Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy the great weather. Stay safe, and catch some fish!!!