Chequamegon Bay & Hayward, Wisconsin Ice Fishing Report 3-5-16
Where in the heck did winter go??? I can’t believe the end of our gamefish season on inland waters in northern Wisconsin is already coming to an end. Sunday 3/6/16 is the end of the hook and line season on all inland waters north of Hwy 64 for all gamefish species. Panfish can still be targeted however, and we should have a good late ice bite if conditions hold. Lake Superior and Chequamegon Bay remains open for all species except smallmouth bass. Ice shanties must be removed from all waters both inland and Great Lakes by Sunday 3-13-16. You’ve been warned!
This is starting to sound like a broken record but Chequamegon Bay continues to produce excellent mixed bag catches, and Josh Teigen has kept his customers busy with the crazy good trout & whitefish bite that’s been happening all winter. By the looks of things it hasn’t slowed down a bit, and I’m happy to report that kind of news anytime. Josh spent a day scouting with his good friend John Darwin from Iron River, WI, and it was certainly a successful mission. They found browns up to 24″, several splake up to 20″, and a pile of whitefish in 27′ – 60′ of water. The splake were all caught on tip ups with shiners, and everything else came on blade baits and flashy spoons. That’s a nice bit of recon gentlemen!
Later in the week, Josh guided friends Dave, Dave, Paul, and Wayne. The pattern held with whitefish, splake, browns, and lakers still holding in 25′ – 65′ of water. The presentation stayed consistent as well with fish coming on tip ups with shiners as well as jigging blade baits and spoons. Those are some great looking smiles, and some super looking fish. Love that Packer hat! At the time of this report, Josh reports good ice conditions continue on the interior of Chequamegon Bay with anywhere from 8″ – 16″ from Washburn to Ashland. ATV and snowmobile travel is easy going with 3″ – 4″ of snow on top of the ice. Josh does warn however that with the warm up that’s predicted over the next week, things will change in a hurry, and he doesn’t think ice on outlying areas of the bay will last long. Extreme caution should be used if venturing out onto any ice northeast of Washburn. Pressure cracks will also start opening up, and you’ll need to scout out good routs with an ice bar before committing to crossing them. Great report Josh. Stay on em my friend!
With the frenzy that’s happening on the bay, both Josh and Aron Kastern haven’t had a chance to check out any inland waters in the Hayward area so I had to get my report information the old fashioned way… My friend Brody Moreland has been staying on top of the inland bite throughout the winter, and he invited me out for a quick crappie trip late in the week. I was in need of information and had a few hours available. Perfect! When I arrived Brody had a few nice fish on the ice, and he laid out the game plan. He had found some big fish in 30′ – 40′ and punched a bunch of holes. Active fish were holding 5′ – 10′ off bottom, and he was hole hopping until he found the right mark. When the right fish was located, they were pretty eager to bite on small spoons with or without spikes tipped on them. You just had to move around a lot, and it really didn’t pay to work on any fish holding close to the bottom. They weren’t having any of it! When it was time to wrap up we had a bunch of nice fish up to 13″ on the ice, and it seemed like the bite was getting more aggressive later in the morning. It’s always tough to leave biting fish… Please remember that fish holding in depths over 20′ are very vulnerable to barotrauma, and you need to be prepared to keep what you catch. There’s no sense in killing fish if you’re not going to put them in the pan. Ice conditions were ideal with 15″ of solid ice and no snow or slush to contend with. We received around 3″ of snow on Friday night, but warm temps and rain in the coming days will no doubt take care of that. Big thanks to Brody for a fast but fun blast. Just what I needed!
If you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve found a new home on Angling Buzz. It’s a great new website full of awesome tips, reviews, and reports from some excellent fishermen and guides in the upper mid west. It’s all good stuff, and make sure you check it out. Get those shacks off the ice, and be safe out there everyone!!!
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