After some crazy Christmas weather, cold temps have moved back into northern Wisconsin creating excellent ice conditions on our inland lakes. Our last report of 2016 is full of good stuff!
Aron Kastern has been taking advantage of a strong panfish bite and has been putting some really nice crappies and gills on the ice. He’s locating fish in 15′ – 25′ basins with his electronics and using small jigs tipped with plastics or waxies depending on the day and the mood of the fish. Crappies up to 13″ and bluegills up to 10″ have been active and aggressive. Looks like the Kasterns had a Christmas fish fry!
The brook trout bite on our small inland lakes continues to produce as well, and I just can’t get over how beautiful these fish are. Aron recommends starting in relatively shallow water (around 7′) and working deeper until you find the bite. Small panfish jigs and spoons tipped with waxies and plastics produced fish this week for Aron and his crew. Amazing looking fish and lots of fun to catch! Aron reports 6″ – 8″ of solid ice on our inland lakes but warns that creepers are a must as conditions are pretty slick with no snow cover.
Josh Teigen has been staying on top of the walleye & pike bite on our inland lakes as well and also reports excellent ice conditions with good action for all species. He say’s ice conditions are terrific, but agrees with Aron that creepers are mandatory. Josh’s customers have been catching lots of pike up to 28″ and bass up to 19″ around weeds in 5′ – 15′ of water using tip-ups and minnows. The evening walleye bite continues to produce some nice fish up to 21″ in 12′ – 18′ of water as well. Tip-ups with minnows and Jigging Raps or Hyper Glides are all putting eyes on the ice. The bite usually gets going around sunset and can extend past dark. Josh also reports a good panfish bite during the day including a nice run of perch up to 12″ in 15′ of water using small Hyper Glides. Walleyes, pike, bass, & perch… I’d say that about covers it Josh!
Aron and Josh have yet to venture on Chequamegon Bay, but Aron did share this picture of CJ Compton with a nice mess of whitefish. CJ reports 7″ – 9″ of solid ice in front of Ashland with a good brown trout and whitefish bite happening in 15′ – 25′ of water. Small spoons tipped with minnow parts or waxies are producing fish. Nice work CJ! Please note that the Washburn side of the bay opened up this week due to high winds and is still unsafe to fish. Stay on the Ashland side of the bay or head inland. There’s plenty of opportunities right now, and there’s no need to take chances. Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone. We’ll see you in 2017!