I’m a little late getting this report posted for the week, and I’ll blame it on the cold. It’s my story… The deep freeze continued in northern Wisconsin over the past week along with some good amounts of snow. Snowmobilers and ice fishermen alike should all be happy with trail and ice conditions throughout our region. If you’re a winter lover, this is definitely you’re time to get out there and pursue it all.
Josh Teigen spent time on both our inland lakes and Lake Superior as well this week. He reports inconsistent ice conditions on the Washburn side of the bay with 6″ – 10″ of ice and no slush in some areas as well as 2″ – 3″ of ice with slush in other areas. Josh says the ice conditions are “very weird” out there this year, and it’s a must to check thickness as you go. Splake and browns were chasing blade baits and Rattlemasters in 20′ – 30′ of water, and set lines or tip-ups with shiners are also producing bonus fish for Josh and his crew as well. Make sure to cover the entire water column with your presentations and keep moving until you find fish.
The inland bite in the Hayward area continues to produce for Josh as well. Ice conditions are “great” with 10″ – 15″ of ice and quite a bit of snow now. Some folks have started to plow trails for vehicle traffic, but snowmobiles will be a must if you venture off trails. A good set of snowshoes will do the trick as well! The bite was a bit tougher this week however, and the extreme cold snap definitely affected the fish. Josh’s crew was still able to put nice crappies up to 13.5″, pike up to 33″, and walleyes up to 20″ on the ice. Presentations haven’t changed with crappies being caught in 15′ – 30′ of water on small jigs and spoons tipped with plastics or waxies. Walleyes and pike are being caught on tip-ups with minnows in 15′ – 20′ along weed edges. Extreme weather always makes things interesting both on open water as well as ice. Excellent job by Josh and his customers to stick with it and catch some nice fish despite negative conditions. Sometimes you’ve got to work for it!
Speaking of working for it… Aron Kastern checked in after spending the week on Chequamegon Bay. Aron and his gang were all over the place checking ice conditions and locating fish. Extreme wind, cold, and snow, didn’t make it easy however, and every fish was earned. Aron reports 14″ – 18″ of ice on the Ashland side with just enough snow for good travel by truck or ATV. There’s a good mixed bag bite between Ashland and the lighthouse in 18′ – 30′ for perch, pike, burbot, and brown trout depending on the day. Rattle spoons and set lines baited with shiners or sucker minnows have been producing. Aron also reports a pretty good perch bite happening in the second landing area over weed flats in 12′ -20′ of water. He says you’ll also run into a few walleyes, but you need to keep moving to locate active schools of fish. Like Josh, Aron says the Washburn side of the bay is a completely different story as far as ice conditions go. He reports 8″ – 10″ of ice from Bono Creek to Houghton Point. Ice conditions north of Houghton point are very inconsistent however, and he doesn’t recommend venturing that direction at this time. Whitefish and herring are producing the most consistent bite in 20′ – 40′ of water using small rattle or flutter spoons tipped with minnow heads or plastics. Electronics are key to locating schools of “high flyers” coming through and adjusting your presentation as needed. Job well done Aron, and thanks for the report!
A warm up is in the forecast this week for us. It’ll be a nice change of pace from the below zero temperatures, but we’ll also need to monitor how it affects ice conditions on Chequamegon Bay. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you posted. Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone, and I know you’ll all be rooting for the green and gold on Sunday. Go Pack!