Like most places across the country this winter, the weather continues to be all over the place in northern Wisconsin. Alternating weeks of warm and cold temperatures have actually left us with better ice conditions than I thought we’d have at this point. Most of our snow cover is gone, but the inland lakes as well as the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay continue to have good ice conditions with over a foot in most places. Josh Teigen took the week off to get things squared away for the open water season, but Aron Kastern and Brody Moreland filled us in on what’s happening on Chequamegon Bay and our inland lakes.
Aron reports great ice conditions on the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay with 14″ – 18″ of ice and no snow cover. The mixed bag bonanza of fish between the old oredock and the lighthouse continues to get better as concentrations of smelt are attracting fish of all species. Cohos, browns, perch, pike, eelpout, splake, lakers, etc. are all being caught right now in a variety of depths from 20′ – 40′. Use your electronics to locate schools of smelt, then get to work using jigging spoons and a spread of tip ups or set lines rigged with shiners. Don’t forget to cover the entire water column with your presentations. You’re just as likely to see high flyers just blow the ice as well as bottom huggers. The second landing perch bite continues to produce as well with fish up to 12″ feeding aggressively in and around the weed flats in 10′ – 20′ of water. Small spoons tipped with minnow parts will catch perch, and it’s also worth setting a spread of tip-ups for the occasional cruising pike or walleye. Big pike are starting to fatten up, and I won’t be surprised to see some good pictures in the near future. As long as the ice holds out, Aron’s sleeper shack is still available. I know the crew that rented it last weekend had an absolute blast. Give us a call for rates and availability. Once again, Aron and his crew didn’t disappoint. Nice work gang!
My friend Brody Moreland was back at it on the inland lakes in the Hayward area chasing panfish. His buddies Geoff Sturgell and Joel Fulton joined him as well, and they found good ice conditions with 12″ – 14″ and no snow cover. Brody did mention however that the accesses and approaches are getting a bit tricky, so you’ll definitely want to check as you go when getting started. Brody and the boys found good gills and crappies hugging a mud basin in 20′ of water using small jigs and waxies. One thing is for sure, every lake won’t fish the same for panfish this time of year. You’ll have to experiment with the particular body of water your on. Some lakes will have fish near shallow weed growth and others will continue to have fish schooled near basins. A good rule of thumb for me is to start deep and work shallow. Let your electronics tell you when to start fishing, and pay attention to depths your catching fish at. Those specific depths should hold fish in various places. Once your work through a school of active fish, keep punching holes at that same depth until you locate another school of biters. Thanks for another great update and keeping us up to speed Brody. Those fish are sure going to be happy when you can’t get after them any more!
With the steelhead opener coming up on March 25th and open water trolling on Lake Superior just around the corner, there’s lots to be doing and thinking about right now. Too much to do, and not enough time… Make the most out of every day. Spring will be here before you know it!