Big walleye season

Last year I had to laugh as the first three walleyes I caught early ice all had to be put back. Just one of those fish was because it was undersized. The other two fell in the protected 20-24″ slot range.

This year has started much the same as the first walleye caught on a Tomahawk area flowage came in just under the 15″ mark. Then Sunday evening, fishing another Tomahawk area flowage, a nice 22″ walleye was caught and released just before sunset.

Even before the protected slot was in place I never kept walleyes longer than 20″. I was really excited when the DNR implemented the slot to protect “the breeders” and it has been awesome to catch more and more of these fish the longer the rule is in place. I have yet to land a 30″ trophy from a northern Wisconsin lake but imagine it will only be a matter of time with more bigger fish being released.

On that note, the ice is in really decent shape on the Tomahawk area flowages I have been fishing of late. Last night there was a good 6″ where I was fishing using tip ups set with golden shiners in 4 to 7′ of water. Also have been catching some real nice perch on the tip ups to go along with a bunch of northern pike and even a crappie caught yesterday.

Also with that said, the Wisconsin River in Tomahawk has opened back up with the warming trend. Ice anywhere where there is current, especially around bridges and train trestles, is not safe now and should be avoided. We have been fishing just about everywhere else from 4′ to as deep as 12′ finding fishing both deep and shallow depending on the time of the day.

Good luck to everyone heading out this week and coming weekend. And good luck hunters on the opener of the nine-day gun deer season getting underway this Saturday. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods woods and ice fishing time!

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