Fishing Report: Some ice forming as temps drop

By George Langley

NORTHERN WISCONSIN – Ice…we’ve got some! “Some” is the operative word, but with these cold nighttime temps we’re seeing the ice building quickly.

Although we can’t recommend it as of this late November writing, we’re already seeing some hard-core ice anglers come through for bait, aiming for early walleye. And they’re catching them, too.

The beginning of any fishing season can be somewhat of a “crap shoot,” especially up here with different ice conditions each year, and thus different access to the best spots. With most of the bigger lakes still open, over the Thanksgiving weekend, we were actually seeing a couple folks getting suckers and looking for musky on the open water, while others were buying shiners and heading out on the hard water.

Everyone from the snowmobilers to the ice anglers would like to see a bit more really cold weather before we get the inevitable dump of snow, so we can avoid that slush on both the lakes and the trails.

Walleye action for the very few anglers that have ventured out has been good. Try some shallow weeds in the evenings and after dark, as these fish will move quite shallow in low light conditions to feed. Set those tip-ups to intercept the walleye as they move shallow to feed in the evenings and be quiet on the thinner, new ice.

We’re not really seeing anyone trying for panfish. But that will begin as soon as it’s safe to get around out there.

We heard of a few muskies caught over the weekend, so those willing to brave the cold are getting fish. Suckers have been the bait of choice.

Hopefully this is the only real “in between” week we’ll have, and that ice will continue to build. If you’re going out, be very careful and check ice thickness often as you move around. Caution is better than bravado at this time of the year.

Good luck and good fishin’!

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