Fishing Report: Anglers getting out despite warm spell

By George Langley

NORTHERN WISCONSIN – Things could be a lot worse. We’ve got fishable ice despite the warm weather we’ve had – and the fishing has been good. Ice conditions have not deteriorated, but it hasn’t been great ice-building weather either. We can be thankful we’ve not had any big snow yet, and that the nights are still getting cold.

We’re seeing four to six inches of ice throughout the area – and of course some lakes with more or less. Unfortunately, it’s still going to be a while until we can be confident about the ice. Caution is the name of the game. Spud as you go anywhere you haven’t been to yet this year.

Walleye fishing has been good. We’re hearing about good numbers, but not great size. The evening bite has been pretty consistent throughout the area. Medium shiners or sucker minnows under tip-ups are working best. Fish off weed edges and structure.

Northern action continues to be good, with fish being caught all day long in the weeds using large shiners. If you’re fishing on weed edges for walleye, you may find that the northern are interested in your offerings, too.

Panfish action is also good, and perch are being caught on most lakes on the deeper edge of weeds using crappie minnows and tip-ups. We are still seeing some panfish in water of ten feet or less, but if you can safely get yourself to a nice basin, try those drop offs or hole edges. Jigging is often a great way to rattle some of these fish into hitting and is also an easy way to search horizontally through the water column if you’re fishing without electronics.

All in all, it’s not been a bad start to the season. Some might even say it’s fantastic, since the lack of beefy ice has kept the machines off the lakes. It’s quiet out there right now. Get out and enjoy it while you can!

Good luck and good fishin’!

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