Fishing Report: Access is the issue due to warm spell

By George Langley

NORTHERN WISCONSIN – It’s hard to imagine how things could get weirder, as far as the weather goes. We are in a holding pattern at this point, waiting for winter to arrive in full force – even as the holidays come and go. While it’s certainly a strange year, things could be worse. Use caution on all of the bodies of water and check ice as you go.

Walleye fishing has been good. All the same rules apply, except for the ability to get to the real deep water on many of the lakes. Use medium shiners or sucker minnows under your tip-ups and the later afternoons and evenings remain the best times for action.

Northern action is excellent, with fish being along the edges of drop-offs. Large shiners are the best bait. We are hearing of large numbers and big fish being caught at this time, providing good action all day long.

Panfishing is holding steady. As with the walleye, the real challenge is access. Deeper weeds are a good place to look and the edges of deeper holes if you can get there, then move shallow as the evening starts. Small ice fishing jigs tipped with your choice of bait or small plastics are working.

We will be watching the ice conditions closely and hoping for some real cold weather. And once we’ve had a good week of that, a few nice snowstorms would make it feel like we’ve finally made it. We’ve been through this before, albeit this year is pretty extreme. While conditions could be better, there’s not much to complain about as far as how the fish are biting.

Here’s to a great New Year. We wish everyone the best of luck and tight lines to show for it! Stay safe out there.

Good luck and good fishin’!

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