Fishing Report: Ice, fishing bite both improved

By George Langley

NORTHERN WISCONSIN – We are finally getting to decent ice conditions. It’s been a rocky road, but with consistent cold and very little snow, ice building conditions have improved. We’re seeing from five to ten inches and up on most lakes now and the fishing has been fantastic. As always, use caution, as it’s been a strange start to the season.

We’ve got a bit of snow coming this week, ending with a good snap of really cold temperatures. We are more than ready for a snowstorm at this point in the winter.

Walleye fishing has been good to great, thanks in part to a lot of overcast, mild weather. Some really nice fish have been caught in the last week. We’ve seen consistently good numbers both in late afternoons and after dark. Use shiners or sucker minnows with tip-ups. Set those minnows about 18 inches off the bottom at the deep weed edges, or on the edge of bars for best results. We’ve been hearing reports of good results in the afternoons jigging deep now, too.

Northern action has picked up again. Larger shiners under tip ups are working. Set those in or next to the weeds for the best action. The bite has lasted all day long on many lakes. Many anglers are hitting northerns during the day and walleyes in the evening.

Panfish action has been fantastic. Bluegills are now in the weeds with some consistency and are hitting well on spikes or waxies. The perch are also in the weeds but look a bit deeper. They are hitting on minnows or waxies. Crappies are particularly hot right now and being located in deeper water near in or near the holes and especially off shallower structure. Little ice jigs tipped with waxies or spikes are working great along with tip-downs and minnows.

Get out there and enjoy these fishing conditions while you can. If we’ve learned anything from the start of this season, it’s that those conditions can change in the blink of an eye.

Good luck and good fishin’!

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