Fishing Report: Freezing nights have saved ice

By George Langley

NORTHERN WISCONSIN – This season just continues to surprise us. Last weekend was a fantastic weekend out on the ice, with temps in the mid 40s and sunshine. It felt like April out there! It’s truly amazing to be out in the beginning of February, lathering on the sunblock and wearing no jacket. It has continued to get below freezing at night, which has prevented us from losing much in the way of ice depth.

The worst of the warm weather will come this week, when it looks like some nighttime temps will be above freezing and we could get some rain. However, the prediction is that we’ll only have three days of that before it will get colder again.

We’re seeing from six to 12 inches of ice on most lakes, but again, the unusual season has led to some iffy ice in areas. Caution is the name of the game this year. We don’t expect this next week to end the season by any means, but it’ll make it sloppy and slippery.

The walleye fishing has been okay but not great, with varying reports from throughout the area. Walleye are also hitting during the daytime, especially if you fish deeper. On some lakes, people are getting walleye by jigging in deeper water with some jigs like Swedish Pimples tipped with crappie minnow heads only.

The northern fishing has been great, with these fish hitting in the usual weeds. The key to finding them is to look for good, healthy green weeds where the panfish are. Larger shiners work best for the northerns, set right on the tops of the weeds. One hint if the fishing is slow is to put two shiners on your trebles pointed in opposite directions – this makes them struggle against each other and creates more attraction as they struggle.

Panfish action has been very good, with crappies heading the action. These fish have been hitting very well in deeper water, with lakes producing in the holes and sometimes on the mud flats in deeper water. All you need is a jigging rod with small vertical jigs and a waxie, although some anglers are also getting fish with tip-downs tipped with crappie minnows. Bluegills are hitting in the weeds. Spikes or waxies are the best baits for these fish. Perch have been hitting sporadically in the deeper weeds also.

We’ve only got a month left of the game fishing season. Get out there and enjoy this unusual year – let’s hope it’s a one-and-done for all of our lifetimes!

Good luck and good fishin’!

Scroll to Top