Ice Fishing Report:

As we have had more time to check on other lakes for thickness we are finding that conditions are getting to be safe on most area waters.  As always, use best judgment and utilize proper safety when venturing out on the ice.  Smaller lakes, shallower areas and back bays of larger waters have safe walk able/fishable ice. 

We are still not totally convinced of 100 percent safe ice and do not encourage people to go out, unless they have complete understanding of the conditions.  Ice thickness varies from 4 to 10 inches depending on body of water you will be fishing.   As we climb further into December, ice conditions will only get better.  Now is a good time to do some organizing of sorts, and visit retailers to restock, try new lures or maybe a Christmas present for a friend or family member.   

As of right now, most area lakes here are safe ice fishing.  Some four wheelers and snowmobiles have traveled the lakes now, but I still advocate caution when driving out.  Anglers have been targeting shallower areas near shore and finding mixed success.  Tip-ups with shiners or small suckers in 5 to 8 feet of water have been producing a mix of walleyes, northern pike and bass.  The size of your minnow should reflect the size of the fish you are after.  Look for vegetation that are holding on to summer life.  Panfish are nearby as well, and anglers have been getting a nice mix of bluegill and perch  on small tear drop type jigs tipped with soft plastics or live wax worms in and around 10 feet.  It is important to try and stay quiet so you do not spook fish.  If you are able to sight (camera) fish, that is the way to go.  If not, utilizing a low power mode on your electronics will dumb down the transducer noise in shallow water.  This is important, especially in shallower, high pressured fish.  Some nice crappie have been taken in 16 to 18 feet of water.  Again, using a small jig tipped with a crappie minnow or small plastics.  Best bite has been mid-afternoons into just before dark.

 

Let’s Go Fishing

Here are the species of fish available to catch in the “QUIET LAKES”

MUSKY

The king of freshwater fish. They are the top predator and least populated fish in our lakes. Catch and release is the common practice these days. It’s known as the fish of 10,000 casts, but hiring a guide will cut those odds.

NORTHERN PIKE

Wisconsin’s second largest predator fish, second only to their relative the Musky. Pike are typically very aggressive and will feed anytime the opportunity allows. They prefer weed flats and other ambush points.

WALLEYE

The walleye is the largest member of the perch family and is often targeted for its table fare. Walleyes can be tough to find, but when they are located, they typically cooperate and bite. Bait secret: minnows, nightcrawlers and leeches, and back to minnows as the season starts and finishes.

PERCH

A small fish that most anglers seek more for the taste than the tug. Adults average 7 to 10 inches which make it a good fish for all ages to catch. Perch have a tendency to congregate in large schools making it a one-stop spot to catch your dinner.

BASS

Large and smallmouth bass are brothers, but like family they do take separate paths. We have several small backwoods lakes that offer untapped largemouth fishing, and several area lakes that offer numbers to trophy fishing for smallmouth. NOTE: the season for smallmouth isn’t open to harvest until the 3rd Saturday of June. Regulations for harvest of largemouth are different from lake to lake.

PANFISH

These fish are probably one of the most popular sport and eating fish in Wisconsin. Crappies, bluegills, and sunfish are our most common “panfish”. Probably the most targeted fish in the spring, and often over harvested. Remember to take only enough for a meal and leave some for another day.