Fishing/Outdoor Report:

Well it has not been T-Shirt weather for the past couple of weeks, but today as I look at the temperature gauge it is registering 40 degrees, it almost feels like it. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of people who were ice fishing during the recent times despite the frigid weather. Thank goodness for shelters. We have had great ice buildup during this period, with many lakes now more than 12” in thickness. This bodes well for the rest of the year as far as ice fishing goes. The slush is mostly frozen now, but a few areas remain. With only 8 to 10 inches of snow on the ice, getting around is easy. Will not be long before you will see cars on the ice. Already seeing snowmobile traffic and 4 wheelers out there.

The cross country skiing and snow shoeing conditions are good, although we could use another few inches of snow. Snowmobile trails are in good to fair shape, but we have noticed a few spots that are beginning to show dirt. Again, a little more snow would make it ideal conditions.

Walleye fishing has been OK, but with the bitter cold weather we have had it is tough to tip-up fish and keep the holes open. The warm-up coming this weekend will be great and in all probability spur activity of all the fish. As usual, people are getting fish in the evenings at the deeper weed edges as the fish move in. Additionally, some are being caught mixed right in with the northern pike in the weeds or in somewhat deeper water. The most asked for bait is for medium shiners and sucker minnows.

Northern activity has been pretty good despite the weather. The fish have been feeding in the weeds, especially in the green weeds of any depth. You can find green weeds as deep as the grass weeds in 18′ of depth. Shiners are for northern under tip-ups. The nice thing about fishing for northern pike in these weeds is that if the weather allows, you can also jig for panfish in the same areas.

Panfish action has been good for those brave enough to tolerate this unusual cold. It is really tough to fish outside, as the holes freeze up, but you can fish inside shelters very well for these fish. Crappies have been hitting very well in some of the deeper locations in the lakes. Wax worms, crappie minnows and artificial baits all have worked. You need to search vertically for these fish as they move higher or lower on a daily basis. Bluegills are in the weeds, as always. Waxies or spikes work best for these fish. Perch are usually deeper in the same weeds. Try crappie minnow or waxies for these fish.

Weather update: The weather channel has predicted the possibility of our first major snow storm. Beginning Sunday night and into Monday the forecasters are saying we could receive 12 to 20 inches of snow as temperature will be dropping back into the twenties and teens. I guess we will have to wait and see.