We are in the midst of the ice-fishing show season and are excited to get back to the water.
We have been finding a little time to do more checking, and things are shaping up now that the temperatures have been in steady freeze mode. As always, use your best judgment and utilize proper safety when venturing out on the ice.
Smaller lakes, shallower areas and back bays of larger waters have walkable ice. We are still not at a point of total confidence and do not encourage people to go out unless they have complete understanding of the conditions. Ice thickness varies from 2 to 9 inches, depending on the body of water. Lakes to the north have better ice conditions. As we climb further into December, ice conditions will only get better.
Lake Superior continues to remain silent with no fishing pressure that we know of.
The St. Louis River also is on the silent side. We know some of the back bays on the Wisconsin side have ice, but they are not ready for traffic. It won’t be long.
Inland lakes are best for walkable ice fishing. We have been fishing shallow areas near shore and finding mixed success. Tip-ups with shiners or small suckers in 3 to 5 feet of water have been producing a mix of walleyes, pike and bass. Look for vegetation that is holding on to its summer life. Panfish are nearby as well, and we have been getting a nice mix of crappies and sunfish on small teardrop jigs tipped with soft plastics or live wax worms. It is important to try and stay quiet so you do not spook the fish. Walleyes have been biting in the late afternoons into dark.