Ice fishing has begun on many of the area waters, but conditions
are variable. Smaller lakes and bays had up to 6 inches of good ice
last week. However, the larger lakes still had open water over deep
pockets. Fishing has been good, and should continue to be during
the early ice period, which can last through early January. Anglers
have been having great luck fishing walleyes off of rocky points in
relatively shallow water, 10 feet deep or less. Some walleyes also
were being taken at weed edges that taper to deep water. Tip-ups
baited with small golden shiners have been best, although early in
the season jigging with a Swedish Pimple or a jigging Rapala can be
excellent, too. The last hour of daylight is the best time to try.
Northern pike have been hitting just about any time of day,
especially if it is overcast or ahead of a cold front. Large
shiners on tip-ups are the best bet for northerns, and folks have
been setting a couple of tip-ups while jigging for panfish with
their third line. The best action for panfish will come from using
the lightest line (2-pound test or less) and small rocker jigs
baited with spikes or wax worms.
Pastika’s Sporting Goods, (715) 634-4466.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.