LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
This cold snap has tributaries starting to freeze over, but local harbors still had some open and fishable water last week. Brown trout and rainbow trout are drawn to the rivers and harbors this time of year and can provide good fishing action.
In Sheboygan, stretches of the Sheboygan River below the Kohler dam still had open water.
Port Washington anglers fishing the harbor have been catching a few browns and rainbows near the power plant. Skein and spawn sacs have both been effective.
In Milwaukee, shoreline anglers near the Summerfest grounds have been taking a few browns. The river mouth and harbor have no ice cover yet. The fishing pier at the Oak Creek Power Plant is closed for the winter, and it is scheduled to reopen March 15.
In Racine, the harbor in Reefpoint Marina is starting to freeze over, but there are aerators running near the docks, which is keeping some water open. Anglers fishing in Reefpoint have been catching a few browns on skein, spawn sacs, and white tube jigs fished under slip bobbers. Slow-moving stretches of the Root River are iced over, but there is open water below the Horlick dam, as well as below the Main Street bridge.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
The ice along the east shore of Lake Winnebago is not safe, with many areas of open water a short distance off shore. Several cracks and shoves are moving on a daily basis, and ice anglers are advised to use caution. On the west side of the lake, anglers were starting to sneak out on the upriver lakes. Anglers were making good use of the ice in front of Skipper Bud’s on Lake Butte des Morts last week. Trappers are still targeting muskrats on frozen ponds and rivers in the area. Several otter have been registered, and many trappers are reporting otter sightings.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
In Dane County, there was a lot of ice fishing going on, but not all lakes had ice. Lake Mendota and the large areas on Lake Monona were still open last week. However, there was 7 inches of ice on Cherokee Marsh, where anglers were catching mostly bluegills and some crappies. Anglers were catching bluegills on Monona Bay and the safe areas of Squaw Bay. The triangle had frozen over last week, and Mud Lake had a good 6 inches. Guys were catching quite a few bluegills on Mud Lake. Lakes Kegonsa and Waubesa were covered with ice, but there was not a whole lot of action being talked about on either lake.
In Jefferson County, there are improving ice conditions on smaller lakes. Anglers have been checking the ice and fishing on Rome Pond, Red Cedar Lake, Hope Lake, and Bean Lake. Do not fish alone when ice conditions are questionable. The fresh snow and favorable weather was welcomed by muzzleloader hunters last week.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
SAUK CITY AREA
Devil’s Lake recently froze over, and anglers are just starting to poke around out there. Crystal Lake also has frozen over. Anglers are still fishing for walleyes and panfish at Whalen’s Grade on Lake Wisconsin where they’ve been at if for a couple of weeks now.
Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-5229.