The number of anglers venturing out has been limited, but those going are catching fish and finding 6 to 8 inches of ice with some slush. Crappiesand panfishare hitting in 12 to 18 feet at Bear Trap, Wapogasset, North Twin, and Little Balsam lakes. Northern pikeand a few walleyesare hitting on tip-upsand minnows in 10 to 15 feet on Half Moon, Big Round, and Wapogasset.
Country Store, (715) 268-7482.
On the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay there is approximately 7 inches of pack ice near shore and past that about 5 inches of ice. The S-curve has about 4 inches of ice and between Washburn and Houghton Point about 3 inches of ice close to shore. There are reports of brownsand splakebeing caught. Until we get more ice plan to walk out. Think safety at all times and bring your ice bar and check your way.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
Ice depths have improved a bit, but 4 to 6 inches remains pretty common on most lakes. In addition, the number of anglers venturing out continues to be limited due to deep snow and slushy conditions throughout the area. Look for better fishing opportunities as more people start going and packing down those sloppy areas.
Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
We are just starting to get ice on some shallow bays, including Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay and Sawyer Harbor and around the marinas downtown. There are some ice fishermen tip-toeing out in those areas for pike and perchand are having some success. Some cooler temps would really help. For the perch, try tip-upswith minnows and jigstipped with minnow heads, wax worms and spikes. For pike, spread out tip-upsbaited with golden shiners and suckers at varying depths. The whitefishare pretty much all over the place from as shallow as 5 feet all the way out to 60 feet. Tipping jigswith waxies, spikes, minnow pieces and plasticsall work great for whitefish.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
We are still somewhat in misery as far as ice fishing conditions go. There are reports of slush everywhere and it is difficult to get around. Add to that the need to check ice thickness as you go out because we didn’t have enough time to build ice before the heavy snows hit. And they haven’t stopped hitting.
Walleyefishing has been OK for the few anglers getting out there. Evening bites have been the norm, with the usual tip-upbites with shiners or suckers. It has been tough to work in the slush areas with the tip-ups, but some guys are reporting decent conditions when using small shovels. The panfishaction has been relatively slow. A few bluegillsand some crappieshave been reported on waxies.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
FLORENCE COUNTY AREA
Ice conditions have been improving since our last report. Colder weather moved in and anglers are able to get back out on the ice. Slush is still posing a problem in some areas, but anywhere from 3 to 7 inches of good ice is being reported. It varies a great deal so a spud bar is a must. Walleyefishermen were having some luck in the early evening hours with suckers under tip-ups. Some smaller pikewere hitting, as well. A few anglers found some nice bluegillsand just across the border they were on the perch.
Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
There is 4 to 8 inches of ice on Lower Green Bay where they are catching perchon the west shore and whitefishand walleyeson the east shore. Right now it’s still “walk out only.” Do not use ATVs or snowmobiles. Anglers are also fishing on the Fox River near the dam, but some dam gates are open so it’s sort of touch-and-go in that area.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 593-1749.
Ice conditions remain questionable and vary greatly. With the heavy, insulating snow, recent cold temperatures were not enough to make much ice and conditions will deteriorate as heavy snow pushes ice into the water column. Small lakes that froze over early now hold more snow than bigger waters. Many lakes have a double layer of ice, and it is still mostly walk-on only. Make sure to use a spud bar and take other safety equipment. Tip-upswith suckers work especially well for walleyes, but also for a variety of other species. Fatheads might be a better choice if you prefer dead-sticking.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
IRON COUNTY AREA
The ice conditions are questionable anywhere you go other than small pothole lakes. There was two days of ice-making temps but other than that there is 30-plus inches of snow and the slush is already a problem on area lakes in Iron County. There hasn’t been many fishing updates due to the conditions. Crappiesshould be suspended off bottom in deep holes; walleyesshould be active on bars/shelves before sunset in 4 to 6 feet of water. Be safe out there.
Flambeau Flowage Sports, (715) 476-2526.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
Fishermen have been sneaking out on some spots on Butte des Morts and Poygan, along with Asylum Bay and at Skipper Bud’s, but no one has been dancing in jubilation over the fishing action. Most of the ice reports have been in the 3- to 6-inch range in areas where guys have been out.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
There is some ice fishing going on in bays and on Cherokee Marsh and at The Triangles where there is some ice, but 3 inches has been about the best reports for ice. No one is going crazy on panfishyet, but it is starting. There has been some fishing going on at Viking Park near Stoughton. Lake Wisconsin has quite a bit of ice, but no one has seen a lot of action happening out there yet.
D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
MARATHON COUNTY AREA
Fishing reports have been good. Anglers took advantage of the good weather recently and went out in force. The Wisconsin River, Lake Wausau, the Rib River by Gulliver’s and even the bay above the Schofield dam on the Eau Claire River have been producing fish. Reports of bluegillshitting waxies and spikes have been coming on the Eau Claire. Nothing large, but it’s a start. The Radtke Point area of Lake Wausau is being carefully fished as currents can affect ice conditions there. That’s typically a crappieand northernarea. The Rib River has had reports of numerous northernsbeing caught, with the largest being 38-incher that was released. Bluegillsand crappieare common there, as well.
Riverside Rentals & Bait Shop, (715) 574-1771.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Ice thickness, safety and mobility are the biggest concerns to anglers as of Dec. 16. Thickness varies greatly from lake to lake and even on different parts of each lake. Reports varied from as little as 2 inches to as much as 10 inches on Dec. 16. Small lakes that froze early have it the worse. There is not enough ice (6 inches average) to support the weight of the heavy snow. Larger lakes and off-shore deep basins that remained open during the first two snowfalls before locking up have stronger (yet not always thicker) ice. Areas of higher traffic are mixed with some areas of more slush. For those who can get out, the action has been fair to good on all species. Most of the focus has been on crappies, walleyesand pike. Some guys are using tip-downs on crappies. Try large shiners on tip-upsfor pike. The best walleyesaction has been just before dark on suckers.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Ice conditions vary from lake to lake. In some places, the wind has blown the snow off the middle of the lakes and conditions aren’t all that terrible. On Solberg and Duroy lakes, fishermen have packed down trails to reach the areas that have less snow and slush. On other lakes, yeah, guys are wading through deep snow and slush.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.