Ice fishing continues in our area, but be careful, more people went through on Beaver Dam this weekend. I imagine ice conditions to be getting worse each day, especially with daytime temps into the mid-to-high 40s.
Fortunately, open water fishing is starting. The Wisconsin River in the Dells is giving up keeper walleyes already. John Gillespie's TV show was there this weekend, and anglers are heading out. The water is still very cold, and still fishing with live bait appears to be the best way to catch fish.
Closer to home, reports on Lake-Link are indicating sections of the Rock River are opening up. Unless winter decides to drop back in for a visit, the river should be open for fishing soon. Obviously it is very early, but that's no reason not to check out my post on Rock River Information Resources. If the weather holds, I hope to be out next week for an initial scouting. The graphs show low water, light flows and very cold temperatures. A good solid rain will get the Rock pumping, and the fish will start biting shortly thereafter.
If you're heading out on the ice, its time to start moving toward marshy areas in search of monster pike. It is still a bit early, but with ice conditions what they are, your opportunities will be limited this season. Big Bait in shallow marshy areas is a winning combo for big pre-spawn pike. Golden Lake, The Crane's Nest, Whitigers Bay or Tierney on Okauchee, all of School Section, the western flat of Lower Genessee, outside of the channels on Nag and the northwest corner of Lower Nehmabin are tradtionally the best spots to ice a trophy.