It seems like the big fish bite is picking up. I don't know if that's actually true, the weather has meant more people on the ice, or some combination of both.
But either way, IT IS ON.
As always: My standard disclaimer about being careful on the ice: buddy system, pfd and spud bar. Be vary over deep water, especially places that get lots of wind or areas with strong current. That said, lots of people are driving on the ice at this point. The cold snap really helped.
As for the fishing...panfish are still being taken in shallow water, but the better sized
fish are starting to come from out deeper. Anglers who have ventured
out and searched for deeper water schools are catching nice bags of
fish. Electronics will
certainly help with catching the fish, as will the ability to be mobile. Wigglers seem to be the hot bait,
but fish are being taken on waxies, mousies and plastics. Okauchee,
Forest, Garvin, Kessus, Fowler, Middle and Lower Genessee, Golden,
Silver and School Section have all been solid bets for Panfish.
Walleye fishing has picked up a bit, but as is common with our walleye lakes, there's some undersized fish mixed in. Jigging is taking a few
fish, but tip-ups with a floro or mono leader, spinner and red treble
baited with a golden shiner or small sucker is producing. Shallow rocks in 6-10 feet
are producing during low light hours, deep water structure in 18-25
feet is producing during the day time. Labelle and Fox are providing some steady
action but deep water on the Rock River, Pine, North and Oconomowoc are giving up keepers.
Northern pike fishing has been pretty solid and steady. Lots of guys
are picking up fish, with more than a handful of snakes in the 15-25 inch category.
Deadbait, shiners and suckers have all been good the last few days, since the worst of the cold moved out.
With a nice weekend ahead, and some warmer weather behind it..watch for fish to start to make a move in the next 2 weeks, but for now,
shallow weedy areas near where people are getting panfish is a great
place to setup a spread of tip ups. Icehouse, Stumpy Bay and the Crane's
Nest areas on Okauchee have been active, as has Emily, Fowler, Lac
Labelle, Garvin, Kessus and Golden.
Good Luck. Be Safe...and hit a Fishoree this weekend.