Well, old man winter is going to pay us a visit this year. He brought his cold temps, but so far has forgotten his pail of snow.
Fishing conditions have stabilized into a mid-winter pattern typical for our area, but there's places where the ice isn't the best so standard disclaimer: Spud your way out, use safety spikes or a PFD, and the buddy system.
Close to shore, and in protected areas, most ice reports have 4-6 or 5-7 inches of good ice. I've heard of some of the early freeze areas having as much as 8inches, but I've heard there's still some open water, especially in the deep open water zones. Just use some common sense.
Fishing has been a little slow, but results have been steady. Panfish and Pike are biting on our local lakes. If you're having trouble connecting with fish, try a little deeper than you would have in previous years...it seems like that was/is/ and will likely continue to be the trick.
Green weeds will hold panfish. Waxies, spikes and plastics will take aggressive biters at a variety of depths, but wigglers can really do the trick on the fish you can see on your camera/or electronics but won't bite. I like to go with three setups for pannies, each set up a little different until I find something that is working. For action: Try Moose, Forest, Garvin, Fowler, Lac Labelle and Kessus For Keepers: Okauchee, North, Pine, Lower Nashotah, Golden or Silver. Hottest tip of the last ten days: Middle Gen.
Walleye have been biting shiners roaches and suckers on tip ups, especially early in the morning. 12-15 FOW seems to be the magic number from the reports I got this week, but all of the people I heard this from were fishing areas with rock-weed transitions at that depth. One report, from a very trusted source, mentioned that his group was out with 12 rigs set up over a small area, and although only two of the holes were productive, the action was consistent for about 3 hours. If you're going to try for walleyes...I'd keep it to the basic spots. Nagawicka, Pine, North and Lac Labelle.
Pike are doing lots of things, and it doesn't seem like one approach has been better than others. I'd gotten reports of pike being taken shallow and deep. Flourocarbon rigs are the hot thing this year, and I never think it hurts to have some flash or a spinner on your setup. Deadbait is a personal favorite of mine, but large shiners are always a solid bet. Keesus, Moose, Nag, Okauchee and Golden have all reported some decent action recently.
Good luck, and don't forget about the Lunker's fisheree and meat auction (Pewaukee Lake) on the 19th.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
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