Fantastic weather this past week has led to some outstanding fishing. Anglers have been getting out on both open water and ice fishing and doing well in both situations. Ice conditions remain favorable on most lakes, and areas below the dams on the Wisconsin River have been open with good access for fishing.
With game-fish closed on most inland lakes ice anglers have been targeting crappies, bluegills and perch and doing very well on all species. At this time of the year you will want to target mainly shallow weeds and shallow mud flats for each of these species and even 2 to 3 feet of water isn’t too shallow for panfish at this time of the year. I typically run tip-downs over a large area to try to determine the general location of the main school or concentration of fish, and then once I see which tip-downs are producing the best, I move in with jigging rods for more consistent action.
Open water anglers are mainly targeting walleyes in deeper water below dams on the Wisconsin River. Most days a simple lead head jig that has been tipped with a minnow or twister-tail will work just fine, but there are days when we toss crankbait style lures like Rapala’s or Shad Raps to likely locations in search of pre-spawn walleyes. Don’t be surprised if you pick up a straggler pike, catfish or even a musky as they will all be in these locations at this time of the year.
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