Our weather has gone from one extreme to the next in northern Wisconsin. Sub zero temperatures have flipped to warm and sunny days with highs in the 40’s. Crazy is the best way to describe it, but it sure has been an awesome week to be outdoors and on the ice. I even had a chance to stretch the line a bit, and it felt good to reconnect after a bit of a lay off. Fishing conditions are all over the map right now, but Josh and Aron continue to keep us up to speed on everything that’s going on.
Josh Teigen spent the week filming a television show with Jason Mitchell and his crew from Jason Mitchell Outdoors. The goal was to film an episode on Chequamegon Bay as well as an inland episode. Josh had been on a pretty good trout/whitefish bite on the bay, so that’s where the work began. I tagged along for a day as well to help drill holes, maintain lines, and catch a few fish myself. We found a good mix of browns, splake, and whitefish in 15′ – 40′ of water using jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads as well as tip-ups. Action came in spurts throughout the day with current changes definitely triggering activity. No current generally meant nothing happening, but any switch usually triggered a flurry of activity. We set the tip-ups with shiners and they were definitely more productive early with the jigging spoons catching more in the afternoon. We were on 4″ – 6″ of ice, and it started to get a bit sloppy late in the day with warm temps and a warm south wind. Cameras sometimes have a funny way of turning off a good bite, but Jason and his crew were able to put plenty of fish on the ice for a good episode. It was fun to tangle with a few of those Lake Superior fish myself, and it’s always a pleasure to watch Josh do his job as well as he does. Good stuff, but man that wore me out!
The inland episode was a bit tougher to put together however as the panfish got stubborn late in the week on our inland lakes. I received a bunch of feedback reporting the same thing throughout our area, and that’s the only problem when you’re on a hot bite… It has to change at some point. Apparently Josh and Jason were able to catch a tight feeding window right at dark and put enough crappies on the ice to fill in part of a show. Pictures weren’t an option however, so we’ll have to wait until the show airs to see the evidence! Big thanks to Jason and his crew for coming over to promote our area. They couldn’t have been nicer guys, and we’re all looking forward to seeing the results. Jason’s show can be seen on FSM Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and FSN Sundays at 9:00 a.m. Thanks to The River Rock Inn & Bait Shop as well for taking care of Jason and his crew during their trip. Their accommodations are first rate, and you need to look them up if coming to the Chequamegon Bay area. Once again, another outstanding job by Josh getting everyone on fish and making it happen. Way to go brother!
My good friend Brody Moreland checked in with his inland report, and he was able to get on a good crappie bite in the Hayward area early in the week. He was fishing a 30′ basin and said most active fish were suspended high in the water column at 16′ – 18′. Small flutter spoons and plastics were the ticket as he put a bunch of nice slabs on the ice. This guy has been a crappie catching machine all winter, and the fish better start taking notice when he steps on the ice. Fantastic work Brody, but I’m just wondering one thing… Where are MY fillets?
Aron Kastern has been getting after it all week on Chequamegon Bay, and his crew has all sorts of neat stuff going on. They’ve been targeting deep water early in the day and moving shallower as the day goes on to stay on the active bite. Everything from trout to pike to perch and even a few eelpout have been keeping his customers busy. Aron reports that ice conditions haven’t really changed on the Ashland side of the bay with a foot of good ice and very little snow. More smelt have shown up in the lighthouse area with a good trout and perch bite following along. Fish are showing up in anywhere from 12′ – 30′ and you’ll want to keep popping holes until you locate fish on your electronics. Small spoons and set lines with shiners are always good producers. The weedbeds around second landing are continuing to produce perch, pike, and a few walleyes in 8′ – 24′. Buckshot spoons, tip-ups, and set lines are all catching fish.
On the Washburn side of the Bay, Aron has been into a good whitefish bite in 30′ – 80′, but he cautions that ice conditions are still a bit inconsistent as you head north, and you must check ice depths as you go especially around cracks and heaves. Don’t get lazy, and don’t take chances! Small spoons tipped with waxies or minnow parts will get their attention. Big browns have also been on the feed on that side of the bay, with some impressive fish being caught in 6′ – 20′ of water on jigging spoons and Automatic Fishermen set with shiners. Aron stresses covering the water column as fish are being caught anywhere from just off bottom to just under the ice. The largest brown of the week hit the 30″ mark, and that’s a monster fish anywhere. With warm temperatures continuing in our forecast, we’ll continue to monitor ice conditions on the bay. As for the eelpout Aron… I’ll let everyone else decide who’s the better looking one in that picture! Nice work my friend and great information as usual. Save a few of those perch for me!