As ice fishing starts to come to an end, the open water fishing is beginning to heat up. I recently had the boat out on the Wisconsin River and spent the day chasing walleyes with good friend Terry Waldvogel. The bite was good and in a couple of hours we boated around 40 to 50 walleyes between 13 and 17 inches. We also hooked into and landed one big catfish about 30 inches that decided to take my jig and minnow combination.
Most of the fish we found were in 12 to 16 feet of water, but we did find walleyes holding in water as deep at 27 feet. We also boated a few walleyes in 5 to 7 feet of water, but that was later in the day after the sun had been out for quite a while and the water temperatures warmed up a bit. Most of the walleyes were taken on 1/8 th ounce jigs tipped with fathead minnows but we did pick up some Lindy rigging as well.
Ice fishing continues to hold on and quite a few hearty anglers are still heading out. Action for panfish has been good, but as far as ice conditions go, conditions vary and every lake is different. Use caution and common sense when heading out and watch the weather. A sunny day may be great for fishing and comfort but it may also be your worst enemy. With a warm sun beating down, what may have been good ice when you headed out, can quickly turn in to a dangerous mess after a few hours. I have seen what was 18 inches of good ice go to mere shards of crystalized icicles that are now floating on the surface of the water in a couple of hours.
With March 31st coming quickly many anglers are going to be purchasing their new fishing license for the year. Just remember even with the new Go Wild Card and/or your driver’s license being eligible requirements in most situations, regulations by the DNR require anglers fishing Lake Michigan Waters and the Bay of Green Bay along with Lake Superior, and anyone fishing Wisconsin/Minnesota, Wisconsin/Iowa, and Wisconsin/Michigan boundary waters MUST carry their paper license and stamps with them while they are fishing these waters.
Have a great week,
Hooksetters Guide Service