Along with the Packers football season, it looks like our January thaw has come to an end. “Normal” temperatures have returned to northern Wisconsin, and there’s still plenty of ice left on our lakes to provide lots of opportunities. Our snowmobile trails took quite a hit however, and we could use a good shot of fresh snow to get the trails back in good riding condition. Josh and Aron have had quite a week on the ice with a ton of variety from the inland lakes to Lake Superior. Here’s what they had to say.
Aron Kastern continued to stay on top of things on Chequamegon Bay with some really fun mixed bag catches to keep things interesting. Aron and his crew are still focusing on the trout/whitefish bite in the morning and switching to the perch, pike, walleye bite in the afternoon. Whitefish and trout can be found in 20′ – 60′ of water around the lighthouse and from Washburn to Houghton Point. A variety of spoons tipped with minnow parts or waxies will produce fish along with set lines and tip-ups rigged with shiners. You might even bump into a big old eelpout while you’re out there. They keep getting bigger Aron! Mobility is always the key, and current changes will usually bring active schools of fish through. Keep popping holes until you find them! The afternoon bite on the weed flats around Second Landing has remained good as well with perch, pike, and walleyes all coming in 8′ – 20′ of water. The shallow presentations don’t vary much from the deeper fish with spoons, set lines and tip-ups all producing. Aron reports really good ice conditions on the Ashland side of the bay with 12 plus inches of ice and smooth ATV travel. From Washburn to Houghton Point, there’s 10″ of good ice with a few pressure cracks to navigate around. Anyone traveling north of Houghton Point should use extreme caution as ice conditions will be variable and inconsistent. If you’re not experienced or familiar with that water, stay away. There’s plenty to keep you busy on the good ice right now. Not sure how you’re keeping up with all of that action Aron? Good stuff, but those eelpout aren’t getting any better looking!
Josh Teigen and his customers put on a clinic in the Hayward Lakes Area this week. Pike, walleyes, bass, and crappies were all snapping at some point with some really good fish landed of each species. Tip-ups rigged with shiners were the way to go. Pike up to 35″, walleyes up to 25″, and largemouth up to 20″ were all caught in and along weeds in 12′ – 16′ of water. The crappie bite was happening around weeds in 10′ – 15′ of water on Maki Plastics with slabs up to 13″ hitting the ice. That’s a bit shallower than we’ve seen the crappies in recent weeks, and I wonder if that warm up didn’t push some fish shallow? Josh reports very good ice conditions on our inland lakes with 15″ – 20″ of good ice and very little to no snow. Get those creepers on your boots though. Pretty slick out there! Nice work by you and your gang Josh. Awesome fish!
Check out this magnum bluegill landed by my good buddy Greg Miller from The Hunt With Greg And Jake. Greg and I spent a morning investigating a hot tip from our friend Brody Moreland. We worked over a 20′ mud flat and found Brody’s fish, but they were a bit stubborn. No, they were a lot stubborn! Either way, it doesn’t take many like that one to make your day. Greg’s fish measured 11″, and that’s a huge gill anywhere. Congrats on your fish Greg, but I agree… We’ve got a “Get Even Day” coming!
Northern Wisconsin lost a pioneer this week. Hall of Fame fishing guide Roger LaPenter from Anglers All in Ashland passed away on Wednesday, 1/25/17. Roger will always be remembered for spearheading the effort to protect Chequamegon Bay’s smallmouth bass over 20 years ago resulting in a world class fishery, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for the legacy he’s left behind. Roger understood the value of the resource, stood for something, and put Chequamegon Bay on the map. Thank you Roger! RIP.