Fishing report 19 November 2022

Good morning, it is feeling more like early January than late November, but it should make for a good ice base on the lakes.  I cannot stress enough to anybody reading this and wanting to get out on the ice…….CHECK EVERY FEW STEPS!!!!!!!  Ice is never “safe” and should be treated as such. I know some of the bays are starting to lock up but not sure about the main lakes.  Moving to hunting, probably not a great morning for being in the deer woods either with cold temps and pretty strong winds, my guess would be most deer are staying close to their bedding areas and not moving much.  

Musky–Musky cannot be targeted through the ice although the season is officially “open” until Dec. 31.  Anglers also cannot use ice as a platform to target open water musky so just consider chasing ‘skies done for the year.  That being said, guys/gals may get some musky action on early tip-ups while targeting walleye/northern pike.
Northern pike–Pike action is always good and a lot of fun through the ice.  Whether hammer handle pike are crushing jigging pole setups or bigger gators are hitting tip-ups catching pike in winter is a blast.  Early ice will see pike in shallow bays on edges of weedlines and close to structure.  Tip ups rigged with walleye suckers and bigger shiners will have flags going off like crazy.
Walleye–Walleye will also be shallow and hitting the same setups as the pike.  Mainly tip ups rigged with suckers or shiners and set up shallow, most times right off of where docks/piers are in summer.  Eases the mind a bit knowing you can be on a good bite, without too much risk of wandering on thin ice!
Largemouth/Smallmouth bass–Most people won’t target either bass species through the ice, but quite a few largemouth get caught on tip ups throughout the ice season.  Once in a while once ice season is well under way smallies will hit some walleye presentations but it’s not very common.  
Crappie/bluegill/perch–For early ice we will combine the panfish as all can be caught in shallow water this time of the year.  The exception would be crappie who could still be out in the basins, although some lakes will have them shallow as well.  Jigging small jigs tipped with waxies and small plastics is a great choice early ice as weeds are still dying off and things are scattered throughout the water column.  Even small spoons jigged aggressively can work good as none of the fish have seen much fishing pressure in the last month or so.   
I apologize for the short report, but we are in that odd transition time where there will not be much going on as far as reports go…..I cannot stress enough the importance of ice safety!!!  Please check ice consistently if you are heading out to fish.  Only one report of a 7 pointer being taken so far today from my customers and a few that did not see anything.  Have a great weekend and stay warm, the mercury is going to drop tonight!!!  I may get out to chase the 10 pointer I have been after since archery season a little bit later in the week!  Good luck to anyone who gets out in the woods or on the water and be safe!!

Fishing report 12 November 2022

Good morning, much different weather patterns than we have experienced over the last few weeks as winter is coming!  We will be making ice on much of the Northwoods lakes very soon as highs are right around freezing and lows down into the teens most nights.  Fishing has still been pretty good for the diehards that have been on the water, as some nice ‘skies have been boated and raised.  Not much else to report on other than musky and walleye so until we got on some first ice action it’s going to be short reports!!
Musky–Musky fishing has still been consistent with most anglers getting fish on suckers rigged on quick strike set ups.  My boat also raised a nice fish twice on two casts at dark on a suick right at the boat. Fun stuff when you can’t exactly make out what’s happening except thrashing followed by some choice words .   We were working a pretty steep breakline close to shore when we raised that fish.  We also fished some bays with still green weeds which is pretty crazy to find this time of year.  Our suckers were moving like there could have been something chasing them around, but we didn’t end up with anything on those spots.
Northern pike–Nothing substantial to report on a pike bite, but they should be locating around the same points/flats/weeds that baitfish are relating to.  It’s not uncommon to get on some good pike shallower than you think this time of year and into first ice.  Small musky suckers and walleye suckers soaked over the side of the boat can be great for pike this time of year.
Walleye–Saw a few boats out on some walleye spots this past week, and looked like most were jigging.  It looked like they were working rocky/sandy mid lake humps that taper out into the basin.  Jigs tipped fathead minnows/plastics cast out and worked back to the boat is deadly to catch fish.  One thing to note is that if you are finding fish on spots now, you will most likely find them during the first part of the ice season as well.
Largemouth bass–No reports on largemouth this week, and probably won’t have one again until next spring when the ice goes out.  If the largemouth bite picks up during the ice season I will be sure to let you know!
Smallmouth bass–Anglers will most likely find smallmouth relating to the same spots as the ‘eyes right now.  They prefer the same structure types and will eat the same presentations.  
Crappie–Crappie continue to school up out deep in the basins of the lakes.  Jigging raps that get deep quick and smaller jigheads tipped with minnows/plastics can be great ways to catch deep crappie.
Bluegill/Perch–Bluegill and perch will be hiding wherever they can right now. That may be related to shallow weeds on some lakes and deeper timber on others.  Jigs tipped with plastics or minnows such as Gulp!  are great choices to catch fish.  Should have a much better report on panfish once we get some ice and the bite gets a little more predictable.
Gun season starts next Saturday so the open water fishing season is done for almost everyone except for a few truly diehards.