Good morning! This is Greg from Happy Hooker and I will be taking over the fishing report duties from Pat. I know those are big shoes to fill, but I will do my best. Ice travel should be getting better by the day as most of the snow should be melting off and allowing anglers to walk/drive on the ice. I have not been out myself and have not heard much in the way of how much ice is still out there but I would guess we still have a solid 20-24″ on the main lakes. A lot of the creeks are starting to open up so be mindful if traveling on the ice near inlets or anywhere with moving water.
It is that time of year again when we should all remind ourselves to be careful on the fresh ice. Anglers have been traveling the area to find some fishable ice. However, they are not ready to stampede onto our local waters, especially with temperatures well above freezing this past week.
Every lake is different and conditions can change across just a few feet on the same lake. Ice conditions on the small shallow lakes as of this write-up ice thickness has been reported to be anywhere from 3 to 6 inches. Most big, deep lakes are not even fully ice covered yet. To early for any vehicle traffic.
Inland lakes are really the only ice fishing opportunities to be had. Again, the smaller, shallower lakes ice-over first. Anglers have been finding success setting up setting up tip-ups on shallow flats. Mostly pike, perch and a few walleyes have been taking. Set up tip-ups with nylon line tied to a 10 foot depth with a 10lb leader with a double barrel swivel. Walleye-sized suckers under a small split shot and a bead for added attraction.
The best bite has been about 3 PM into dark and a little after dark. Anglers are also getting some catches using jigging small spoons for panfish and perch. Color has not mattered as much as size of lure, use a smaller sized spoons for this early ice bite.
If you are going out, do not forget your personal protective equipment and common sense. Safety items that everyone should be bringing with them includes, a buddy to help any rescue, a life jacket, ice picks, a spud bar for testing ice, rope and a solid game plan. It is a common saying in the ice fishing world, but no fish is worth your life. Also, make sure to check your own ice, and never assume things are good.
This is my last report, another person will be taking my place shortly. Thank you for reading and thank you for all the kind comments regarding the reports over the years.