Fishing has been steady the past week to 10 days. Anglers have been reporting action from both panfish and pike, with some quality pike being caught. The shallow bays and protected areas are reporting between 3-8" of ice on most lakes.
Panfish are relating to green weeds in 4-10 feet of water. With the heavy snow, not many anglers have ventured out over deeper water, but those working the shallow protected bays are catching a mix of crappies, bluegills and perch.
Waxies, garlic waxies, mousies and spikes on a teardrop or spider jig has been the best combo, but a few anglers reported catching some nice crappies on set poles with a tail hooked minnow on a small red hook.
Anglers on Bay Five and Icehouse Bays on Okauchee, Forest Lake, Upper and Middle Genessee and Golden Lake all have reported excellent panfish action.
Steady Pike action has been reported from Okauchee, Nagawicka, Golden lakes. Although accurate reports from other areas have been harder to come by this season than usual, many anglers are venturing out to area lakes in search of pike. We know they are biting by the size of the fish that are being reported. Multiple 30+ inch fish were caught since our last report.
Tip-ups with a mono or Gillman brand leader baited with medium or large shiners have been the most consistent producers this season. A few anglers have reported success with small suckers as well. Most anglers are concentrating their efforts near the anglers targeting panfish.
We don't have any solid reports of walleye action yet, but as anglers start to venture out to deeper water, we expect them to start rolling in. If you want to target walleyes through the ice, Fox Lake in Dodge County, Pine or Lac Labelle are your best local options. If you can access Oconomowoc Lake, you'll probably have some success there too.
Keep safety in mind if you do head out to deeper water or anytime you are ice fishing. The ice wasn't fully formed on many lakes before the snowfall, and there may be places where its not solid. Spud your way out, and consider a PFD.
Good luck, and be safe!
PS: Now's a great time for Christmas Shopping, forget the socks and consider a gift certificate from the store or a guide trip for your loved one this year.