Thursday, February 12, 2009

The weekend......

Lots of things happening this weekend. Spent some time on the phone and here's the low-down.

Local Lakes: The warm weather and the light we got this week haven't changed the ice conditions considerably, but you should use caution when heading out. Although the ice remains solid for the most part, the drainage of the melting snow and rainwater opened a few holes wider. Someone described seeing a few out there with the term "tire-busters."

If you're heading out for the jamborees this weekend. The pike are staging at the ends of the spawning areas. A few are still being caught in the bays, but the mouths of bays, especially those with access to deep water have been the hot spots. Big bait means big fish. Moose, Golden, Nagawicka, Lower Nehmabin, Okauchee, Kessus and Fowler have all been consistent the last ten days.

Panfish are in the deeper water, suspending off the mainlake structures. Look for crappies just under the ice to about six feet down, with bluegills close to, but not on, the bottom. Structure in 15-22 feet of water seems to be holding the most fish right now.

Fox, Pine, North, Oconomowoc and Lac Labelle have all been giving up walleyes, although the bite has been hit or miss. Look for the bigger fish to be out as deep as 25-30 feet, but you may connect with some decent fish in 12-18 feet of water.

If you're hitting the ice, now's a great time to stop by the shop. Our ice-fishing gear is on sale during the month of February.

If catching isn't your thing, spearing might be. This weekend is the opener for sturgeon spearing. Reports from my Oshkosh sources say the ice is in pretty good shape, but the ramps are a little beat up. The water had been gin clear, but the rain and drainage has muddied it up a bit.

When I went to school in Oshkosh, I looked forward to this weekend every year. I never did see one, but sure had some great times with friends.

If you're heading up, drop us a line. If you get one, send us a picture.


I don't know about you, but I have an itch for open water, and I hope to be able to scratch it next week. If you're tired of the ice, you have a few options.

Milwaukee Harbor: The ice is gone for the most part, and there's boats fishing for walleyes and brown trout right now.

Wisconsin Dells: The ice is gone off a stretch of the river below the dam. You can launch at the River's Edge Resort. Early reports have guys already connecting with a solid batch of walleyes and saugers.

Petenwell Dam: The launches are open, but reports on lake-link have them as very icy yet. I've only heard from one person, but he said there are fish biting, and that the area below the dam is open.

Rock River: The river is still iced in, and you won't be able to get a boat launched but the Dams at Jefferson, Newville and Indianford all apparently have some open water that is accessible from shore. Scattered reports indicate some walleyes are already being caught, but I would guess these are full time river fish rather than an early batch of males.

Depere: Still iced in, but expect this to change with some additional warm weather or more rain.

On the ice or in the boat, we'll update the reports as information comes our way. Help us to help you. If you're out, send us a report on ice or river conditions. We don't need your secret spots, just the basics will do.

Good Luck and stay safe....


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