This will be a warm week, as high temperatures hit or approach 50 degrees and with lows in the mid-30s. Coming on the heels of a warm weekend, it is affecting ice conditions rather quickly. Anglers reports fishing on ‘safe’ ice one day, and the next day, at the exact same location, finding only one or two inches of ice. This is a far from normal winter in the North Woods! If you decide to get on the ice, fish with a friend, use extreme caution, check as you go, and make sure to have whatever could be necessary safety equipment, such as PFDs/float suits, spud bars, rope, ice picks, cell phone, and creepers, etc. In addition, know before you go what to do IF an emergency arises you might not have the luxury of the time to ‘Google it.’ This is an excellent time to review the DNR ice safety website.
Anglers please note that Wisconsin’s general inland gamefish season closes March 3, less than a month distant!

Walleye fishing slowed a bit, is fair to good, and with the best success in early morning and evening into after dark. Find fish in shallow to deep water, in 5-25 feet, on weeds, weed edges, rock, and transitions between shallow and deep. Walleye suckers and shiners on tip-ups, jigs, and jigging baits and spoons, are all effective at this time.

Northern Pike:
Northern pike action is very good in 8-20 feet on shallow to deeper weeds, weed edges, transitions, and wherever you find concentrations of panfish and baitfish. Northern suckers, walleye suckers, shiners, and dead bait on tip-ups and jigs, and spoons and rattlebaits are all getting the attention of pike of various sizes.

Crappie fishing is good to very good. Anglers are catching some nice fish in the basins in 18-35 feet, as well as on cribs, drop-offs, breaklines, and other cover types. Many fish are suspending, so use electronics to locate them and make sure to check the entire water column from top to bottom. Baits of choice include crappie minnows, fatheads, waxies, plastics, and Gulp! baits on small jigs, teardrops, and plain hooks offered under tip-ups, tip-downs, and dead-sticks. Small jigs, spoons, and rattlebaits are also productive, sometimes more so if tipped with live bait or plastics.

Bluegill and perch fishing is good. Bluegills are on shallow to mid-depth weeds, cribs, and other cover. Waxies, spikes, plastics, Gulp! baits, and small minnows on small jigs, teardrops, and plain hooks are working well. Perch are in weeds and moving to mudflats for pre-spawn. Fatheads, rosy reds, and crappie minnows on dead-sticks, jigs, and small spoons are catching fish. Bounce baits on the bottom to stir it up and attract fish. Waxies, and minnow heads on jigs also produce. Each lake can fish differently, so use your electronics to locate the schools.