Warm up, before the cool down, these are the inconsistencies that can keep fish at bay. It was nice to have some mild temperatures and a better bite this last week. Now that we are heading into this next cold snap, I forecast a tougher bite.
Another negative, is the ice we had building on Lake Superior, is no longer gaining momentum. Matter of fact, it is gone. So, I guess, we will have to wait to see what the rest of the winter has in store for a chance at Twin Ports Fishing on Lake Superior.
Elsewhere, we have plenty of safe ice fishing opportunities. We are measuring ice anywhere from 12"-19" on most inland waters. However, as always, check for yourself and don't just go off of someone's reports, not even this one.
Lake Superior is seeing action for those who venture out to the Ashland areas of WI. This ice sheet continues to grow out toward the Apostle Islands areas. They have now closed the ferry and are banking on the ice road to Madeline Island being open in the near future.
Some of the fish that are being caught are White fish, Perch, Pike, a few Walleye, Burbot, and a few Brown Trout and Splake Trout. Jigging and tip-up fishing are showing equal success. In the waters of WI, Automatic Fishermen and Jaw Jackers are legal and are a good system to use when targeting Lake Superior fish. As always, be extra careful on the waters of the Gitch.
St Louis River has been hit or miss with the changes in the weather. A few fish are still being caught using general dead stick hole near jigging holes. We are even getting a few flags to fly on tip-ups for some decent walleyes. Best bait has been glow spoons tipped with live minnows. Depths targeted have been 4'-15' of water. Pan fishing on the back bays has been on the slow side.
In-land lakes have been a fair to good bite, especially for pan-fish. Crappies and blue gills are coming on small forage jigs tipped with soft plastics or live spikes or wax worms. If the bite is slow, try downsizing to a mini teardrop and small chewed up wax worm, I like 1/32 size.
Target the areas that are away from other anglers. This time of year, as community holes grow, fish get pressured and their appetite for eating can slow. This is mostly because of the dozens of lines and bait that are being jigged in a "fish village". Don't be afraid to set some tip-ups for Pike, Bass and the occasional Walleye.
This weekend marks the start of Trout opener for Minnesota waters, as well as "Take a Kid Ice Fishing". Anglers 16 and older do not need a license if they are accompanied by a child 15 or younger. Wisconsin residents will have a free fishing weekend coming up on Jan. 20-21.