Fishing has picked up this last week and should only get better as we move into the official start of Spring. Sunny skies and mild temps are causing snow to melt at a good rate. We are starting to hear reports of open water opportunities, in areas like the Rainy River up by International Falls and the Fox River in South East Wisconsin.
These are the sure signs that full force spring fishing is just around the corner. Until then, we still have a fair amount of ice fishing to be done. Soon, travel conditions will be good, if the snow holds off.
Remember to pack a pair of ice spikes for your boots, so you don't slip and fall. Also, you’re doing yourself a favor by wearing rubber boots, as conditions are sure to be very wet. Vehicle travel will start to side bar as access points will get sloppy. Main means of travel should be ATV's or Snowmobiles. The season of "late ice" is just beginning.
Lake Superior angling on the North Shore is on the threshold of letting loose. More and more anglers are starting to take to the shorelines and long lining for Coho and Loopers. It’s the time of year, so start and get the boat prepped for early spring trolling for Salmon.
Ice fishing opportunities are still being utilized in the areas of Chequamegon Bay. A mix of Perch, Pike, Walleye, White Fish and Trout are being taken. There has also been a good Burbot bite happening as Smelt are starting to grow in numbers near shore and in the bay.
St. Louis River Estuary continues to be on the slow side of things. Anglers are reporting slow pan fishing in the back waters on the Wisconsin side. The occasional perch is coming on dead sticking crappie minnows, set 6" to a foot off the bottom.
Inland lake fishing has come alive this last week with good catches of pan fish. Depending on the lake, different locations to key in on have been shallower waters over vegetation or deeper basins. Small tear drop jig tipped with larvae or wax worms have been the most successful. If schooled up and biting good, switching to plastics is the way to go. Crappies have been biting good right at dark. Dead sticking a crappie minnow on a snare rod or under a float have been ideal.