Wausau, WI Ice Fishing Report
<p>Solid ice conditions in Marathon County have led to ample angling opportunities for anglers looking to sample the fine local ice-fishing. In many areas, anglers are able to drive four-wheelers and snowmobiles safely onto the ice; some areas are finding the ice safe enough to drive cars and trucks on. Regardless, fishermen should pay heed as current and springs can still lead to unsafe ice.
Panfish activity has been good as of late, with numbers of bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch being accounted for. Depths of water from 3’-8’ are holding the most fish, especially when structure such as wood or weeds is present. Drilling a number of holes in a likely area before beginning fishing is a good strategy that will allow you to move with the fish, and hopefully avoid wasting time drilling additional holes or spooking fish when the bite slows down. Small jigs tipped with waxies or panfish-sized Berkley Powerbait offerings have been consistent fish catchers, with colors such as gold, orange, and chartreuse being productive of late.
Northern pike activity has been very good; for example, during one recent morning outing we managed to catch and release over 2 dozen pike before breaking for lunch! The increased traffic and thickening ice has slowed the ultra-shallow bite some, so begin in depths ranging from 4’-10’ as they have held the best action and largest specimens as of late. Structure is again key to consistency, with weed lines or sharp break lines good places to begin. Frabill Bigfoot Tip-ups baited with large golden shiners are an excellent presentation at this point in the season.
Anglers looking to score on walleye action will need to fish during the low light periods of morning and evening. Frabill Pro Thermal tip-ups rigged with small Mustad treble hooks and suckers or golden shiners are working well. Set up along the mouths of bays and flats or along points, especially those adjacent to deeper water. Areas containing bottom irregularities and sharp breaks have generally been more productive. It helps to have tip-ups set in a range of water depths as the fish will move as the light levels change. Make note of productive holes, as an area may remain good for several days in a row, and lend to identifying other areas holding fish at present.
Whether in pursuit of panfish, walleye, or northern pike, there are a few rules that should always follow an angler out on the ice: 1. Be smart – live to fish another day. 2. Be courteous – enjoy the outdoors and allow others to enjoy it too. 3. Be unselfish – keep only what you’re going to eat and let the big ones go!
Happy holidays from our whole family at Wisconsin Angling Adventures! I’ll see you on the water…
About The Author: Joel DeBoer
Company: Wisconsin Angling Adventures
Area Reporting: Central and Northern Wisconsin
Bio: Greetings and welcome to the Northwoods! My name is Joel DeBoer; I grew up fishing the waters of Central and Northern Wisconsin and enjoying the beauty of Wisconsin’s outdoors - I can guarantee you will enjoy them as well! As owner of Wisconsin Angling Adventures, I'll work hard to keep you on the fish and show you a good time out on the water! Through countless days and nights on the water, I have worked hard to uncover local "hotspots" while prefecting the techniques necessary to produce trophy fish from them. I have been an active member of Muskies Inc. and Bill’s Musky Club, and am responsible for numerous awards for muskies caught and released by my clients as well as myself. In addition to guiding, I am an active musky tournament fisherman, having multiple Top 10 finishes. Not only do I fish tournaments for muskies, but a variety of local tournaments for walleyes and bass. I am active on the internet - providing articles and fishing reports to over 15 different web sites, in addition to doing web-radio shows. I am a published outdoor author and educator, including my weekly column, "The Guides Corner" in the Everest Herald. I specialize in multi-media presentations and seminars on the vast aspects of musky fishing. Please feel free to email me, at ANY time. In addition, take an opportunity to visit my bio pages at the St. Croix Rod or VMC Hooks Pro-Staff pages as a further reference. I am thankful to the wonderful companies I am privileged to work with promotionally: Bait Rigs * DeLONG Lures * Ducktail Lures * Dunwright Tackle * Frabill * Mepps * Mister Twister * Mercury * Optima Batteries * Pure Fishing (Abu Garcia, Berkley, Stren) * Roberts Outdoors * St. Croix * VMC Hooks