January 3, 2017: What a great holiday week it was. The weather was comfortable for the most part and a pile fish were put on the ice. The downside was the bite windows were small so patience and diligence was key. A couple of the days were pretty windy but with good ice conditions fishermen have been able to get their shacks out. I'm seeing quite a few trucks, snowmobiles and ATVs out on the ice. Now mind you I am not recommending that you do that, just relating what is happening. One guy drove out on to Big Arb and with in a couple of hours there were almost a dozen trucks out there. One fella that fishes the Rainbow often said he drove all over the place out there the other day and he found up to a foot of ice in some places.
Panfish have been doing well lately. Small minnows on a hook, small tungstens tipped with minnow heads, waxies and spikes, bottom bouncers like the kastmaster (with or without rattles), Hali jigs, Swedish Pimples and perch walkers have done well tipped with bugs or meat.
The always sought after walleye has been getting hammered late and early in the day. Tip-ups with small trebles rigged with shiners and suckers has been the best ticket. Those jigging the aforementioned bottom bouncers tipped with meat and bugs have seen success also.
Northerns have been very active. Tip-ups and meat are the ticket. Place those hooks only a few feet below the ice. I listened to more than one fisherman complaining of muscle aches after chasing flag after flag all day. Lots of fun!
Looks like a few days of cold are coming our way which should make the ice even better. Highs around 0 are expected but then a slight warm up is expected late this weekend. Who cares, the fish are biting!
Jeff Bolander of Dewey Catch'em and How Fishing Guides and Bait Shop
PO Box 2089
Woodruff, WI 54568-2089
Our site www.deweycatchemandhow.com