Winter Fishing Reports
January 13, 2017
The ice is getting better by the day. I've found anywhere from 13-20" of solid ice. Most lakes have significant vehicle traffic with some plowed roads. If you have the 4 wheel drive you should be able to get around off road fairly well.
Walleye are biting well in 15-30' of water near points or deep water. Early morning or evenings have been the best action. Shiners and fathead minnows have both been producing well. Use a plain #4 hook or small #4 jig for set lines under a bobber. My preferred bait for jigging is a small Frostee or Tingler spoon.
Crappie have been biting well in the evening suspended over deeper basins 15-25'. They are usually 2/3rd of the way down in the water column. A small crappie minnow on a plain #6 hook or small #6 jig under a bobber will get the job done. My preferred bait for jigging is #12 Lindy Toad
December 29, 2016
The ice conditions continue to improve. The warm temps last week didn't hurt a thing. In fact, they may have helped by melting most of the insulating snow. Here is a sampling of the ice thickness across the area. Note these ice thicknesses were taken 200-300 yards out from the public accesses so thicknesses will vary in other parts of the lake.
Maple - 8" (ATV/Snowmobile traffic)
Mary - 8" (ATV/Snowmobile traffic)
Lil Mary - 14" (Some vehicle traffic)
Miltona - 8" (ATV/Snowmobile traffic)
Ida - 8" (ATV/Snowmobile traffic)
Reno - 14" (Lots of vehicle traffic)
Geneva - 8" (ATV/Snowmobile traffic)
Le Homme Dieu - 12" (ATV/Snowmobile traffic)
Oscar - 12" (Some vehicle traffic)
Limits of crappie, walleye and sunfish are being caught daily, so it's a great time to get the family out on the ice. There are already 100s of ice houses scattered around the area and I expect the long weekend to bring in many more. I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year with plenty of fish!
-Joe Scegura's Guide Service
December 19, 2016
Currently there is about 6-7" of ice on most bodies of water (excluding the "deep" lakes like Ida, MIltona, Latoka and Carlos.) There is 2-6" of snow on the ice with some drifting. The snow is definitely slowing down the making of the ice, but most places there is still plenty of ice to get out and fish. Of course don't take my word for it, it's always best to check the ice for yourself prior to heading out. There is a mix of portables and large permanent houses out on the ice. Anglers are either walking out on foot or using ATV's.
The fishing has been off to a fairly good start with some anglers catching limits of crappie and nice walleye already. My boy even got in on the action. We caught our walleye on a mix of jigging spoons and set lines. The set lines consisted of a plain #4 hook and a minnow or a #2 ice jig and a minnow. The other productive technique was a small jigging spoon 1/8 - 3/16 oz, tipped with a minnow head. We had our best luck jigging it tight to the bottom right at sundown.
I'll post current ice thickness again before the Christmas weekend. Good luck and be safe!
December 12, 2016
Well there were a lot more people out fishing this past weekend than I would have guessed. There was a solid 6-8" of ice on the small-medium sized lakes around the area. We also missed most of the snow which is a good thing when it comes to making more ice.
As always still check the ice diligently for yourself prior to heading out, but there is a lot of safe walkable ice around the area. There will be permanent houses and ATV's out before the upcoming weekend.
December 8, 2016
It's been a long wait for some of us. Too cold for many to fish from a boat but not cold enough to make ice. Well the wait is almost over. We have had very cold temps this week, but it's been way too windy to make ice on most bodies of water. That is until last night when we had some calmer winds. Nearly every body of water around the Alexandria area froze over last night. Now if we can hold off any measurable snow for a week or so we should be in good shape. The ice will form extremely fast with the projected forecast, you can expect 1-2" a night. At that rate there will probably be some anglers out this weekend. By next weekend I expect the ice fishing season to be in full swing. Check back for frequent updates as the ice is forming.
Recommended early ice gear:
*Most important, a partner
With the above gear slowly check the ice thickness in your area. After the ice thickness in the area you plan to fish has been verified you can relax and enjoy your time on the ice. Taking these precautions the first time you fish an area is essential in being safe. Remember, even the Pros aren't above wearing safety gear the first time out. Check back frequently for ice thickness updates!