Winter Fishing Reports
February 23, 2017
Well it looks like we finally have some cooler weather in the forecast. We probably won't be making much ice, but at least we won't be using it. The ice in the area is still quite good except for the lakes with larger creeks or rivers running through them. These lakes are looking quite dark and are pulling away from shore. I drove out on a small lake yesterday that I had checked thoroughly first. There was a solid 20" of ice. I think for the most part the edges are what suffered from the warm weather and rain. If you have an ATV or snowmobile you should be able to safely fish the majority of the lakes in the area for a couple of weeks at least. There will still be some truck traffic on the lakes around the area but unless you take the time to check the ice I'd recommend sticking to ATV's or snowmobiles. My plan is to pull my large sleeper house out with an ATV for the weekend.
Fishing has been good for walleye and panfish, so I hope we have ice for a month yet. For that to happen though we will need the below freezing temps at night to continue. I'm still catching quite a few nice walleye as well as a bunch of eater sized walleye. Fatheads or shiners have been producing in 20'-30' of water. The panfish bite has been all over the board. I caught fish as shallow as 2 feet and as deep as 30 feet this week. As we get closer to ice out the majority of the panfish will move shallow but for now I'd concentrate in 10-15 feet of water.
I'll be checking ice conditions on a bunch of lakes the next couple of days. Look for an updated ice report tomorrow on my "Audio Reports". The link is located on the fishing reports home page here. Good luck!
February 17, 2017
I'd like to start off with the question that's on everyone's mind... how is the ice?? Well as of today we have still been making ice. There has been zero ice melting across the Alexandria area. The ice is as safe as it has ever been with 24"-30". After the forecasted rain this coming Monday-Tuesday I will check conditions again, but as for the ice conditions going into this weekend they are excellent! I actually had 3" of ice in my holes form in the last 48 hours. It's going to get warm for the next week, but then it should be cold again by next weekend. I really don't think the ice or ice fisherman will be effected much at all.
The fishing has still been great! The panfish are still going well on some of the big lakes as well as some of the very small lakes around the area. The nice weather makes searching for the active sunfish and crappie much more enjoyable. The best depth has been 15'-20'. Small jigs like the #12 Lindy Toad is always a favorite of mine. Tip it with a wax worm or Euro larva to catch fish during the day. After dark switch to a small crappie minnow.
I personally have been spending most of my time chasing walleye with pretty good success. 20'-35' of water with minnows and plain #4 hooks has been working best. My kids have had a great season so far and they really enjoy it. In fact there's not much more they'd rather do than go out to the fish house. It doesn't hurt that they get to pull in tasty walleye either! They feel pretty special catching supper for the family.
The ice looks like it'll be around for quite some time, so plan a trip up with your family! If you have any specific questions or concerns feel free to email or text me for the fastest response.
February 3, 2017
The ice around the Alexandria area continues to get thicker by the day and over all the ice is in excellent shape. There is around 18"-24" of quality ice across the Alexandria area. There is little to no snow on the ice, so getting around is not a problem.
The walleye fishing is getting to be a bit more hit and miss than it has been, but still very productive. We are catching some very nice fish and they can be very aggressive at times. As always, the best time to fish walleye is sin the low light periods. A good indicator as to when the walleye are going to start showing up is to watch the perch. During the day the perch will be nearly everywhere. In fact, most times the perch will not leave your hole until the walleye start to move in a low light. Once the perch are gone you have to be ready because the walleye will show up quick and may leave just as fast. Sometimes the walleye will come through all night long and other days they will only be around for 10-15 minutes in the morning and evening. Fishing during these bite windows will drastically increase your odds of a successful outing.
The panfish bite is fairly strong as well, but it will only get better as we progress towards the spring season. People are catching a good number of crappie and sunfish. The Le Homme Dieu chain seems to be a favorite around the area as of late.
As always, if you have any specific questions feel free to email me. Good luck and get out on the ice!
January 20, 2017
The fishing this past weekend was great once again. There was plenty of action with some very nice fish being caught. The same baits and general areas I noted in previous reports are still producing. I plan to bring my own kids out tonight to try our luck.
As good as the fishing has been, we have noticed a bit of a slowdown the last few days with the current warm temps. There is a chance for some precipitation this weekend (dropping barometer), so I'm hopeful that gets things going hot again. If not it will be a lot of fun trying. Anytime I can get my family out on the ice it's always a fun trip!
Good luck and I hope you're able to make time yourself to get out on the ice and enjoy the warm weather!
Big fish for the past week:
#1 - 28.5" walleye
#2 - 15.5" crappie
#3 10.25" sunfish
Remember if you get a nice fish of your own feel free to send measurements and pictures to my email for your chance to be featured in next week's Alexandria fishing report! email@example.com
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!