I’m not breaking news that it’s been a LONG winter. Recovering from shoulder surgery in January didn’t make it any easier, and my cabin fever is at an all time high. We’ve also been preparing to launch our new web site over the past several weeks, and there hasn’t been a whole lot to report other than a WHOLE LOT of ice… The last time we had ice this late in the year resulted in one of the best open water seasons we’ve ever had, so here’s hoping! Ice fishing conditions continued to be near perfect throughout the month of April, and those die hards that stuck with it were rewarded with some great catches. Count Josh Teigen and Aron Kastern in among those die hards. Josh reports a good panfish bite over the past week in 6′ – 10′ of water on tungsten jigs with plastics. Color didn’t matter, and pre spawn fish were in a hungry mood. Seems kind of funny to talk about pre spawn conditions while we’re still drilling holes… Josh also got the boat wet and hit the south and north shore of Lake Superior for the early season trolling bite. Things are still a bit slow with lots of cold and muddy water, but there are some willing browns and a few cohos to catch if you can find the right conditions. Josh suggests finding clearer water and trolling bright colored, shallow running stick baits over 20′ – 30′ of water anywhere from 2.2 – 2.5 mph. Aron Kastern took advantage of the crazy good whitefish bite on Chequamegon Bay that’s been a producer all winter long. As of last Tuesday, he still had 2′ of ice and a fast bite going. Ice conditions have rapidly been deteriorating however, and we aren’t suggesting anyone venture out on the hard water anymore. Time to put the augers away and start preparing for open water. Our rivers are running fast and high right now, and the steelhead run on Lake Superior tributaries has been a bit tough but should get better as things begin to even out. I was up in Superior this week, and the St. Louis River harbor was 90% open and appears that it will be ready to go for the Minnesota opener in a couple of weeks. Big thanks to Josh and Aron for all of the great reports this winter. As usual you didn’t disappoint, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the water with you!
If you can believe it, the Wisconsin game fish opener is next weekend on May 5th. Walleyes and pike will all be fair game once again along with catch and release only for bass on most lakes in our area. Musky fishing doesn’t open up until Memorial Day weekend. All WI fishing licenses from last season expired on March 31st so don’t forget to purchase a new one for 2018. At this point, it’s really hard to guess where we’ll be with ice out at that time. Warm temperatures and rain are in the forecast, and I’d suspect lots of change over the next several days. Our first guiding trips are scheduled to begin on May 12th, and our fingers are crossed that we’ll be able to start our season on time. We’re super excited about the new website that will be revealed in the near future. It’ll have much of the same content with a fresh look and some new partners that we’re proud to have on board. Our next report will come from the new site after I’ve been able to get my boat in the water. Some way, some how, we’re going to get fishing… Thanks for your support over the years. It’s been a fun ride and keeps getting better. See you on the lake!