- A year ago at this time, area anglers were enjoying temperatures in the 60s... and many had a very successful opening weekend.
Saturday's inland fishing opener on many of the lakes in the Northwoods seems more fit for ice fishing.
Chain Lake just outside of Sugar Camp is an example. The water is flowing near the shore. But just a few feet away, over a foot of ice. By contrast, Long Lake reportedly is about 75% open.
Gary Myshak of Eagle River says this is one of the worst he's seen in his 15 years as a fishing guide.
However, he says the rivers near Eagle River should be good. But the lakes, not so much.
"The ice I would guess between a few inches to 20 inches," says Myshak. "I would look for rivers. All the rivers in the Eagle River area are open and fishable. If you can find (water) pocket temps in 40-45 degrees that's where the walleyes will be. That's the temperatures they like to spawn in."
Knowing when and where the fish are spawning or laying their eggs will be key. Typically most species spawn in shallow water.
"Walleye spawn on clean wave-washed gravel shorelines (typically at night)," advises John Kubisiak, the DNR Fisheries Biologist for Oneida County. "Pikes spawn in vegetation such as flooded cattails and grasses, but they may even spawn underneath the ice."
DNR officials caution there are reduced bag limits for walleyes. This is due to Tribal Spearing declarations. It will vary from lake to lake.
To view the latest fishing information from the DNR, click on the links below.
DNR Fishing Topics
Boat Access Information
Story By: Joe Dufek