EAGLE RIVER - 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.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.
"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.
Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau. He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine. People often stop to take his picture.
"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.
MADISON - A $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group is poised to pass the Wisconsin Assembly on a bipartisan vote.
Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason said during debate Thursday that he intends to vote for the bill. He is the first Democrat to publicly say he will back the measure that is being championed by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
SAYNER - A needle and thread means more to Pat Andersen than just sewing.
"I started quilting when I was 19 so it's been a passion of mine for a long time," said Pat.
Quilting gives her a community of ladies in the Northwoods.
"Sayner needs something like this, it needs something for the women to do," said Pat.
After moving to Sayner with her husband Don last spring, the two decided to buy the building that now houses Plum Lake Quilts. Pat needed somewhere to put her long arm machine and that eventually turned into a little retail business.
"I mean little and then it grew a little bit and it grew a little bit more," said Don Andersen.
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