Lake Winnebago and Lake Poygan continue to prepare for spring, should it ever arrive.  The ice is still solid on Lake Winnebago and many vehicles are still getting around on the Lake.  Ice drifts continue to hinder movement.  Ice depths vary from under 12” to over 18”.  The Fox River mouth could result in substantially less ice.

depere31613 013

Mark Schram, preparing for an icy ride at the DePere Dam

In limited reports received this week, the Oshkosh area continues to have the best activity in the deeper water regions.

Walleyes continue to stage near the Fox River.  Truth be told, traditionally many of the walleyes will migrate upstream under the ice.  The DNR sonic tagging program has reinforced these findings.  However, currently many walleyes remain on the main lake, looking for some spring like signal to continue to move up into the rivers.

The central lake continues to produce solid numbers of crappies, white bass, sauger and walleyes.  Travel to these areas can be difficult with heavy drifting on the ice surface. Jigging raps are the go-to lure.

The Wendt’s area has solid pan fish action just south of the Marina.   In this bay bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass and perch continue to inhabit the old weed beds.

Lake Poygan has been hammered by winds and is heavily drifted.  Travel is tough.  Ice depths exceed 20”.  Walleyes, much like Lake Winnebago, have been staging in this lake for an upriver run.  The Winneconne Bridge has open water.

Our focus has been the Upper Fox River in Green Bay.  This is open water, and the De Pere Dam is holding excellent number of walleyes.  Both male and pre spawn female walleyes are in the river and can be easily taken on various methods.  Common catch rates are 25-50 walleyes per trip, with almost all fish over 20 inches.  Water clarity is dirty, and water flow is light.

This past week we found the male walleyes in the deep channel of the Fox River, while we found the larger females cruising shallow water areas or held up in the deep holes.  Hooking the minnow on the jig was a critical point for successful catch rates.  The minnow had to be dead center on the hook or the walleyes were not interested.   Orange, orange and orange were the key colors.  Plastics (Gulp and Ringworms) have been inconsistent.  Be sure to take some along, because the moody has changed by the day.  The spawning grounds, near the power plant, have been slow.

Unfortunately, I went to the Disabled list this weekend after nearly losing a portion of my index finger after the winch cable seized and when I went to free it, the boat shifted and pulled my finger thru the winch. I’ll try to keep up on reports, but the personal experience will be absent for a good week or more as I recover.   Please be diligent to send your reports to mark@myfishingpartner.com .

Open water is here.  Ice fishing is still strong. Get on the water!