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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Bring on the Cold

Some may be growing tired of winter, but the cold temps will help the ice grow to safer conditions.

By: Jarrid Houston | February 14, 2018

I know some are growing tired of winter, but personally, I wish the cold temps would hold on through this month so we could see the ice grow to safer conditions on Lake Superior. It’s no secret, anglers have been taking to the little ice we have near the Twin Ports, however, the ice is unstable, making for dangerous conditions. We do not encourage this type of ice fishing. We have a lot of open water and with the temps warming up and the winds setting in, I forecast the ice to be dissolved in the very near future. Remember the old saying "no fish is worth risking your life for" and also, if you do risk ice fishing dangerous ice, you also risk the lives of the people that may try and assist in a rescue. 


Lake Superior angling can be had on safe ice in the Wisconsin areas of Ashland, Washburn, and Bayfield. Ashland is producing some good catches of small mouth bass, perch, and a few trout and white fish. The shorelines to the north into the islands are seeing mostly brown trout, splake trout, and the occasional steelhead or coho near shore and white fish and lake trout in deeper waters off shore. Jigging heavy, flashy spoons tipped with lake shiners has been best. We are also getting closer to full-fledged shore fishing on the North Shore, so stay tuned for that.


St. Louis River walleye anglers continue to catch a few fish, but action is slow and hit-and-miss. Low light hours offer the best odds for success, though afternoons are producing better chances. We are having the most luck with Jigging Raps and spoons tipped with minnow heads and fishing depths of 8-16 feet of water off sharp breaks. The back bays on the Wisconsin side are seeing plenty of traffic with ice fishing contests on most weekends. The angling pressure has slowed the bite. Seek out areas where things can be on the quiet side for the best chance to crack some nice panfish and big backwater pike.

Inland fishing has been good with catches of northern pike on weed edges and deeper weeds, flats, and humps. The best baits include northern suckers and large shiners on tip-ups. Set baits near bottom on weed edges and just above the tops of deep weeds.  Pan fishing has been decent when you locate and stay with them. Check the entire water column, as the bigger panfish have been schooling up in suspended fashion. Crappie minnows, waxies, spikes, and plastics on small tear drop jigs have been a good bet. 

Tight Lines,

Capt. Jarrid


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