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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Ice Conditions Continue to Improve

Most lakes around the area are now stiffening up nicely. We have even caught wind of some select waters starting to see vehicle traffic.

By: Jarrid Houston | January 15, 2020

Entering the fourth week of 2020 and conditions, as well as fishing is getting better. Most lakes around the area are now stiffening up nicely. We have even caught wind of some select waters starting to see vehicle traffic. Time for a couple good reminders: Ice thickness should be in the 12"-15" for drivable conditions. Personally, I prefer over the 15" mark, and even at that, I take things very slow. Make sure to not park next to another vehicle and might be a good idea to move every couple of hours so the area does not sink and flood. Driving on ice should not be done unless you have full confidence that conditions are suitable. Although we have heard of some vehicles starting to drive on the ice, I would encourage all of us to let the ice grow a little more. We are almost there and there is no reason to rush it. Until then, our team will continue to access the lakes with both snowmobiles and ATV's (yes, ATV travel can be done again on most waters). Careful out there and steady does it, here is our report:

Lake Superior has had some ice show up in the Twin Ports this last week, but this ice is not safe and moves/changes by the hour. Further meaning Duluth and Superior areas of Lake Superior need more time. Let's hope things get colder and the winds are favorable. The first time we accessed ice last year was February 3rd, which is still a few weeks away. Until then, all we can do is cross our fingers. If you're hard set on trying some ice angling on the Gitch, the only fishable areas are still in Chequamegon Bay. The bite has been up and down, but we have grinded out some nice days fishing the shallower areas (10-30 feet of water). Best tactic continues to be aggressive jigging with spoons, although we did get some nice fish to take set-lines this week. Ice conditions continue to improve and the sheet is growing, but we are still not out to the island yet. 


St. Louis River angler pressure has dwindled the last couple of weeks. The guys that are getting out are still catching the smaller-sized walleyes, perch and a bonus eelpout here and there. Best tactics are to utilize a loud rattling rap to draw attention and quickly switch to a smaller spoon when you see the fish on the graph. Lots of lookers out there, but not a lot of biters this last week. Good news is with the safer ice conditions, new areas of the river are up for grabs.


Inland waters are holding some good panfish bites over mid-depth vegetative areas. Best bet is to fish a tungsten jig tipped with a wax worm or soft plastic. Start with a plastic, and if you cant get them to go, switch to live bait. Try and put yourself set up in spots that avoid noise. As we get further and further into the ice angling season, fish get more and more pressure, so it is important to try and be stealthy. Or seek out new areas. Tip-up fishing is keeping most anglers busy with lots of cruising bass, pike and the occasional walleye. If walleye is you target, plan to set up in the low light periods. Good luck out there and we will see you on the water!

Tight Lines & GoOd FiShN,

Capt. Jarrid


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