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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Varying Ice Conditions Across the Region

Fishing has been good on some days and slow on others. Cliché I know, but the truth.

By: Jarrid Houston | January 22, 2020

We are just entering the mid-winter time period for ice fishing. Further meaning we are past first ice and in the midst of figuring out fish patterns. Who are we kidding, we are always looking for fresh news ways to catch fish. Future forecast is calling for very mild temperatures which will be welcoming. Mixed in with daylight time extending further and further, the next 6 weeks will be enjoyable. It is crazy to think we are about 60 days from the official spring solstice, wow. With that said, winter is not done, and we have lots of ice fishing left in front of us. After last weekend's fresh snow, some waters have become a challenge again. However, some waters have shaped up nicely and are now frozen through the slush layers. If you do your homework and make some phone calls, some inland lake resorts are allowing vehicle traffic off there access. Then again, some are not, so call ahead. Locally, we are seeing decent ice. Still no vehicle traffic on most area waters, but that may change now that we are getting closer to February. Fishing has been good on some days and slow on others. Cliché I know, but the truth. Here is our report:


Lake Superior ice that formed throughout the Twin Ports area has disappeared. However, some anglers have been finding some success on shore fishing. If you decide to head out to the shorelines of the North Shore, be careful as there is a good amount of ice to slip and hurt yourself. It feels early but, look for shorelander angling to pick up. Long rods casting spoons and spending many man hours will tote the most success. For Gitch ice angling, fishermen still need to travel to Chequamegon Bay areas. ATV and snowmobiles are both getting around just fine, but be careful of fresh ice heaves/cracks as they can form at anytime. Best route is on foot or on a sled. Anglers are still getting fish near shore using simple walleye gear. Best to spread out and try and find fresh areas that have not been fished. 

St. Louis River anglers are reporting a slower bite overall. It's kind of been an off year for the river as success has not been as good as years past. Some anglers are getting a few panfish to go in the back bays using wax worms and hole hopping. Mostly crappie and perch, but the occasional bonus fish can certainly be had. Shipping season is now over, so ice should get better and I, for one, am looking forward to seeking out new areas to try. 


Inland fishing has certainly been the most consistent as we continue to get some good mixed bags of panfish, bass, and pike to go. We are still concentrating on shallower 10-20 foot vegetative edges. Community holes are now in full force, so best to use that to your advantage. I like to set up on the outside of houses and try not to get boxed in. It's even better yet if you can find your own sheet of ice where fish have not been pressured. Baits of choice continue to be soft plastics, spikes or wax worms tipped on a small tungsten jig. Don't forget a live chub, shiner or sucker to setup on a flag for predator fish (and something to check on / look at). Being a mobile angler is always an advantage, but it will become more important now that we are into mid-winter. Be safe out there!

Tight Lines and GoOd FisHn,

Captain Jarrid


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