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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:57 pm 
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Have never tried one. I don't go ice fishing enough to justify the cost. But I saw them in action on a local sport fishing show. The system seems to work. And no poles through the holes.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:25 am 
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Jeff,
The next time I lose a pole through a hole, I'll certainly have to give one of these rigs a try. They look like they'd be a lot of fun fighting a walleye or pike on, too.
Well this looks like it might be the last weekend of open water fishing here in the Tomahawk area. If the weather forecasts hold, the ice should close in quickly as they're calling for air temp highs in the 20s. Ice reports coming soon. Time to get those tip-ups ready!
Going to be giving it one last shot for the monster muskies this weekend. Will be working Suicks, Bobbies, Bulldawgs and others very slowly over shallower water where I've found large schools of perch and rough fish mixed in. Hopefully fishing the end of this full moon phase will put a hog in the net.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:30 pm 
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With air temps only forecasted to reach the upper 20s for highs and teens for lows several days this week, it appears we could be on the verge of the "big freeze" here in the Tomahawk area. Of course, it very much depends on whether we can get a break from the seemingly nonstop wind that has plagued us nearly all fall.
I'm sure several who'll be coming up this weekend for the gun-deer season are hoping to get in a little ice time as an added bonus. Sawdy Pond on Lake Mohawksin was again froze over this morning, as was a small, wind-sheltered bay near the cabin on Lake Alice. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Musky fishing on the Wisconsin River here in the Tomahawk area this past weekend wasn't as successful as hoped. Two days of tough fishing Friday evening and Saturday only produced one follow up on a sucker-colored Bobbie Bait. After getting snowed on and blown around a lot, I have decided to call it for the 2008 season. Good luck and be safe to any and all brave souls who might make it out for one last go at a trophy.
A quick reminder to all the hunters who'll be coming to the Tomahawk area for opening weekend, the 43rd annual Venison Feed is set to take place in the downtown this Friday starting at 11 a.m. If you've never attended this festive event before, I'd encourage you to come join the hundreds who'll gather to have a free venison burger, soda and chips before heading off to the woods.
Good luck to everyone hitting the woods, water and hopefully ice this weekend. Be safe and enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:45 am 
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Well there we go. Woke up this morning to see Lake Alice iced over by the County Road A Bridge. I could see the lake was completely frozen to the confines where the Wisconsin River and Pine River meet. Looked to be some fog rolling up from down there, which tells me that area isn't quite froze over yet.
Took a ride north of town and saw much of Lake Mohawksin is froze over - checked the ice by Bradley Park and it looked to be at least a half inch. Most of Nokomis is also completely frozen over, with just a few areas still open that were likely exposed to light winds last night.
Half-Moon Lake is now frozen, but other small lakes like Sand and Clear still have open spots in the middle.
At 9 a.m. here in the Tomahawk area there's light wind and the air temp is at 20 degrees. And with forecasted temps expected to remain cold for the foreseeable future, I think we certainly can start the early ice fishing season!
It should go without saying, but make sure to be safe if venturing out anytime soon. Walleyes cruise shallows this time of the year, so tip-ups don't need to be set that far out from shore - I'll be looking for five feet of water or less when I head out tomorrow. Always chip the ice with a spud as you move out onto the lake and carry ice picks with you in case the unthinkable does happen. Personnel flotation is another good idea during early ice, and I also know of some who tie themselves off to shore to be safe.
What a great time of the year to be up here in God's Country! Unfortunately for me, before I can get on the ice, I again have to chip my boat out of the lake this year. Looks like I won't be musky fishing that new-moon phase at the end of November!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:55 am 
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I have a question for the old timers, or those who have access to historical records, or those who have an opinion.....
Have we had flowage water levels this low, this late in the season?
What impact did it have (do you think it will have) on fishing?
With the ice already on the flowages, combined with little water, will there be enough oxygen in the water to sustain this fish population thru the winter?
The fish will have to concentrate in the deeper holes as the ice gets thicker. This will make it very easy to "sit" on the fish all winter long. Much like shooting fish in a barrel.
My obvious concern is the continuation of the strong fish populations we enjoy in the Tomahawk area. Some waters will not be affected (the lakes) but I worry that the flowages are at risk.
Do I have a valid concern?

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:27 pm 
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I have heard from some guys that fish the Spirit and they tell me they really do great on Walleyes during the winter. They find the holes that they are hanging in and bring in the limit almost every time they go out. From what I have seen during the summer finding a legal Walleye is in the Spirit is a tough challenge. Many of the larger fish are gone and by the time the small ones grow up the Spirit is drained and they are taken throught the ice. My impression is that most of the larger fish are taken during the winter and it really hurts the number of spawning age fish that are left.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:58 am 
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I think the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have to get together to prevent the flowages around Tomahawk, especially The Spirit , from going into the winter at such low levels. There has to be something that could be done in late October or in November to bring the levels up before icing up occurs. Where the water levels are in November , can affect the flowage for the entire year.


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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:05 pm 
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I wrote an article that will be featured in tomorrow's Tomahawk Leader that addresses the water level issues.
To be brief, Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company, state DNR and reps from the Spirit Reservoir Association, Lake Nokomis Concerned Citizens and the Lincoln County Lakes and Rivers Association were able to reach an agreement that will keep some additional water in all area reservoirs this winter. Spirit Dam will be open just one inch this winter and Bradley Dam will be open 10 inches.
I also spoke with a DNR fish biologist who said the fish populations on area reservoirs should be OK this winter, barring any unforeseen drastic winter conditions. This is very good news when it comes to protecting our valuable fisheries!
On another positive, ice anglers are back out and reporting good catches of walleye this early ice season. Most accounts say there's three inches of ice, which is what I had on Lake Alice last night - let the first three walleyes go for the season after about an hour of fishing. All three were caught using large fatheads on tip-ups in about five feet of water.
Make sure to use caution if heading out this week as air temps aren't forecasted to be as cold as they have been.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:19 am 
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Wow, :shock: I just saw the photo of The Spirit Flowage in the Leaders Photo Album. The agreement by the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company and the DNR couldn`t have come too soon! :(


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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:44 pm 
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The alarming part is I took that photo weeks before the Spirit Reservoir even reached its lowest point! People were telling me the middle section of the flowage was no more than a trickle at its lowest point. The good news is I spoke with an angler who was fishing it this last weekend and he said he was able to find a few spots that still are eight feet deep. Kudos to WVIC, the DNR and the lake associations for protecting this important resource!
Ice fishing is now in full swing here in the Northwoods. The cold temps we received earlier and the more recent milder temps have created some dicy conditions on many waters. Areas that froze early now have around six inches of ice, while other areas that stayed open are in most cases still open. Continue to use caution and check the ice conditions as you venture out, if you're not sure.
All species have been biting like gangbusters. Weedy bays have been producing pike as well as walleyes. Use tip-ups with shiners or suckers. If the walleyes get finicky, try downsizing and using fatheads. Panfish also are feeding. Make sure to move around till you find where they're stacked up.
There's a lot of fun to had here in the Tomahawk area this time of year. The only hard part is figuring out what species of fish you want to target. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:36 pm 
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I had to refocus my eyes twice yesterday while fishing the Wisconsin River flowage here in the Tomahawk area. Not that the fish were biting light, actually it was just the opposite, but rather, for the first time this year I saw a truck drive out on the ice. Mind you it didn't come out far, but just to see someone doing it this early in the season was quite shocking. Regardless of how good your insurance is or how much your buddies bet you, I'd recommend waiting for at least a couple more inches before driving vehicles out. From what I've seen there's anywhere from six to 10 inches of good ice now.
The couple inches of snow we had over the weekend made for some easy walking. It just started snowing again here in the Tomahawk area, so this will surely change as they're calling for up to six - up to 12 inches is forecasted for the southern portion of the state. Good luck my south of State Hwy. 29 friends! Drive safe and get the snow shovels ready. Hopefully it doesn't turn into a slushy mess out there on the ice.
By all accounts fishing in the Tomahawk area this early-ice season has been spectacular. I've heard from many and already personally have had some amazing walleye action. Tip-ups and suckers in about six feet of water did the trick last night. If the suckers don't work tonight, I'll switch over to using large fatheads as sometimes the eyes get finicky. The panfish bite also has been spectacular. They were in the stumps yesterday but today could be in the channel, so just move around until you find the active fish. Actually ran out of waxies in only a couple hours of fishing.
Oh yeah, the other eye opener I saw yesterday was when a grown eagle repeatedly swooped down over a group of anglers who were fishing inside their portable ice shacks. The eagle obviously was looking for an easy meal. I just don't recall them being so brazen. Looks like this national economic crunch has finally gone to the birds.
Be safe, good luck and enjoy your Northwoods ice time to all heading out this week and upcoming weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:25 am 
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We dodged a bullet in the Tomahawk area last weekend as there wasn't enough snow on the ice to allow any slush to form after the rain. Add in some sub-zero temps over the past few days, and many people are now driving their vehicles on area waters. Still use caution if you're unfamiliar with the area you'll be fishing as the freeze this year took place over a period of time.
I heard reports of vehicles being driven on the Willow last weekend and yesterday saw several on Lake Alice off Horseshoe - the boat landing looked much better than last year. No ruts.
I'm in the same boat as everyone when it comes to finding the panfish this weekend. I typically like to start a little shallower, move around and work my way deeper to find fish.
Hearing some mixed results on the walleye bite. An angler I spoke with said he had the best action he's ever had last weekend. Another told me the past four days have been slow for him after he had a great start to the ice season. I had tip-ups out last night for just over an hour and landed and released a 20 and 18 with some smaller ones mixed in. All fish were caught on suckers.
This weekend looks like it could be a good one as the fish appear to be active and a front is set to move through either Friday night or Saturday. Plus the daytime temps are forecasted to be above 10 degrees!
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:57 pm 
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I'm not sure how many people have already heard about this, but I was troubled to learn about the altercation that took place between two middle-aged anglers out on Lake Alice last Wednesday.
Apparently a guy drilled holes only a few feet away from where another angler was already fishing, and after some less than flattering words were exchanged, the Lincoln County rec. officer had to break up the pursuing scuffle. Each is being cited for disorderly conduct.
There's several disturbing factoids about this story. I wasn't there to witness the altercation, but I do understand the frustration that is felt when another angler destroys the sanctity of the angling code - that is, treating other anglers how you yourself would wish to be treated. I also understand that occasionally misunderstandings do occur - just ask the camouflaged duck hunter who had to "quack" me on my way when I unknowingly stopped to musky fish the same area he was hunting nearby without decoys last fall.
Whether it was a mistake or this guy is a jerk, I can't say. But what I do know is there's about a million stumps and plenty of fish to be caught in the area where the altercation took place. Case in point. Two weeks ago I fished off the Cty. Rd. D side in the stumps and caught bluegills and crappies. On Saturday anglers were already fishing there when I arrived, so I fished the channel and caught bluegills and crappies. I then moved to the Cty. Rd. A side and caught crappies and bluegills in the stumps. I guess what I'm getting at is no fish is worth a fine. No jerk is worth ruining a good day on the ice over. And, be it a side note, but the fishing continues to be great in the Tomahawk area.
The walleye bite remains aggressive. Tip-ups rigged with suckers in shallow (five to six feet of water) has continued to produce nice-sized fish right before and after dark. And travel is in ideal conditions as there's around a foot of ice and a couple inches of snow - no slush on the ice!
Let's let this holiday season serve as a reminder of the need to be civil and respectful towards one another. Good luck to all heading out this week and upcoming weekend. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods ice time. Happy Holidays.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:46 am 
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Do I have to be nice to bears or viqueen fans?

Merry Christmas!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:03 pm 
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Just my thoughts.
The difference between a porcupine and the Metrodome is the 50,000 pricks are on the outside of the porcupine.
The bears still suck!
Unfortunately because of circumstances, I can only remind my Bear and Vikequeen friends of how their teams looked last week. For one group, it looks like it will be a one-and-done kind of end to the season in the playoffs. How much do Viking fans loath the Falcons!
Let's be nice to our fellow anglers, though. Tight lines and many flags a flying!
But seriously, I wish even Bears and Vikings fans a happy holiday season and prosperous (not in football terms) new year.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:31 pm 
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Let the viqueen fans have their fun, as usual the odds are they will choke on the first big one and the season will be over. :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Now the question is do you pull for the Vikequeens since they represent the NFC North? I kinda ... No, I guess I enjoy the notion of 0-4 and no trophies in the team's trophy case.
Ice fishing conditions are in pretty good shape here in the Tomahawk area despite the wide range of weather we've experienced over the past few weeks. Out on Alice yesterday and there was well over a foot of ice, a few inches of snow and no slush. Trucks and cars all over the place. The only drawback is the lakes are a little bumpy, but its nothing like how they have been in years past.
Along with vehicles, there's also a lot of snowmobiles on the lakes this time of the year. It's a pretty good idea to put some sort of marker by each of your tip-ups to ward off any passers by.
Fishing appears to have slacked off a bit from the great early-ice season that we experienced this past month and a half. I know I say this often, but this is the time of the year when you really want to move around till you find active fish. As always, weather conditions are important to keep track of. Saturday (Jan. 3) should provide for some decent fishing before this next storm moves into the area. I also pay close attention to the lunar charts when ice fishing as they can trigger panfish feeding periods throughout the day.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend and enjoy your Northwoods ice time. Best of wishes and tight lines in 2009!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:36 pm 
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What is that strange noise I hear coming from Minni-ha-ha land ?

It sounds a lot like the viqueens choking in the playoff game ! :P :P

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:30 am 
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Viqueens needed two extension to sell out the stadium to avoid a black out of television coverage in the state. (Let's hear it for fan support?) Or did the locals just know that the queens would falter in the first round???

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:52 pm 
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It's too bad fishing isn't always as easy to predict as the Vikequeens early demise in the playoffs was. I suspect a lot of purple fans now wish they'd blacked out the game - that's unbelievable a home game almost wasn't televised in its own local market. However, I'm not really surprised since I have a couple friends from the purple state. Never, never in a million years would this happen in Packerland. Probably not in Detroit, either. The only reason I watched is because the weather in the Tomahawk area was pretty lousy.
On the subject of bad, frigid temps are again forecasted for this weekend here in the Tomahawk area. Looks like it will be another good one to fish from the permanent or portable ice shacks. We only picked up a dusting of snow during this last weekend (they were calling for 5-9 inches by Sunday), so ice conditions remain in great shape for vehicle travel.
Panfish action was slow, to say the least, on the lakes I fished in Lincoln and Forest County over the past few days. Looks like it might be a good time of the year to get out and try some of those pothole lakes that dot the Tomahawk region. There's hundreds out there to be explored (just remember not to remove water from the lake and leave used bait behind - VHS prevention). And if you don't catch fish, you can always employ the Vikequeen's one-and-done policy!
Good luck to everyone heading out this week. Enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:47 pm 
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We've reached that point in the winter where electronics are really paying off for anglers looking to target panfish.
The perch and bluegills are much more finicky than they were, and the Vexlar can help anglers locate and entice fish into hitting when they show little interest in feeding at all. A practice that worked well this past weekend was bouncing a jig off the bottom and slowly raising it, along with the fish, until they hit the presentation - small jigs tipped with waxies and wigglers.
The Vexlar also helped bring a few rainbows through the hole while fishing a small, stocked lake on Sunday. The trout were suspended in about 20 feet of water. The biggest was a pretty 13. A photo is attached.
I'm personally not a big proponent of any form of electronic (I like to keep things as simple as possible and have a keen ability to purchase equipment built on Mondays), but after the success my buddy and I had and how finicky the panfish have been, I'm reconsidering.
Another important piece of ice fishing equipment that every angler in the Tomahawk area should have is the tip-down. A pink or orange jig tipped with a rosie red minnow hooked through the tail works great when targeting crappies.
Also important this time of the year is to find an active lake. Keep moving until you find feeding fish - remember its against the law to remove lake water and used minnows must be left behind.
The morning bite was good over this past weekend as was the hour before dusk.
Good luck to all brave souls heading out this week. Stay warm and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.


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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:53 am 
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Everyone here in the Tomahawk area has been talking about their thermometers lately. Monday morning saw temps bottom out at -32, yesterday it dropped to -26 and this morning a fellow employee told me when she left her house it was -22 degrees. Thank goodness thermometers aren't an inch longer, or we all may have frozen solid during this most recent cold spell.
Fortunately a much anticipated warm up is expected this weekend. The extended forecast even shows the balmy temps might stick around for the Alice in Winterland ice fishing tournament taking place on Lake Alice next Saturday (Feb. 7). We'll have to keep our fingers crossed. Part of funds raised this year are going to help cover costs of a much needed lake management plan. What a great way to spend the day with the family out fishing while supporting a good cause.
With February on the doorstep, look for crappie fishing to begin picking up on area impoundments. Using rosy reds on Tip-downs in stump filled bays is a good bet for these fish.
Walleye action should remain good during the early and evening bites. Remember to downsize the presentation if the fish are being finicky. Large fatheads work great when lockjaw sets in and can even produce some bonus slab perch.
Travel conditions are in pretty good shape on area lakes and flowages. There's a good two to three feet of ice and about six to eight inches of snow. The cold should have taken care of any slush that was around. It's always a good idea to take along a shovel as drifting snow has made some areas a little more tricky to navigate.
The nice thing about this recent arctic blast is it allowed time to fix up the fishing gear. The Polar tip-ups got a much needed greasing, new line was added to some ice fishing reels and the musky gear finally got attended to.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and coming weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:36 am 
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After an extremely cold week, fishing got hot as temperatures warmed into the upper 30s this past weekend. This morning in Tomahawk the air temperature was at 2 degrees at 8 a.m. If the forecast holds as predicted, we may be looking at a carbon copy and another fantastic weekend out on the ice. They're calling for highs in the mid-30s by Saturday.
Just to give an idea of how strong the bite was, Saturday I drove out on Big Arb, punched two holes and within an hour had a limit of 9 to 11 inch perch. The fish I stumbled upon were in about nine feet of water and were looking for wigglers. My next stop was at a buddy's ice shack to target walleyes on a smaller lake just north of Tomahawk. These fish also proved to be active and were caught on both suckers and large fatheads. A return trip Sunday before the Super Bowl also produced walleyes, with the larger fish coming from a deeper hole next to the structure we were fishing.
I certainly don't want to suggest that fishing can't be good when cold conditions set in (typically things pick back up two or three days following when a cold front moves through), but some fantastic fishing can be had when we get warm-ups after these cold spells. Just make sure to continue searching until you find the active fish.
Travel on area lakes is still pretty good, although the big winds Sunday caused for some minor drifting on plowed roads.
Good luck to everyone heading out for the big Alice in Winterland ice fishing tournament on Lake Alice this Saturday. The contest runs from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Event planners have told me a lot of nice prizes are again being raffled off this year, including cash prizes for the biggest fish caught. Stop in at Chuck's Bait Shop and I'm sure he'll be able to offer up some fishing advice and directions, if needed.
Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:05 pm 
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Hopefully everyone had the opportunity to get out and enjoy some time on the ice over the past few days. The warmer temps provided a much needed cure for the cabin fever, and it also triggered a very aggressive bite that lasted all weekend. All species of fish should remain feeding over the next two days before some cooler temps slow things down prior to the weekend. I'm not sure to the extent of the cold front, but if it is like the one that moved through on Friday night, then fishing should be in the good range throughout the entire week and weekend - I saw highs predicted in the 20s after a near record 45 is forecasted for the Tomahawk area tomorrow.
I've heard reports of crappies biting in the deeper water as well as in the stump fields. The clear lakes I've been fishing just north of Tomahawk have been producing many walleyes and perch off the deepest weeds I've been able to find. Crappie and rosie red minnows have been producing decent size and numbers of fish. Wigglers are also working great for perch and even producing a few walleyes. Reports are the recent warm-up really got the pike active too.
The warmer temps also have made travel a lot easier. The snow really got knocked down on area lakes, and as of yet, I haven't seen any slushy spots. Truck travel is again possible on most ice, and I've even been seeing a few cars traveling out on plowed roads.
A roughly estimated 500 to 600 anglers made it out for Alice in Winterland on Lake Alice. Congrats to all the winners and I hope everyone had fun. Profits from the fishoree are going to fund a lake management plan. Tomahawk Fishing Unlimited Inc. is hosting its annual free Kid's Ice Fishing Contest in Tomahawk this Saturday. Then on Feb. 28 the Somo Fish and Game Club will be hosting its annual fishoree on Somo Lake from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Make sure to take advantage of these warm spells when they come around. Along with providing a break from the cabin fever, they also bring with them some very nice fishing and active bites. Good luck to everyone heading out and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:12 pm 
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If you're heading out in the Tomahawk area this weekend you may want to bring along the ice creepers as some patches of ice are very slick now. The recent warm temps and rain have just about taken care of all snow on area flowages and lakes. However, we did receive a fresh inch or two of snow over the past few days, so the slippery spots can now be tricky to detect.
Vehicle travel conditions are nearly ideal. The snow is gone and we still have around three feet of ice.
No big wether changes are forecasted for the weekend and it appears we may have settled into a calm pattern with seasonal temps. Look for fishing to remain good, with best bites for walleyes and crappies coming during peek dawn and dusk hours. It goes without saying, but this is the time of the year when moving around to find active fish can really pay off. If the crappies aren't bitting in the stump fields, try finding some deeper water and suspended fish. Active perch can usually be located on deeper weeds or mud flats. Just make sure not to put all your eggs in one basket by hunkering down on an old good spot. Mobility is key when the fish might need some extra finessing to trigger the bite.
The fish might not be quite as active as they were the past two weekends when the warm fronts were pushing through, but I suspect those who get out and are willing to track down the active fish will have a fantastic weekend on the ice!
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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