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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:42 pm 
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The rain just started falling here in the Tomahawk area. Hopefully the forecasters are correct and it will stick around until early Saturday - actually had to get out and water the garden last night as we haven't seen the big storms that hit other parts of the state earlier in the week.
About the only stable weather pattern we've experienced lately is unstable weather followed by a few days of high pressure before the next storm system moves in. Not very enticing overall for the musky angler who has a day job, as most my fishing opportunities have included fishing after the rain or during bluebird sky, high pressure conditions.
The best time to be on the water is before or during the storms, which is evident in the massive musky Tina Frick boated last week on her fifth cast between storms Wednesday. What an impressive fish. I had to laugh when her husband told me she plans to start lifting weights (the fish weighs almost half her weight) as they've seen bigger muskies in Tomahawk waters.
Several opportunities might help "align the stars" to produce some more great fishing periods heading into this weekend. A full moon will occur Monday, which means action should start to increase tomorrow, when storms are expected to still be pushing through the area. There's also a two-hour major starting Friday at 9:41 a.m. During the evening the one-hour minor starts on Friday at 3:54 p.m. - check out the lunar charts to get additional times throughout the weekend.
While I spend most my summer chasing muskies, I have been spending a bit of time on the water getting a few perch for the Fry Daddy over the past few weekends. The fish were caught over weed beds on slip bobbers with chunks of nightcrawlers. The best times have been during the afternoon an evening. Keep in mind water flow rates on area flowages can change with the rain we've been experiencing that will impact fishing. If they open the gates on the impoundments along Hwy. 107 try a different body of water.
Hopefully the rain will continue to fall here across the Northwoods and we can fill up area lakes and flowages. The last I heard the Willow was only 4 feet down, which is a virtual miracle considering where it was to start the year.
Looks like it will be a great weekend to get out on the water and enjoy all the splendor that Mother Nature provides here in the Northwoods. Conditions look like they'll be favorable early in the weekend to even offer a shot at some great fishing action. Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:22 pm 
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Spent a considerable amount of time chasing muskies the past several days here in the Tomahawk area. Fishing proved to be slow, as a buddy and I were only able to boat one fish after about 20 hours on the water over a three-day span.
Tried a variety of presentations, including topwaters, bucktails, Suicks, plastics and just about everything else in the tackle box. The one fish caught was during a major Friday afternoon. My musky partner was throwing topwater over the deep edge of a weed point when the hefty 40-inch fish hit. She was released after a few pics were taken. The only other action came during a minor earlier in the day Friday. We had to cover a lot of water to find just a few active fish. We didn't try the night bite, which might have produced considering the time of year and how inactive the fish were during the day.
Despite the slow fishing, it was nice to be on the water observing nature and spending time with a good friend. I suspect heading into this weekend musky action should start to pick back up, as a new-moon phase is set to start later this week. Some decent times might also exist prior to any of these pop-up storms that are forecasted to move through the area until things start to settle down into Wednesday.
While musky fishing proved slow, another out fishing with us was able to have some decent success throwing for other species of game fish. I'm sad to report the B-1 minus Jeff gave to me to use was lost to a big, unidentified fish Saturday. The lure had been producing some nice smallies and pike before being snapped off. Thanks to opening my eyes to a new and productive lure, Jeff.
Walleye action has been picking back up around the dams. Congrats to Chuck from Chuck's Bait Shop on a 29 1/2 inch beast caught recently.
We really are fortunate to have some great fishing opportunities in the Tomahawk area this summer, as water levels are higher on area flowages than they have been in years. Make sure to get out and enjoy it while you can. Before long geese will be flying overhead and that first frost will be turning things from lush green to brown.
I'm already chomping at the bit to get back out on the water in search of the next musky.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Took a little time off from muskie fishing as the family was in town over this past weekend. Ended up catching some very nice bull bluegills in the slack water along current on Lake Mohawksin. This is a fun pattern that proves a blast each summer. Fish were caught using leeches and slip bobbers in about 7 feet of water.
We picked up over 4 inches of rain out by the house in Spirit Falls. The Spirit is full again, which hasn't been the case this time of year for several years. It's remarkable, as the Willow is down only a couple of feet and Nokomis is almost full after starting the summer very dry. Hopefully the rain will continue into the fall and a good amount of snow is seen this winter. I think at that point we could start looking at possibly ending this drought. Some additional showers are even in the forecast for later this week.
Will be getting out on the water once the weather cools back down - the air temp has been around 90 yesterday and today here in the Tomahawk area. They're talking about a shift in the jet stream that is expected to change things considerably heading into the weekend. It will be interesting to see how this impacts fishing in the days to follow.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:22 am 
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What a relief to have some enjoyable fishing weather over the past few days after a summer comprised of mostly hot and muggy conditions.
The big cool down hasn't cooled off fishing, at least not any longer a few days into this pattern with highs in the 70s. Got out for a few hours on the Somo the other night and fishing partner boated a nice 20-inch walleye throwing the Big O in crayfish color along a weed bed that dropped into deeper water. As she pulled the fish from the water, it spit out what was either a six-inch perch or minnow that was still alive, which is always a good sign. She had a few other hits and caught a crappie in the short time we were on the water. I had a topwater whacked by a musky but wasn't able to get a hook in the fish.
The mosquitos are still bad, but at least with the cooler temps, we were able to put jackets and additional clothing on to prevent being bit.
With the lunes calling and a cool breeze blowing as the sun set over the Somo, it served as a reminder that the summer of 2010 is almost gone. We stayed out on the water a little later that night.
Some decent muskies were caught during the WMT's tournament on Lake Mohawksin over this past weekend, including 49 1/4 inch, 47 inch and a couple more fish in the 40s. Good luck to everyone taking part in this weekend's big MMM tournament out on Mohawksin.
A full-moon phase begins this Saturday, so fishing should continue to improve heading into the weekend. Summer is almost at the end, so make sure to get out and enjoy the some time on the water soon, if you can.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:04 pm 
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I wasn't of the mindset that Fall had arrived yet until I had to scrape some serious frost off the vehicle window this morning out at the house in Spirit Falls. The Autumn colors are really starting to show up in the forest canopy here in Tomahawk, which seems hard to believe since only a few weeks back we were fishing under the suppressive heat of summer.
But it appears we are turning the table, and that's good news for musky hunters looking to boat a big girl before the lakes and flowages freeze over in the not too distant future.
Myself included, a lot of anglers like to drag a sucker on a quick-strike rig this time of year. This can be a great approach when the first really big cool down occurs (not sure if we're quite there yet), and is a great way to hook into those trailing muskies that are missed or not seen at boat side. I typically will run a sucker on a bobber a few feet from the boat to start the Fall - use a clicker real that provides tension, makes you aware of a strike, and releases line when a fish hits. As the season moves along and the fish become aware of this technique, I'll let out more line to keep the presentation further from the boat. Remember to set the hook as soon as possible when using these rigs, since the last thing anyone wants to do is injure a fish in the process of trying to boat a big hog.
This time of year I'll start switching over to Suicks and Bobbie Baits and move away from topwaters - although I'll still use these if I see a lot of action from other fish on the water surface. I also like to throw plastics this time of year. A Bulldawg worked along where weed edges and the channel connect can be very productive. Julio turned me on to throwing deep running
Steve Baumann, who resides in Illinois and has had a cabin in Tomahawk since 1973, sent me a photograph earlier this week of a monster musky. His 15-year-old, Justin, boated the 52' beast on the third cast out Labor Day morning while fishing the Wisconsin River system. While not out boating monster muskies, Justin spends as much time as he can on his hometown waters as a member of the Marengo High School bass fishing team. Congrats on a beautiful fish, Justin! Look for a photo of Justin's catch in the Sept. 14 issue of the Tomahawk Leader.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Tight lines and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:34 pm 
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The fall colors are exploding right now in the Tomahawk area, which makes for the perfect backdrop while out on the water.
Had some action dragging a sucker heading into this Harvest Moon, which started yesterday and runs through this weekend. Like the muskies and other species of fish, I always get excited and try to get on the water when there's a full moon taking place. Add in that the cooler water temps has fishing action heating up, and I'm hoping to spend as much time as possible pounding water in the coming days.
There talking about some significant rainfall moving in tomorrow, with more rain possible for Friday and a slight chance Saturday. We could get up to 4 inches Thursday. That could certainly impact fishing, and could even cause flooding in some low lying areas.
Lake Mohawksin upriver from the North Fourth Street Bridge is currently closed to boat traffic to allow placing of conduit as part of the dredging project. The conduit was installed this morning and the river should be back open to boat traffic in the near future. The city will learn Sept. 30 whether the river will need to be closed to boat traffic during bridge removal. The bridge is being closed to traffic Oct. 1 and demolition is scheduled to begin Oct. 4. The Hwy. 51 Bridge will serve as the vehicle detour during construction.
There's been some pretty decent reports for all species of fish thanks to the recent cool down. Hopefully warmer forecasted temps and heavy rain won't shut things down heading into this weekend.
The sucker action mentioned earlier on my last trip out did not result in a musky. The fish hit the bait while it was up near the surface. It then saw me in the boat and let go. A couple teeth marks and a big swirl was the excitement for the afternoon. The good news I now know where she lives, and hopefully will be making a return visit later on today.
This certainly is a great time of the year to be out on the water in the Tomahawk area. The fish are active and the scenery can't be beat.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:30 am 
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A lot of lookers but no takers while out chasing muskies over the past several days. Fished three different flowages and experienced the same thing. The fish would come up and look or grab the sucker and then back off or spit it out. Hopefully the next big cool down will pick up the sucker bite, which looks it might begin this weekend. The Saturday forecast high in Tomahawk is 49 degrees.
Other species of fish have been pretty active. Walleyes are being caught where there's good current on area flowages. Small mouth bass are also located in these areas and even some crappies are being picked up - try along weed edges, otherwise. The perch are now up in the shallow stumpy areas. We've been just using jigs and twister tales to catch all these species of fish, but minnows will work and can be kept alive this time of year. In case you haven't been in Tomahawk lately, we did survive the floods last week with only some spotty flooding - Zenith Tower Road was pretty washed out by the Little Somo. According to the WVIC, the Wisconsin River today was back to where it started before last week's heavy rains, or around 10,000 cfs (cubic feet per second).
The fall colors are peaking right now, and the fishing here in Tomahawk couldn't be better. There's also the one-time Burn the Bridge Bash taking place on the North Fourth Street Bridge deck this Saturday. Children activities start at 10 a.m. Food will be available starting at 11 a.m. Pontoon Rides and hay rides through Bradley Park will take place. Heated beer tent from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. with live polka and bluegrass music throughout the day. Sounds like it will be a good time, plus proceeds go to support promoting the community's businesses during construction. Oh yeah, the big Burn the Bridge Bonfire will be lit around 6 or 6:30 p.m. And just an FYI, the North Fourth Street will close for demolition starting tomorrow (Oct. 1) at 7 a.m. Time to start combining those grocery and bait runs!
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun and enjoy your scenic Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:09 pm 
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Interested in a larger B1 minus stretch or two? Or do you want a replacement for the one that got away?

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:40 pm 
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Thanks Jeff,
I picked up a couple while I was down in Appleton a few weeks back, so I should be sitting pretty good for a while. Thanks for letting me know about the deal they had going on at Fleet Farm. Those lures sure provided for some fun this summer. Between them and the Big O, we were pretty much able to cover any type of water we fished over the past several months.
Looks like we'll be experiencing an Indian Summer pattern over the next week, which will likely cool of the musky fishing that has been heating up as of late. Was out for a couple hours after the Packer win last night (no wind and blue bluebird skies) and had three hits on the sucker. Unfortunately the fish were still just looking and not eating. I'm starting to think the "big feed" might have already taken place, as I ran into a similar situation out on Mohawksin last year later in the fall. Hoping to get out on the water soon before this warm up begins and the muskie fishing slows. Going to be trying some different patterns as the Suicks, Bobby Baits and bulldawgs have not been producing yet. Even if the fishing slows a bit, it still should be nice weather to be out on the water and scenery this time of year just can't be beat. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:12 am 
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The much anticipated October full moon has finally arrived, and conditions currently look like they couldn't be better for musky anglers heading into this weekend. Cool evenings have water temps dropping back down again, and a stable weather pattern looks like it will be in place heading into Saturday. The combination of all these factors should produce some exceptional musky fishing. Plus, they're talking about air temps in the mid 50s during the day, so it should be very comfortable to be out on the water.
I haven't been out the past few days, but in a couple hours Friday evening I saw action throwing the Reef Hawg and dragging the sucker. I've been working the bait very slow and trying to pick apart spots like points and transition areas where weeds drop off into deeper water. I'll be looking for fish this week in anywhere from two feet, with deeper water nearby, to around eight feet on Tomahawk area flowages. I'll be sticking to the Reef Hawg and **** Hounds mostly unless I start to see some action on the soft plastics, which I usually prefer because of better hook up rates.
Action should be pretty good for perch and walleye as well. Simple hook and sinker tipped with a crappie minnow in stumpy, shallower water should produce some nice eaters. Also picked up a few nice walleyes last weekend jigging fatheads in deeper water during the evening.
With the bird season now open, bow hunting opportunity picking up with leaves off the trees and a full moon set to happen on Friday that should trigger a great musky bite, there's certainly a plethora of outdoor opportunity to enjoy this weekend. Whether it's in the woods or on the water, good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:23 pm 
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A quick report on musky fishing over this past weekend. I have to be quick as I'm heading back out on the water while the action is still hot.
While I heard of some others having pretty good success dragging suckers, our best action has remained on the jerk baits. A friend boated a very thick 45-inch fish Saturday afternoon after we had been on the water less than a half-hour in the Tomahawk area. He caught the fish on a Phantom and was working the lure over shallower water next to the channel. I followed that fish up with a 40 of my own about ten minutes later Saturday afternoon. The fish was also caught using jerk baits in shallower water near the channel.
We tried an assortment of lures over the weekend and the best producers by far were the jerk baits. I missed another fish Sunday using a pretty long pause between jerks of the bait. The lure I caught and missed a fish on was a Reef Hawg with plastic tail. Sounds like there's some major weather changes heading in this evening, so the bite should be on heading into this evening. Big wind and a significant cool off will make things interesting after tomorrow.
Hopefully will have some big fish pictures to share pretty soon. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:28 am 
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The cooling water temps have really turned on the walleye bite in the Tomahawk area over the past few days. Found some very active fish while out with family Sunday afternoon and again while out last evening. We've been using simple hook and sinkers tipped with fatheads or jig and fathead combinations. The majority of fish have been very nice sized, with a few even pushing the 20-inch mark. There's even been a few black crappies caught using slip bobbers.
The best part about the recent walleye action is it has all come while fishing from shore. The fish were all caught below one of the Tomahawk area dams. There's been a lot of current from the recent rains, so we've been targeting the slack water and finding fish. The technique has been the same as usual, to speed up the retrieve when the fish are more active and slowing things down a bit when they are not. This bite provides a great opportunity for those who might have put the boat away for the winter but still want to get some fishing time in. I must say this is one of those things that makes Tomahawk very unique for anglers. No boat, no problem. There's almost always good fishing to be had beneath one of the several dams that surround the city.
Due to the fantastic walleye bite experienced as of late, I haven't had time to get after the esox out on area waters. The weather forecast is for temps rebound after a quick cold front into the upper 40s and possibly even 50s this weekend, so hopefully will have one last shot at a big hog yet this year.
Unlike last fall, when temps were well above normal throughout November, this year temps seem to be dropping at a much more seasonal rate. There's been some skim ice on the marsh areas on Lake Mohawksin already, so it shouldn't be long and we'll be getting those tip-ups ready for early ice.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:55 am 
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Some anglers are still out trying for that last big muskie of the season, but after shoveling a good amount of snow out of the boat last weekend, I decided to call it season. Susie Nyberg, Tomahawk, brought in a photo of really nice 48 caught on Lake Mohawksin last week. She said the fish was caught up along the shallows just after a mid-day minor. Congrats on the nice fish, Susie!
Tomahawk area dams are still providing some catches of walleyes, although they don't seem to be as aggressive as they were when the water was flowing a few weeks back. These fish can be caught using fatheads and a hook and sinker or jig head. A jig head and twister tail can also be productive on some waters.
The bulk of talk this week has been about the upcoming deer hunt and the world premiere of Tomahawk native Jay Leggett's "To the Hunt." The documentary about the tradition surrounding the hunt and hunting shack cultures features a number of Tomahawk residents and should be a lot of fun. The world premiere gala takes place at the Tomahawk Cinema this Thursday starting at around 3 p.m., with the showing at 4:30 p.m. Stop down and cheer the local celebrities on as they make their way down the "blaze orange" carpet. A second showing open to the public will also premiere at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.
The Tomahawk Regional Chamber of Commerce's 45th annual Free Venison Feed also takes place this Friday in downtown Tomahawk. Everyone is invited to stop down and grab a venison burger and some other fixings before heading out into the woods. The event gets underway at around 11:30 a.m.
It looks like we are still at least a weekend out from the start of the early ice fishing season. I might be pretty optimistic, but looking at the extended forecast, there's suppose to be a big cool down coming around this time next week. Usually a couple single digit nights and high 20 days and were talking fishable ice in the wind protected bays. Follow along as I'll again be tracking early ice in the coming weeks as it starts to form.
Good luck to all the brave souls heading out for one last shot at a trophy muskie, and happy hunting to all those heading to the woods for the opener this weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods woods and water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:48 am 
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The temperature here in the Tomahawk area at just after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday is at a crisp 16 degrees. Took a drive around this morning before work and found some new ice had formed on a small lake and some wind protected bays overnight. Temperatures aren't expected to rise much over the coming days, so the areas where ice is should continue to thicken. It will be interesting to see how widespread ice will be by this weekend, as forecasters are predicting winds to persist through today and I believe tomorrow. The good news is we should have fishable ice come Saturday. Those who do venture out should use caution. I carry ice picks and use a spud to check ice depths as I venture along. I've also used ropes and brought along flotation devices.
Some might wonder why anyone would risk getting a wet end to get out on the ice this early in the year. The answer is big, active walleyes. Tip-ups can be set off structure in as little as three to four feet early on. Rocky shorelines and weedy bays are good places to target this time of year. Make sure to be as quiet as possible and to back off your tip-ups while waiting for action.
Hunters across the Northwoods also woke to a bit of good news this morning, as a light coat of snow blanketed the ground in the Tomahawk area. Good hunting to all those heading into the woods over the next few days.
No disrespect to Phillips or Childress, but how great was it for Packer nation to see the head coaches of two rivals canned after taking a thumping at the hands of the Green and Gold in consecutive games. A Super Bowl win would be nice, but I can't stop smiling about this early Christmas present. I'm sure I'll still be smiling while slipping big walleyes back into the Spirit this weekend.
Speaking of being grateful, happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there. Hope your travels are safe and your Thanksgiving Day is spent surrounded by and spent doing what your are thankful for.
Good luck and be safe to everyone heading into the woods and onto early ice this weekend. I'll try to get some more info up in the coming days about ice conditions before this weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:29 pm 
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Actually I was hoping that the Viqueens would keep Childress. Like Greene & Tice before him, Childress could be counted on to screw things up. Then it was up to the Packers to take advantage.

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to all. (Especially you goofy early ice fishing men & women!)

Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Jeff, based on the Viking's personnel decisions over the past few months and years, I'm not too concerned a new coach will make much of a difference. In fact, if I were a Viking fan, I would be quite concerned over whether this team will even be around after the Metrodome contract expires next year. The love boat may be getting ready to set sale for a new home stadium.
But of more importance than a fading franchise heading into this holiday season, they're calling for two to four inches of snow in the area over the next day or so. Holiday drivers will need to take it easy, and the untimely snowfall could pose some problems concerning future ice conditions. On my way into work this morning I saw much of Mohawksin and the Spirit were frozen over. I also heard Nokomis has around a half-inch of ice after last night's big freeze.
I'm still expecting small lakes and wind protected back bays will have enough ice to venture out on by as early as tomorrow, but the bigger waters might get a little dicey going forward because of this snow. Just like the fate of Viking Nation, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Here's to hoping only one of them sticks around:)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Be safe and good luck to everyone heading out for the hunt and to do some ice fishing this weekend. I'm hoping to give one last ice condition update Friday.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:36 pm 
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We're at 14 degrees here in the Tomahawk area on Friday at 11 a.m. Just drove down to Bradley Park to check ice conditions and things are looking pretty good - about 2 inches. The shoreline looked much firmer than the couple places I checked yesterday. I'm probably going to give it one more night to firm up (there forecasting single digit lows again) before getting out tomorrow for some panfish and walleye action.
As always, make sure to use caution if heading out this weekend. From the lack of gun fire I've been hearing out in the Spirit Falls area, my guess is more than a few will be looking forward to getting on the ice after spending the past week in the woods. Good luck to all hunters on these past few days of the 2010 season. Hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Remember ice depths will very from lake to lake and from bay to river channel, so please use caution. Use the spud to check ice thickness and fish shallow (3 to 4 feet) if unsure about ice depths. Weedy and woody back bays can be real productive this time of year and should have some of the better ice out there. The fun season is finally upon us. Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Just as expected, the 2010 ice fishing season got underway for many this past weekend in the Tomahawk area. As of last night the Spirit Flowage had three to four inches of ice in the area I fished, which was along the shoreline in about 8 feet of water in the main basin of the lake. Anglers were also fishing on Mohawksin and Alice from what I saw and was told.
This can be a really good time of the year for perch and bluegill in the weeds and stump fields. I've also heard of some good crappie action on Mohawksin this time of year in the deeper areas. I've been sticking to watching tip-ups from shore the past two days. Last night produced a nice 25-inch walleye and a few other smaller fish that were all caught on shiners and released.
I'm still checking the ice as I go along as thickness can change drastically from area to area. The big concern will be for this evening and tomorrow, as the forecast is calling for rainfall to be followed by snow. Hopefully we don't lose too much ice and what precipitation does fall doesn't turn into slop for an extended period of time. The good news is some cold weather is forecasted to follow the storm, so hopefully we'll just be adding to the ice thickness for the coming weekend.
This coming weekend should provide the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the great early bite now taking place on area lakes and flowages. Remember to only take what you need and put the rest back for seed.
On a side note, it certainly was odd to be catching fish in the same area where I drove my truck onto the lake last winter - the Spirit is a good 10 feet fuller than it was the past few years. Just another of the many things to be thankful for.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods early ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:40 pm 
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I haven't had a chance to get out on the ice since the rain fell a couple days back, but from the way things look out there, I would suspect we'll have plenty of good ice come this weekend. The rain might actually have helped in the long run, as I was coming across varying ice depths (2 inches to 4 inches) last weekend due to the snow that had accumulated in some spots. We haven't been above freezing since Tuesday morning and the extended forecast shows we are supposed to stay cold well into the future, so things are looking pretty good right now.
I've even heard of a few permanent ice shacks already going out on area waters. I'll make sure to post next week on how the bite was. Please make sure to use caution if venturing out this weekend, as safety should always be the top priority when fishing early ice.
Good luck out there and have fun during your Northwoods early ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:24 pm 
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I would not be a bit surprised to hear of vehicles out on the ice here in the Tomahawk area this coming weekend. While I would strongly recommend against it, someone always seems to be testing the ice not long after the first ATVs venture out, which was the case on Lake Alice over this past weekend. Lake Alice had about five inches off Horseshoe on Sunday, and with all the cold temps we've been having, we should have quite a bit more by this weekend. It's still a good idea to use caution if unfamiliar with the ice conditions where fishing - there's still open water near the Hwy. 86 Bridge on Mohawksin.
I've been hearing of some decent panfish and early ice walleye action. Shiners or large fatheads on tip-ups have been producing some nice walleyes and some good catches of perch and gills have been picked up in the weeds and wood. Pike can also provide a lot of fun action this time of year in the weedy bays.
In realizing how redundant I sound (I say it about spring, summer and fall, too) this certainly is a great time of the year to wet a line. The fish are much more active than they will be in a few months during the dead of winter, so make sure to make time to get out and enjoy.
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 Dec 14, 2010 4:34 pm 
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Temps approaching 30 below zero last night (no wind chill included) might have helped firm things back up after nearly a foot of snow fell over this past weekend here in the Tomahawk area.
Fished a clear lake north of town Saturday and found somewhat active bluegills and perch. Didn't have much time to fish as had to get home before the snowstorm got too bad. Fish were caught off tip-ups rigged with fatheads and by using a simple jig and grub presentation in the weeds. This can be a real fun time of the year to catch panfish as both species can now be caught in somewhat shallow water. Even caught a walleye off one of the tip-ups as an added bonus.
The bad news is water was already starting to cover the ice where we were fishing Saturday when we left in the afternoon. I wouldn't be surprised to find some areas of lakes that are covered with slush as a result of all the snow we picked up. Really seeing a range of ice, from upwards of 10 inches on Alice and the Spirit to a couple inches on the lake fished Saturday.
Not really sure yet what to expect heading into this weekend. Travel might be good for ATV owners, but a foot of snow and or slush could make it rotten for those looking to get around on foot.
Hoping to get out on the Spirit tomorrow and will report back on ice and fishing conditions before the weekend.
Good luck to everyone heading out. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:32 pm 
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Another very cold night out in the Spirit Falls area west of Tomahawk. Although it didn't get down to 30 below like it had the previous two nights, we still dropped down to negative 24 this morning, which is still pretty darn frigid.
The bad news is the bitter temps didn't do much to get rid of the slush resulting from last weekend's big snow. I got out on the Spirit yesterday evening and found slush about 20 feet out. From there on it was just about 10 inches of snow. ATV travel now seems to be a pretty safe bet, and I've even heard of a few vehicles being driven on some backwaters. I found around 7 to 8 inches of ice on the Spirit where I was fishing last night. Expect more and maybe even much less depending on where you go this weekend. Especially with this new snow, keep in mind ice will very greatly and different depths can be expected even on the same body of water.
It would have been really nice for everyone if this big snow would've had held off for a week or two so all lakes could've firmed up, but I guess we've got to work with what we've been dealt. Oneida County is joining Vilas County in opening snowmobile trails for this weekend - I suspect some lakes are still closed off. Haven't heard anything yet on exactly when Lincoln County will be opening trails.
On a side note. First ice didn't arrive last year until this upcoming weekend, so many of us are already a good three weeks ahead where we were last year. Also, had one flag just before dark last night and the fish was gone by the time I got to the tip-up. Still nice to be out watching another beautiful sunset over the Spirit Flowage.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:47 am 
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Starting to see a few more shacks and even some vehicles venture out onto the ice over the past few days, but things might again get slowed down as an additional eight to nine inches of snow fell here in the Tomahawk area over the past few days. Coupled with the roughly 10 inches we saw two weekends ago, and travel might get a bit difficult to say the least on area waters.
Got out on an area lake just north of town last weekend and was able to bring home a meal of perch fishing weed edges in about eight to 10 feet. Unlike last year, using fatheads on tip-ups didn't produce perch or walleye, and all the keeper fish were caught on wigglers and grubs. One reason for this might have been the number of small perch that were seen looking down the hole. Had I fished the lake a second day I would've certainly sought out deeper mud flats where perch and some active walleyes would likely be.
The 2010-11 ice fishing season has certainly gotten off to an interesting start. Due to the slush, snow and even in some areas that still have not much ice, I will certainly be limiting how much exploring I do until conditions improve. Time to head to those honey holes and hunker down until the ice thickens up and the roads get plowed.
Still seeing some consistent walleye action here in the Tomahawk area. Tip-ups rigged with shiners has been producing some nice fish on the Spirit and Alice has been giving up some numbers with some nice fish mixed in as well.
Here's to wishing you and yours a merry Christmas and happy holidays. May you experience plenty of happiness with family and friends and maybe even find a little time to get out on the ice. Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:38 pm 
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The slush has really made a mess of things for anglers and snowmobilers alike heading into the New Year here in the Northwoods.
Some vehicle travel is being seen on Mohawksin, Somo and Alice off Horseshoe, but travel on the majority has been limited to ATV and snowmobile.
Let's hope this upcoming rain will help knock down some of the snow so the slush freezes when things cool back down.
Those hearty and brave enough to venture out on area lakes and flowages in the Tomahawk area have been reporting some very nice catches of walleye.
Congrats to Andrea Galella, who last night bagged her first ever walleye in only her second time out ice fishing. The 27 1/2 inch eight pound walleye was on its way to the taxidermist Thursday morning, she reported. Others have also been reporting catching some nice sized and decent numbers of fish.
Expect fishing to remain gangbusters heading into this weekend when things will cool off with the upcoming cool down.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Best wishes and tight lines in the New Year. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:27 am 
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The rain we saw only a few days back turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Northwoods anglers. Gone is the heavy snow and slush that existed on a number of area lakes and flowages. Conditions are now much more favorable for vehicle travel as anywhere from 10 to 14 inches of ice can be found on most bodies of water. We even have had a light inch or two of snow to cover up the glare ice that existed only a few days back. You still might want to put the creepers on the boots though as things are still a little slick out there. But overall conditions are much, much better out there then they were at this same time last week.
The big cool down of recent days did slow fishing some coming off a real good bite late last week. Some very nice crappies were caught using rosy red minnows on tip-downs in the stump fields on Lake Alice. I like to use jigs and small treble hooks on tip-downs. Both caught fish my last time out. Along with Alice, also hearing of some very nice walleye catches in the stump fields on Mohawksin at dusk. Still running shiners on tip-ups for walleyes but will be switching to walleye fatheads in the coming weeks as the fish start to transition to a late winter bite. I also like to use fatheads when the eyes seem less apt to bite, like the few days following a big cold front passing through.
After a pretty rough start to this year's ice fishing season this weekend should be a great time to get out and enjoy.
Also, remember to support local bait shops during the current construction so they'll still be around when the bulldozers leave this summer.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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