Update: Fishermans Road has reopened. I guess there was enough of an uproar that they changed their mind.
Once again the weather is the main topic on everyone’s mind. The storm this past weekend has impacted the lake quite a bit. Fisherman’s Rd is no longer open, the airport closed the gate and they are not committing to a date when the road will open again. They had to take the snowblower for the runway out there to get two guys out over the weekend. There are some significant slushy areas on the ice which is preventing guys from driving much farther then Marges Island. They seem to be getting around ok in the dredged areas however. I have spoken to the warden several times now about permanent shanties and if you are having issues removing yours give him a call and they are willing to work with you on it. If you want more information on that feel free to call me as well.
As far as the fishing goes the pressure has been really light this week so reports have been few and far between. The perch are starting to move around, they are starting to pick up some here and there in front of the shop. A couple of groups have also run tip ups out from me and they are picking up northerns. I don’t have any information on bluegills or crappies if you head out let me know how it goes! My report is only as good as the information that I get from fisherman!
You can’t catch them from the couch!
Well the snow is the topic of greatest interest for a lot of people now so I will start with that. We have about 16 inches of snow on the ice after receiving about 12″ earlier this week. We have plowed paths out from Mosey’s Landing next to the shop to just south of Marge’s Island (small island east of Rosebud Island). If you have a 4×4 truck or SUV with decent clearance you can still venture out into the snow without issue, there have been plenty of guys driving over to the lights. The people who are having issue are people with cars/SUVs that sit lower to the ground. The snow gets packed up underneath the vehicle and you end up becoming real friendly with a shovel. I have been out with my ATV and I was still able to travel around but it was work.
Just to let everyone know it is the WIFA State High School Ice Fishing Championship this weekend on Pools 7&8. We have been told to expect about 1,000 kids to participate. They are not allowed onto the ice until 6:30 Saturday morning however they start staging at landings as early as 5 AM. This means that there will be significant congestion at the landings during that time. They will be prefishing Friday as well. I will have extended hours for this event- Friday I am opening at 6 AM, Saturday I am opening at 5 AM. I am loaded to the max with bait so we should not have any issues running out.
As far as the fishing goes I do not have a ton of new information. With the derby last weekend they were catching crappies suspended in 10+ ft of water about 2-3 ft off the bottom. The bluegills are both shallow and deep, however I think the best bet is to target them shallow. The pike are still biting but I have not seen a 40+ incher in 2 weeks or so. The perch bite is steady and guys have been telling me they are catching them over by the lights. The beginning of the week there was two days that some guys got on a hot bite in the dredged areas and they were catching perch deep which was unusual. Keep in mind that the snow on the ice will cause the oxygen to start depleting and fish will be on the move to places with higher oxygen.
Stop in for the latest report!
The Brice Prairie Conservation Association Derby went well with a lot of people out enjoying the warm weather! The fish board was loaded with some nice fish, especially the bluegills and crappies. The rain that came Sunday and Monday really knocked down the snow which was nice, but it looks like we are going to get it all back and more starting today. The cold snap we had last week put on some ice and guys have been driving from here to the airport lights. In the last few days especially there have been guys getting on a crappie/perch combo bite in the dredged area east of the shop. Northern continue to bite well and I don’t expect that to change. We should have some good fishing for the Lions Club Derby. Stop in and get a ticket!