March Ice Fishing, My favorite time of year!
Thanks for the report Jaybee.
One thing I've noticed in March. When they say there's going to be a warm up-they almost always undershoot what actually happens. I doubt anyone predicted a week ago that it would be 68 degrees in Waukesha County today. YIKES. Horrible for the ice.
Waukesha County report.
Was 68 degrees today. North side access is going bad . Was 13 to 14 inch ice yesterday, 12 today, for the lakes I was on. 3 inch of hard ice at the bottom yesterday, today, soft ice from top to bottom.
If you can take off work, call in sick, or play hooky, do it. Ice may be dangerous by this weekend.
And heck, panfishing was tough for me too. It was a struggle to get a meal of 8 keepers the last 2 days
You’re right!! I’m catching a few perch but not 1 crappie or Gill this March! Usually I pound them this time of year.
Late ice stinks this year.Fished the past four days,seen plenty of big panfish on camera and nothing but tiny ones.Big fish won't hit anything.
I’m going to wait a few more days to see if I can stretch it out then head to Florida for a few days, see if I can time the ice out. CARPIO
I love your attitude. I think less than 5 percent of ice fisherman still are at it late - late ice. I've been on the ice a number of times when just about every one else has quit or is fishing open water. And, usually it's fine. Sometimes even good. There are a few others that do this too...but Each lake and year is different.
Now, I have fallen in twice!!! Late ice. So, it's not without risk. Both times were shallow water, but over my belt line. I don't do deep water late ice.
I've also done the Johnboat trick. Get to the main shelf and things are surprisingly fine. Looks horrible to people walking by, but 10 inches of solid ice is sometimes waiting and I've found that if the previous night and day have been cool and cloudy, it's pretty firm ice. Gotta just be smart and shallow I like to say! And it’s pretty obvious when the ice gets rotten or bad. That’s when it’s time to quit!
And there is always that “one more chance to get out” in my mind...But one has to know when to fold his cards. Sometimes that’s hard for me to Accept!
I was fishing on 15+ inches here in Madison over the weekend. I still had a few spots that just about buried my auger, so there's quite a bit of ice left. Both spots I accessed the ice over the weekend still had snow on the shorelines. So I would think that it's got to melt the snow even before it melts the ice near shore. I'm planning on going somewhere Saturday as of right now. I'll bring a board with wherever I go and hope for the best. I know there will still be ice here, it's just whether or not I can get to it, that I can't predict. Average ice out is about the 20th of March here, but those last two weeks the ice is still on the lake we usually can't get to it!
You should be totally fine with ice in late March. Northern Wisconsin. I plan to fish into April. Once this warm-up is done, it’s getting much cooler. Takes a long time to melt 20 inches.
Low temperatures are looking really good starting in just three days from now.