Ice Fishing


2/9/23 @ 9:09 AM
User since 8/4/08
I think with the rainstorm this morning, we can safely say this has been the worst ice season ever. I mean really...it's brutally warm for all of December, gets cold for Christmas for 4 days, then gets brutally warm again for a solid month. Then gets cold again for 3 days, now it will be warm again for the rest of winter. Awful. Need to put this season out of my head ASAP!
Displaying 31 to 45 of 178 posts
2/8/24 @ 7:53 PM
User since 2/22/07
Tornado touch downs tonight, rock, Jefferson ctys. As if this winter wasn't strange enough.
2/8/24 @ 8:11 AM
User since 12/19/11
Pike I've been thinking the same thing - the ice held up surprisingly well through all this warm weather. Still nothing super cold in the forecast, but with no insulation if we get a 2 week stretch with highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits (which really isn't unrealistic at all), we could easily be sitting on ice well into April.
2/7/24 @ 11:48 PM
User since 4/2/02
Hearing more and more people saying that they are really catching a lot of nice fish this winter. Up north, at least. With the cold weather coming, the ice will not only hold, but grow pretty well. Especially with no snow on top. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 18 inches by the end of February. 
2/7/24 @ 10:19 PM
User since 11/19/09
I have a positive side to this.  About half of a fishing season is lost. That means there is a half of a "year class" that has not been harvested.  You can figure out the rest. 
2/7/24 @ 12:39 PM
User since 1/10/21
There it is........
Worst...winter...ever photo by Gman762
2/4/24 @ 11:29 PM
User since 4/2/02
I’m sorry to see your season end so shortly in SE Wisconsin. That stinks. 11 inches of ice up here has held steady. Luckily the nights have been cold-creating a neutral effect. No loss. No gain. Colder weather finally next weekend. 
Fished today. Not great fishing. Sunny. Slow bite on pike. 
2/4/24 @ 9:24 PM
User since 6/18/01
I'm aligning with Crobar's decision to conclude the season in Southeast Wisconsin. Today, I explored a few local areas, settled on one, but faced difficulties upon departure. In fact, I ended up taking an unintentional ice bath, which was far from pleasant. The most frustrating aspect is the extensive time required to clean my gear upon returning home. Next weekend, I plan to venture far north, but I'll be sure to heed the advice of locals there before making the journey. If conditions don't improve, this will be the first time in over 35 years that I'm storing my equipment this early in the season.
2/4/24 @ 3:26 PM
User since 8/29/06
Crobar, I am right behind you. I am putting my stuff away tomorrow. It was a very short and somewhat uneventful season. I did manage 3 keeper pike for the pickle jar, and a couple of meals of gills. Hoping to go through the boat and have it ready for a river trip this coming Friday. Batteries are charged up. See everyone next near.......................well...........................maybe.
2/3/24 @ 8:52 PM
User since 6/19/01
Glad to hear all the success on Northerns...enjoy reading the posts....sad note today Feb 3rd took all my ice fishing gear and put away til next year. Earliest I have ever done this   SE Wis  There is ice ...not safe enough for me.
2/2/24 @ 1:30 PM
User since 2/2/17
Ill chime in. Having a good year on pike also. I think I'm at 6 or 7 over 34". All released. Really the key is releasing anything over 30". As others alluded to winter is usually harvest season for pike. So the poor conditions recently certainly limits that. 

The issue in Wisconsin is clearly the generous bag limits and no size restrictions. Need slot limits on pike desperately for certain lakes. 

Nice to see others on here having success and practicing conservation. 
2/2/24 @ 1:18 PM
User since 3/15/08
I think winter fishing takes it toll on the pike population.  You rarely see anyone fishing for pike in the open water but in the winter everybody throws out a tip-up just for fun while jigging for panfish.  The popular lakes have an enormous number out every day all winter long.  And you always see pictures of guys with a bunch of 18-21" pike laying on the ice for pickeling.  With last winter and now this winter seeing less fishermen out, I have to believe the next year or 2 is going to be better than average.  My best large pike lake has been discovered by a popular Youtube channel.  They never say the name but I am worried it will come out.  Over the last 3-4 years they have shown several upper 30"s and a couple over 40" being caught and a couple mid 40's getting lost at the hole.  If word ever gets out I think it will be over.
2/2/24 @ 1:09 PM
User since 2/28/07
Making ice in Fairbanks
Worst...winter...ever photo by Edge
2/2/24 @ 12:54 PM
User since 4/2/02
Love the posts on here. Really enjoyed reading them. To me, catching, big pike,  almost seems like the stock market. What I mean, is you have to get to good pike  lakes and enjoy them before the rest of the crowd figures it out.  Catch and release helps, but I don’t want to start that debate as each person must figure that out for their own needs and wants. Some harvest can be good too…Two or three of my best lakes up here look to be cycling  back again. They used to be good, then were just average.. either due to over-harvest, or just fish population fluctuation and now are really producing big fish… Five years from now, who knows? If a lake produced big pike at one time, there’s a good chance that it will produce big pike down the road at some point when the factors lineup again… I am all in favor of a slot limit. However, there are some lakes that tend to balance themselves out, and some harvest is good. Too many pike, equals little pike. Honestly, the best lakes I’ve found tend to not have a lot of walleye or Crappie. And one of the reasons I think those lakes do well, is they get so much less fishing pressure. As long as the pike aren’t overpopulated, the pike will continue to grow.

About the markings on the pike, totally agree. The big pike my son and I both caught this year, had the exact same markings that looked like a man with a mustache. Plus, it had part of its gill plate sticking out on one side. Telltale sign.

I spent many years up here just catching 21-24 inch pike. I thought it was the 5 fish no size limit, colder Winters, or lakes not being as feetile as southern Wi. . Im so thrilled to finally have found some quality pike up here! 
2/2/24 @ 12:08 PM
User since 12/19/11
100% agree with the slot limit! It's nice to be able to chase flags and catch small pike for the kids to get hooked on fishing, but it would be great to see more lakes producing 30-40" pike. Much more exciting knowing there's that potential to catch a trophy between the hammer handles! And definitely an undervalued table fare if you spend the time getting those Y-bones out!
2/2/24 @ 10:33 AM
User since 2/6/19
Awesome catch and release stories guys, I commend all of you!  I would certainly be all for a slot on pike in northern Wisconsin, something like 22-30" have to be released.  Or something similar.   Please keep the pike stories coming!  Most undervalued fish species in Wisconsin IMO, based on lack of quality regulations!
Displaying 31 to 45 of 178 posts
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