Early Ice fishing in Wisconsin

Early Ice Fishing in Wisconsin

lake Winnebago bluegill

Casey Witt managed to catch a few bluegills out on Lake Winnebago ice fishing.

Wisconsin lakes have been hit with plenty of early ice this year and the season is now well under way. Ice fishing is not my first love by any means, but it is growing on me. It’s also a good excuse to get out of the house and breathe some fresh air. The fresh panfish and walleye dinners are another great addition to these reasons. 

I went out on lake Winnebago last week and had some pretty good success catching six perch and two gills in about an hour and a half. The warm weather is making for some sloppy and slippery conditions but there was still plenty of ice on the lake, right around 8 inches in the bay I was fishing.

The lake closest to my home town is Shawano lake and I’m hoping to get out there and do some pan fishing soon in the next few weeks. Last year on Shawano Lake, I had my best luck in about 8-10 feet of water just off of weed beds. The lake is full of weeds so finding an open spot right next to them can be tricky but it certainly pays off. Electronics are a life saver here and can put you on fish much more quickly.


Jigging for panfish is a great way to catch a tasty meal.

Being pretty new to the sport, I mostly use small moon jigs with a plain wax worm and have pretty good luck with this set up. I try to stick with jigging for pan fish, but am planning on trying some other new tactics this winter.

If the fishing gets slow, I’ve still got some tags to fill with my bow. This warm weather we’ve recently had in Wisconsin may keep me off the lake, but not out of the bow stand.

Good luck to all the hunters and fisherman out there now, we’ve got a great few months ahead of us on the ice. Tight lines!

See more fishing articles. 

Badger Sportsman

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