Updated: March 2, 2013 7:20AM
AREA LAKES: Ice conditions are variable. South of the city is iffy after the rains, winds and record warmth of the last two days. North and west should rebuild or hold enough for ice fishing later this week. Regulations on local public waters are at STRAY CASTS (blogs.suntimes.com/bowman).
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Triangle reported good fishing for bluegills shallow on most lakes in the Chain area; same for crappie. On the Chain, best has been in the 6-foot range. Pike catches have been good, too, especially considering ice fishermen have been forced to stay shallow. Middles are extremely dangerous, so stay away. That’s one reason walleye fishing has been slow. Current areas are dangerous.
LAKEFRONT: Harbor ice was thinning or opening Tuesday. It likely will rebuild later in the week, but there is no guarantee. Those fishing holes or punching holes in the ice from piers are catching perch, but it takes sorting for keepers, according to Henry’s. The river around 92nd and 95th continues to produce perch, but it takes sorting for keepers.
MADISON LAKES, WIS.: Gene Dellinger at D&S Bait said ice is OK. Crappie are good on Waubesa. There’s perch on Kegonsa and Monona (in 30 feet). A few perch are being caught in the deep water on Mendota and some crappie on Cherokee Marsh.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop reported ice has built to 14 to 16 inches. He reported perch as fair to good (along breaks in 18 to 26 feet) and crappie and pike as fair. EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported ice ranging from
8 to 14 inches, with good-to-excellent pike (in 15 feet or less around weeds) and panfish and active walleye.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Ice isn’t safe; whether it firms by the weekend will be iffy. Hope is that rains will open harbors for Lake Michigan boat fishermen. Rain might bring steelhead to the streams.
SHABBONA LAKE: Crappie reports were solid last weekend. Rockfest is
scheduled for Saturday, but check
shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT: Wisconsin DNR reported slow fishing for mix of browns, rainbows and pike at Racine. What rains and current do to ice safety remains to be seen. Conditions change daily in Milwaukee, the winter hot spot. When boats get out, browns are being caught.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged that steelhead and walleye are being caught in the rivers. Ice conditions aren’t recommended inland.