TravelTomahawk.com - Tomahawk, WI
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Chuck's Sport Shop|
630 N. 4th Street
Tomahawk, WI 54487
March, 17 2015
“The Willow Expedition”
Since my last report the weather has gone from one extreme to another, with temps from – 23 below in the mornings to temps recently in the 40’s and 50’s for daytime highs. Another extreme was getting the ice shacks off! We put chains on the tires of the big black Ford, and got stuck really bad! My buddy got his truck stuck too, and we broke winches, jerk straps, and ended up shoveling for two days! Lots of fun in the sun; just glad to get them off.
Over the weekend my children Halle, Faith, and Isaac, along with my friend Jake loaded up the wheelers and went crappie fishing on the Willow Flowage. Conditions were in the mid 40’s for highs with northwest winds at 10 to 15 mph, and mostly cloudy skies to partly sunny during the afternoon. We drove the bikes across the flowage to Indian Bay. We arrived at the popular bay, and it was full of fishermen, and even a few pickup trucks! That’s crazy if you ask me! This time of the year ice fishing can be fun, but use your “head”, and stay off river channels with pickups, especially after a week of high 50’s! During the late morning we arrived at our spot, and surprisingly, nobody was fishing it. We set up the portable ice shack for the kids. This was a good bet because the wind was chilly right off the bat. A helpful tip when setting up a portable in the wind is to hook your winch from the bike to the shack. Next we set up tip- downs for crappies, and slip- bobber poles in depths from 11 to 15’ deep, using fat head and Rosie red minnows. The bite was a little slow at the start until I told Jake to put a line in a hole on the East side of the shack; then it was set the hook time, and the crappies were jumping out of the holes briefly! I decided to drill more holes, and check more depths with a digital handheld transducer. After a few holes I figured out the exact transition line on the bottom of the lake and where to move some of the poles. The extra time spent paid off; we were catching fish in their swim paths along the structure.
During the afternoon we had some nice runs of fish, catching some and missing a few too. Then it was time to grill hot dogs and brats. The food really hit the spot, along with catching some nice slabs! Just ask Jake; we both had to throw our lunch down on the ice to grab the poles! The kids didn’t do a lot of fishing today because of the wind. Isaac also put snow in Halle’s and Faith’s boots! I spent part of the afternoon using the Weber grill to dry out wet socks on the grill cover! Just make sure you flip them from time to time! When Halle got her feet warmed up, she caught a nice walleye, good release, and then she harvested a nice slab crappie! All was good until Halle fell in an ice hole twice! She was wet and cold, and not a happy camper! Isaac had fun eating and playing machines on the ice all day, and he wanted to stay longer, but time to go! Halle was getting cold!
During pick-up the wind pretty much stopped, and the fish started to bite again. This is a familiar story! Oh well that’s fishing for you. We ended up with 21 beautiful crappies that God blessed us with and really that’s plenty for a couple of meals apiece!
Conditions are: Snow cover is melted down, and very few snow drifts. I forgot to measure the ice thickness, but there is about 20-24’’ of ice. This week’s temps will be getting back to normal with colder nights and even a potential cold blast for the weekend. This will keep the ice around a little longer. Stay off the flowages with trucks! Get useful information before you head out fishing! There is still time to have some great ice fishing expeditions! This period will depend on how many cold nights we will have; it could be one to two weeks, or even one month if it gets really cold. Good luck fishing! BE SAFE!
If you are looking for a day of ice fishing, give me a call at 715-966-1821. Remember to check out my Facebook page at Buck’s Taxidermy and Guide Service. Well, that wraps it up for this time. This is Roman Derleth reminding you, “Don’t slack off and always keep your line tight!”
Last updated: March 19, 2015
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