OB Outdoors Lake Winnebago Fishing Report (3/15/15)
Lake WInneconne Park - Wolf - Winneconne. With the thermometers reaching in excess of 60 degrees, we are quickly seeing our successful hard water season transition into the ever rewarding pre-spawn period here on the Winnebago System. Some of us have refused to accept the fast approaching open water season, and they have been rewarded while battling quickly deteriorating ice conditions. I have heard of some phenomenal fishing reports (white bass, walleyes, crappies) coming from both the east and west shores of Lake Winnebago, and also off Indian Point and closer to the river on Lake Poygan… BUT, ice consistency has surely been an uphill battle.
As with early ice tactics, the bays and channels are beginning to heat back up again with pan fish action. With the bays and channels still holding the most steady ice conditions, anglers are able to slide in and attack the pre-spawn pannies with great success. The only problem to accessing the fishing grounds is the sometimes troublesome initial entry onto the ice due to deteriorating shorelines and runoff. Find a good transition area between old weed beds (soon to be revived), and/or between muck and sand, and pop around until you find the schools.
Over the past few days, I have gone out to test the waters (casting from shore) here in the Fox River area (Oshkosh) and have come up short handed. I casted a bit by the Railroad and Main Street Bridges, and my buddies have been up and down the river looking for active fish with no success. Due to very recent ice-out conditions in most of the Fox, it has allowed for some eager boaters to sneak out, dodge massive ice chunks, and get into the first wave of bigger fish already on their journey to the spawning grounds. Due to very cold water temperatures (surface temperatures ranging from 33 to 37 degrees), these fish are still only mainly utilizing the deep channels, which are not accessible to shore fishermen.
Stock-up for spring fishing by shopping The Reel Shots assortment of fishing tackle and equipment!
Over the last few days, I have checked out various boat landings. Of the many I stopped at in the Oshkosh area, the Senior Center Launch is open and ready for business. Today (03-15), I stopped at the Senior Center Launch and did see six trucks/trailers in the lot and one boat climbing to plane while I was there. With most all of the Fox River open, from the mouth of Lake Winnebago to 41 Bridge, there is access to many significant area hotspots.
Lake WInneconne Park - Wolf - Winneconne. In Winneconne, the Wolf River is open from Lake Butte des Morts to Lake Winneconne. Speaking with bridge fishermen on the Winneconne Bridge, I have yet to hear of one fish caught. Last night (03-14), there were only six people on the bridge in total, and I do not think anyone stayed over an hour. The N. 1st Street Launch is open and being used. With bad reports and zero activity signs, it is best to hold out a bit yet for the Winneconne area.
It is very important to note that there are some massive ice chunks and shelves cruising in the rivers. If you venture out, be vigilant of these, and make sure you have some type of anchor rope cutting device with you.
As the open water action picks up, I will have detailed reports of bait/lure combinations and locations. It’s not quite time yet for the full run action, but it’s not far away. Be sure to keep an eye out on the Facebook pages for real-time reports and pictures.
Until next time, Tight Lines. Stay Dry.
-Kyle Sorensen OB Outdoors (oboutdoors.com)