OB Outdoors Fishing Report 1-16-16
I’m finally back on the hard water of the Winnebago System! After traveling up to Lake Nokomis to find ice and fish (Check out the video!), getting back into my comfort zone on the Winnebago System is sure feeling good… especially after a day like today!
Right now, Lake Poygan is ROUGH. It looks like the lake was flash frozen with a pretty good chop. The ice is yellow and filled with silt and debris and most areas hold dirty water. The snow cover is almost nonexistent, besides on the ridges and heaves Mother Nature carved upon her. My sled sure doesn’t like bare patches of ice, so I went the walking route today.
Walking out was as good as it can be while walking directly into an 18mph wind. There is a working east/west shove which runs a large span of the main, southern shore of Lake Poygan. Both County and Noffke Landings are surrounded within this shove from what I saw. Noffke’s Bridge has been encased with wood to allow for easy access via wheeler, snowmobile, or foot traffic… and it is being used to the fullest. Within two days, I have noticed that the shove has moved over a foot. I saw vehicle ramps parked on the shore at Noffke’s but based upon my observations, I would guess it will be some time before they are placed.
On each side of the main shove, I measured almost 12” of ice, however, 2” - 3” of it is of the cheesecake variety; I have never liked cheesecake. I stopped at a handful of places on my travels out to the “glory land” and measured 11.75” - 12.5” of ice. Again, this is including AT LEAST 2” of the softer white ice – I did not see the slush layer some have spoken about.
From 5.8’ to 7.3’ FOW on the flasher, the fish were lethargic to say the least. It’s important to remember that not all of your marks will be the fish you are looking for. Over the last week, I have heard of MANY reports of fish being marked but no dice. You need to remember that this year, unlike last year, the shad population is way up. The fish are just gorging themselves on them which is great for our fishery, just not so much the fishing. When a school of shad comes in, they can sometimes very easily look like an active fish! I have witnessed this while running a camera/flasher combo to refine my mark ID skills.
The final spot of 7.3’ FOW, outside the hole, was a spot to have. I began seeing a lot more of those same sluggish marks but just could not seal the deal. The lure changeups began and I hit the fire with the #2 Jigging Rap – clown pattern – bare. The fish also wanted a weird “rolling” presentation of the rap… and they got it. It’s important to note that once a school has moved into their frenzy, you can practically drop a piece a yarn down on a hook, move it the right way, and catch fish.
Thanks to my new little “invention”, The Bago Box, I had four rods on deck. The first whitie came up on the #2 Jigging Rap; I worked the fish for a bit to get it moving. Thank the fish gods I did as the school moved in! When it did, I had the first one take it and up on the ice it went. I quickly grabbed my next rod, which had a #2 Jigging Shad Rap tied on, dropped it down, and the next whitie was up! Throwing the still hooked fish onto the ice, the next rod of the #3 Jigging Rap went down for the next mark… and on it went. There were a lot of smaller fish and I wasn’t able to hook into any keeping sized Walter… but still, what an awesome maiden voyage!
Because I was on foot today, I really could not cover too much ground and check more areas. I know there is a working shove off of the Spruce area (running North/South) and it is a whole lot bigger than last year. I didn’t walk over there today but I could easily see it from far west of the Horseshoe (the hole, etc.). There is a decent bite going on in the Tustin and Indian Point areas (if you can safely access them) and also in the Horseshoe area. Various lures are showing promise, however, fewer tip-up reports are coming in this year, rather more jigging reports.
I hope you all have a fun and safe weekend! Keep an eye out on the OB Outdoors Facebook page for real-time reports and pictures. If you want to see videos of my adventures, make sure to subscribe to the YouTube Channel at: www.YouTube.com/OBoutdoor
Until next time, “Tight Lines. Stay Dry.”
– Kyle Sorensen