Here's a quick list of early season must haves:
100 foot rope with a throw weight
Float throw cushion
Extra change of clothes in vehicle
As the NORTH AMERICAN ICE FISHING CIRCUIT Championship plays out in Minnesota, Wisconsin once again struggles to find a sheet of ice. The 2012/13 ice fishing season is trying to emerge in Wisconsin and some smaller bodies of water in Northern Wisconsin have a few inches of fish-able ice but Lake Winnebago and lakes to the south remain null and void of any ice. This weekend of rain did no favors for the hopes of hard water but next week looks like a cold front is going to push through. It might turn things in a favorable direction for the iceman. We are only 5 days away from the shortest day of the year and then we move in the other direction of days getting longer and more sunlight. Lake Winnebago usually has walk-able ice by now and on some years we have four wheelers on the ice. The weather pattern seems to be the same as last year which does not bode well as my wheelhouse, and all its creature comforts, never left the shore. Once again it looks like a year of pop up shanties and a good set of ice creepers.
Early season ice safety will be a huge concern again which it always is but on these years, when things just donít want to freeze , it seems to take the forefront . Itís always a great idea to fish with a buddy in early season and If your teenage kids are involved make sure they understand ice safety. I know they are excited to be out with their friends on first ice but I see many ill prepared. Take an interest and talk to them about early season hazards. Young men seem to think they are invincible so maybe take a day and fish with them. Itís so important that we educate the up and coming ice fishermen and women so they can be safe! I always hope as Christmas break arrives we have good ice but once again Mother Nature seems to be sleeping at the thermostat switch .
Stay tuned for earlier season tips.
John McArdle is a life-long resident of Fond Du Lac and blogs about fishing adventures in the great state of Wisconsin. Anything from trout fishing the Driftless Area to sturgeon spearing on Lake Winnebago, John will provide stories ,tips and photos of his FINtastic adventures in Wisconsin!