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Chris Blank with a nice northern pike. / Photo by Phil Schweik of Hooksetters Guide Service

About this blog:

Phil Schweik writes about his seasonal hunting and fishing patterns in Central Wisconsin along with tips and tactics on how to be successful while you are in the field or on the water.

Phil Schweik is a lifelong resident of Central Wisconsin who lives in Mosinee. Phil is a fishing and hunting guide for Hooksetters Guide Service and a professional musky tournament fisherman. He can be reached by checking out the Hooksetters’ website at www.hooksetters.biz.

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With plenty of ice on our local waters many anglers are getting out and searching out new territory as the season progresses.

The walleye bite has been good especially after dark. We are seeing our best action on golden shiners run about a foot off the bottom in 3 to 6 feet of water.

Northern pike have been really active this winter and this past week was no exception. Most of our action has been by running large golden shiners or northern pike sized sucker minnows on tip-ups in 6 to 12 feet of water. We are targeting sharp breaking points that shoot out into deeper water. The real key to our success has been finding where the sharpest break lines are, this seems to be where the majority of the fish are concentrated.

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For guys looking for action the panfish bite has been very good. Our guides have been having very good success on all species. The crappie bite has been the best with nice catches on every trip. Most of these fish are suspended about 4 feet off the bottom in 12 to 16 feet of water. We are catching the crappies on Northland Fireball jigs tipped with tiny plastics like the Impulse mayfly or tapeworm. The bluegills have been active in the shallow weeds along with some larger fish roaming the 10 foot flats. Use your electronics to locate scattered debris and submerged wood on the bottom and the gills will be there. In addition to the nice crappies and bluegills we are seeing good numbers of perch as well. Most of the perch that we are catching are incidental to the crappie and bluegill fishing but we are catching enough to make it worth our while to start targeting them exclusively.

One last species that most people don't target during the winter but has been making an appearance has been catfish. We have been having very good success on cats in the 20 to 30 inch range this winter. And let me tell you when you hook into one of these bottom feeders it is a battle that you won't soon forget. Most of our action has come from live bait run right near the bottom in the deeper water related with the main river channel edges. Have a good rod, strong line, and get ready for a fight.

Phil Schweik writes about his seasonal hunting and fishing patterns in Central Wisconsin along with tips and tactics on how to be successful while you are in the field or on the water.

Phil Schweik is a lifelong resident of Central Wisconsin who lives in Mosinee. Phil is a fishing and hunting guide for Hooksetters Guide Service and a professional musky tournament fisherman. He can be reached by checking out the Hooksetters’ website at www.hooksetters.biz.

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