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Another week of cold temperatures continued to produce ice on Lake Winnebago and Lake Poygan. Fishing conditions deteriorated this week due to snow pack issues on the surface of the ice. At some locations, 2- to 3-foot drifts were observed. On Saturday, I helped pulled three low clearance vehicles out of snow drifts on Lake Winnebago. Ice conditions are excellent, and the bridges on Lake Winnebago are in place at many access points. Ice depths ranged from 11- to 16-inches on Lake Winnebago, with some deeper ice depths on Lake Poygan. Water clarity is very clear.

Currently, there is a tree line running from Merritt Street to Quinney, WI (9 miles). There is a north road running from Merritt Street out to Garlic Island. Payne’s Point has a tree line out 5 miles. The tree line is in at Wendt’s (distance unknown). The Brothertown tree line is in excess of 3 miles. These roads and lengths can vary at a moment’s notice, so check with the local clubs/bait shops before hitting the ice. It is always advised to have a GPS positioning device when on the lake.

For the majority of the week, fishing was subpar. As the approaching warm front arrived on Saturday, a flurry of activity was seen on Lake Winnebago. This bite shut down as the arctic blast blew into town on Sunday afternoon.

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More on ice fishing: Ice fishing news from around the state | Your ice fishing photos | Build a map | Read ice fishing reports

Read more posts from Mark Schram.

Mark Schram is an avid tournament fisherman, focusing most of his efforts on the Winnebago System in East Central Wisconsin. Mark's blog will focus on the current fishing conditions and selected topics related to the Lake Winnebago region, outdoor sports and life in general. As an angler, he ultimately strives to educate new and established fishermen on the joys of nature. Mark is the founder of, a published outdoor writer and an active member of many fishing organizations including the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA #182).

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