Things are shaping up nicely on the ice after our last cold snap and we're getting out throughout the Bay now. As always though, take caution before heading out. There really hasn't been one "hot" bite on the Bay, but rather a great mix of fish coming through at most of the spots. Perch, Whitefish, Browns and the occasional Walleye can all be find in the same spots lately. Smaller jigging spoons tipped with a shiner tail have worked best, as well as Hali Jigs.
When you've got a chance to catch anything from 12 inch perch to big Brown trout out of the same hole, which is what we often have the chance at when fishing Chequamegon Bay proper through the ice, you can run into the problem of knowing what tackle to use. You don't want to be under-gunned for the shot at a big trout, but you also want to have the touch to feel those eater sized perch and even smelt. Lure choice is pretty easy, small buckshot spoons and swedish pimples can catch anything out there, but rod choice can get a little tricky. So far, when those shots at a classic Chequamegon Bay "mixed-bag" exists, the best rod we've found is the St. Croix Premier Ice Series PIR24M. There's just enough backbone to handle a bigger trout or whitefish and the tip is soft enough to finesse Perch or Walleyes. Ideally you'd like to carry at least couple different rod actions, but if you need just one, the 24M is a great choice. Check them out in the shop today.