By Mark Schram,

An early start to the ice season was seen on Lake Winnebago, with the majority of the main lake frozen over on Nov 13. Some of the back bays and harbor saw early ice actions, as a few brave (maybe foolish) anglers ventured out on the 2” ice.

Area waterways continue to be extremely high but have backed off the high points seen in October. The rivers have significant flows for this time of the year

As the month progressed, a heavy rain and wind event hit the area, melting the snowpack and blowing ice pack apart on Lake Winnebago. Due to the additional water, the dam gates have been opened, pushing water out to the bay of Green Bay.

This morning, skim ice remains in some of the back bays, but Lake Winnebago is nearly ice-free. Several boats were out of the Black Wolf ramp today.

Mark Schram holds a nice late Fall walleye from Green Bay

Typically, this time of year, the walleyes are very spooky and are located very shallow as they follow the forage, which is seeking warmer water and the oxygen associated with the remaining green weeds.

The Fox River in Green Bay has seen high water consistently throughout the Fall season. Boat ramps are no longer underwater, but many have been removed for the winter. Currently, there is a lot of turbid water moving through the river, and clarity is highly compromised. As of Friday 11.22.2019, water clarity was less than 6 inches. The shad have come into the river but have had reduced numbers. Larger walleyes have been associated with the shad schools and are feeding heavily. There also has been an influx of Musky and pike into the river system. Night fishing has been much more productive than day fishing.

Most sportspeople are concentrated on the gun deer season and preparing for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Great days of fishing remain before the ice takes over. The long-range forecast indicates we may be waiting for the ice to form on area waterways.