By Mark Schram

Wisconsin is in mid-winter according to the calendar, but Mother Nature is not in agreement.  Over the last 10 days, a very mild weather pattern has been the norm.  As a result, Lake Winnebago’s ice sheet has broken apart, and about a third of Lake Winnebago is now open water.

The remaining ice sheet is getting pushed around by wind and creating shoreline ice shoves.  The east side of the lake has been particularly susceptible to the shoves, and this may impact future access later this winter.  Some of the shoves are as tall as three stories and will require heavy equipment to reopen the access points.

Lake Poygan continues to offer opportunities to fish but extreme caution will be required due to inconsistent ice.  ATV’s, while still being used, are not recommended with ice conditions.  Some of the shoreline access points are getting beat up.

The good news is that the Fox River in De Pere is relatively ice-free, and the ramps can launch boats (without docks).  We fished on Saturday 1.4.20 and pounded on the walleyes.  Only three boats were out on the entire river system.  We found male walleyes staged just off the center channels, attracted by jig and minnows.