Fishing, Life, Love & The Great Outdoors
Midwest Outdoors January 2009

Wolf River Country Ice
By Joel “Doc” Kunz

January is a time for ice fishing here in Wolf River Country. By this time the main river is usually frozen enough to allow foot traffic and the backwaters and local lakes are usually seeing some ATV or snowmobile traffic. Of course anglers should be aware of ice conditions, proceed with caution at all times and should NEVER consider the ice as safe. That’s just good thinking and a apart of being an experienced ice angler. Those precautions in mind, there are a number of very good ice fishing opportunities in the area. Here are a few;

Lake Poygan
This large shallow lake holds large schools of walleye, white bass and crappie during the winter months. Access to the ice located over the old road beds, humps and drop offs that hold these fish is the key. The west end usually produces some quality northern pike fishing early in the season as do some of the back waters and channels. Walleye can be found near the mouth of the Wolf River and also over deeper part of the lake or roaming open water. Crappie and white bass can sometimes dominate the bite no matter where you are. As far as tactics, tip ups and jigging produce fish. There’s numerous access points but be careful because someone drops a truck or 4-wheeler through the ice every year.

Boom Bay & Paiges Slough
The area in front of the “old Duck Inn”, (now gone) and Pages Slough both produce panfish with bluegill and perch common targets. One of the best access points is Kiesow’s Landing, located just 1.25 miles up the Rat River from where it meets the Wolf. This conflux of currents often holds perch and walleye and both Boom Bay and Pages Slough are easily accessible if the ice conditions allow. Dick Kiesow usually has a good idea as to those ice conditions and as to where the fish are biting. He maintains an ice road to the Wolf River when conditions allow and has a fully stocked bait shop on site that is open 7 days a week dawn to dusk.

The Wolf River
From Fremont to New London, just about any deep water can hold walleye this time of year. Safe ice and access are the key. Anglers also target flats above deep water where fish probe for baitfish during the low light periods and transitional areas. Tip ups are common, especially the local “box” tipups. A candle in the box keeps the workings operating smoothly allowing the light biting walleye to pick up the bait without detecting the set up. Some even have a battery powered “jigging” apparatus that keeps the bait moving. A jig tipped with a minnow and held by a “willow stick” is also a popular method of letting the fish take the bait with limited resistance. It’s a local set up that works. Area “legend” and bait shop owner Don Cashmore uses a method of “long lining” a light jig that also catches lots of fish. He uses short stiff rods with open bail reels loaded with Dacron line, a short leader and light weight jig. (1/8 - 1/16 oz) Don works a sand bar or transitional area by getting the jig to the bottom then lets out more and more line, picking it up and letting the current sweep it, and the light jig tipped with a minnow, down stream. I like working inverted shad style jigs along transitions from deep water to shallow feeding areas on standard ice fishing gear such as my Frabill combo.

Wolf River Back Waters
From the well known Partridge Crop Lake to places such as Templeton Bayou, the Cut-Off, the Oxbow and the Old River, Wolf River backwaters can produce some excellent fishing. Northern Pike are often caught as are crappie, perch and bluegill, depending on the location, year and water level. Up to date information as to fish location and ice safety is the obvious key and the best reason to buy your bait locally.
Weyauwega Mill Pond, White Lake & More
There are numerous impoundments and small lakes that dot the local landscape. There is also an ice fishing magnet and usual bluegill factory called Shawano Lake that is a part of the Wolf River system. There is no doubt that there is some very fine ice fishing to be found in the Wolf River Country area. A look at a map and adventurous spirit may even find you a jewel you may care to share with this outdoor writer, or not. I know I’ve found a recent DNR survey on a small lake not too far north of me that is told to hold some very nice size walleye and got a tip from a friend on a little lake that has some dandy crappie. I hope to find both


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