12/31/2011Well it is the last day of the year 2011. We are anticipating a 45 degree day here in Lake Country and I couldn't be more frustrated. This is the first year in recent memory that I haven't been on the ice at least a few times. However, there is no safe ice to speak of in our neck of the lakes. I watched as rain poured down all day yesterday. That rain could have at least been 6 inches of snow. We have no snow on the ground. I can't even take the snowmobile out to pass the time while waiting to fish. Brutal stuff. This is definitely the worst winter weather for a guy that enjoys winter activities. Anyway, I hope you are finding safe ice. When we do get ice, I will make sure to report. Feel free to send me ice reports in your area. Happy New Year to all of you and best of luck in 2012!!
9/30/2011WOW! The last day of September?!! Summer is gone and fall is definitely here. So the weather and the fact that I am wearing my IceStriker Hoodie at work today has me itching to get out on the hard water. Plus, I chatted with a fellow ice fisherman this morning, Jill, that took interest in my Hoodie and I just so happened to have a few available in the truck. We got to talking about ice fishing up in the Manitowish Waters area and that turned into snowmobiling and hunting talk. Needless to say, it has been a great start to my Friday morning. The clean, crisp and brisk air is especially refreshing today. The sun is shining bright and everything great about fall is starting to come about, plus it's a huge sports weekend in Wisconsin. First off, the Brewers are back in the playoffs as NL Central Champions. The Badgers have a huge, nationally televised matchup at Camp Randall against Nebraska on Saturday night. Last but not least, the Packers have an interesting game against the Broncos Sunday. You would think a sports nut like me would be attending one if not all these games. However, I am heading to MN to meet up with fellow ProTeamer Eric. We are meeting with Thorne Bros. Saturday to check out the new ice fishing gear this season. Exciting stuff! Can't wait to meet the boys at Thorne Bros. and thanks to Jill in her interest/support in IceStriker. It's getting close. I anticipate another 75 days til' first ice...about the 2nd week of December. Start the countdown. In the meantime...root for the Buckernackers, a nickname I created for the three-headed WI sports monster. Bucky, Bernie and Packers. Go Buckernackers!
7/18/2011Ice fishing couldn't be farther from the Lake Country's future. It's so hot the lakes are sweating! Currently 90 degrees with a 110 heat index all this week. What I wouldn't do to have an ice rod in my hand right now. Granted I am sitting in an air conditioned office and completely comfortable but you get the point. A day fishing is better than a day not fishing. That said, there is no way I would go out this week. I'm not huge into open water fishing anyway, but with this heat...forget it! This is the type of weather where you sweat just walking from your car to the house. Brutal stuff! Anyway, I am looking forward to an exciting year full of tips, videos and gear. Can't wait for first ice!!!!!!
4/26/2011Well the ice is all gone, but spring is still not here. It doesn't seem to want to make up it's mind. Rain, sun, sleet, snow. Overall, it can be an ugly time of year to be in Wisconsin. However, this time of year in Wisconsin can make for some great river fishing. The Fox and Rock are a couple of excellent systems to get into some nice Walleyes. While we are on the topic of Walleyes, I would like to extend my congratulations to Tommy Kemos. He won last week's AIM tournament on Winneconne in Oshkosh. Blowing the field away with a huge final day of 18.38 pounds. See more at www.aimfishing.com. Thanks for visiting and enjoy the open water! Before you know it we will be back on the hard stuff...
3/23/2011Crazy weather we are having out there in WI today. There are reports of 10-14 inches of snow in Green Bay and north of there. That will certainly mess up some final ice fishing opportunities and make things really sloppy. Proceed with caution as snow can cover bad ice conditions. Find a well known area that is safe to fish from and use the buddy system. It's not a bad idea to wear a life jacket and have a rope with you as well. Hand spikes are a good idea too! Good luck to all of you IceStrikers as the hard-water season comes to a close. Time for me to get my snowmobile summerized and stored away until next year. Guess I will be footing it from now until the ice is gone for good. Be safe and thanks for stopping!!!
2/24/2011Well, I'm headed north this weekend with my Dad to get in some late ice fishing. Heading up to the Black River Falls area, as our ProTeam member Mark Hill has scouted some spots for us. The ice has been a little sketchy in areas, especially near flowages, etc. We are fishing for slab Bluegills and Crappies. Mark knows a couple spots that are active this time of year, so he will be our guide this weekend. Be careful out there, as this change in weather and snow/rain type stuff has made things unpredictable. I will report back with the results. Best of luck to you all, "Late Ice" is upon us. It's time to make it happen!
2/18/2011Just a word of caution to be careful out on the lakes this weekend. You'll definitely want to consider putting on your creepers to prevent a busted tail bone. The weather should be favorable for fishing this weekend. I hope to get out myself on Sunday...report to follow. This is the start of late ice, in many places there is still a good month of ice, but those of us south are running out of time. This is the time to get on top of those trophy Walleye and Perch. I am going to try my luck on the Lake Country lakes this weekend, potentially Beaver. Next weekend it's up to the Black River Falls area. My dad and I plan on heading out to Arbutus and maybe Petenwell...that's if there is still ice. Everything should freeze up again this weekend though. Good luck to all of you and thanks for stopping!
1/17/2011Well, what a wonderful weekend! Unfortunately I did not get a lot of ice time this weekend, but I did get a lot of football/couch time as I watched the Packers destroy the Falcons. Bears fans had signs during their game reading, "Bring on Da Pack"...they got their wish. Can't wait to get on the ice later this week and watch the two Championship games on Sunday! Thanks for stopping, please check back for the fishing report...
12/28/2010Eric Marschke reporting: Finally had a chance to get out this last weekend and I hit up a large lake in central Minnesota. I went up by myself and started on some waypoints I set this fall and got into some jumbo perch action right away. Had about 10-14 fish or so in the first couple hours, most over 9” with some around a foot. I couldn’t believe the weight to length ratio, even some short ones were just heavy. Kept a few for a meal, mostly ones that were not going to make it if released. Was out a few miles and hit 3 different spots, 2 of which produced. Was jigging two rods at the same time, one with a rap and the other with a spoon – 50/50 on what was firing. You would graph them and they would just rush the bait, lots of fun. Then tried getting out on a lake in the Metro on Sunday but there was just so much snow/slush it was unreal. That coupled with 6 below air temps and I called it a day fairly quick. Season is in full swing, heading back over the next few days targeting walleye. Good luck to all you IceStrikers!!!
12/20/2010Hit the ice yesterday afternoon on the kettle in search of some Crappies. Fished in about 35 FOW for about an hour. The locator was littered with fish, but lots of small stuff. I was rigged up with the new Easy Bite indicator, which allows for negative bite detection. So when a fish hits your bait from below you see it. Ordinarily, you would not see this type of bite with a spring bobber, etc. Anyway, did manage to catch a 11" Crappie, but that was it. Wish I would have had more time on the ice. However, I plan on heading back out tonight...so we will see. The word on the Crappie is a Diamond black jig and Gulp Alive minnows. That's what I caught mine on and there is your tip of the day. I will follow up with this post and Eric also has a report from Mille Lacs up in Minnesota der eh!
12/16/2010Ice fishing is officially here, for me anyway! I was out last Thursday, but that was merely tip-up shore fishing. My buddy Tyler Kinley and I were out on a solid 6 inches of ice and fished for a couple hours. This was a body of water I had only fished once before and with the amount of time that we had to fish, we simply got set up and jigged. We were targeting Bluegills on this very cold morning (10 degrees) with no wind (Thank God) and it's been around Zero most nights for the last week. Usually we don't have safe ice in the Lake Country area until after Christmas, however, guys have been fishing a couple weeks now due to the brutally cold stretch. Anyway, I was in 28 fow and was marking fish off the bottom with my Lowrance. Tyler's battery on his Marcum wasn't holding a charge and died, so he was fishing blind and frustrated. I tried a couple different lures and baits, but just lookers. Coming off the ice, we talked to a guy heading out that said we needed to be in about 33-38 fow and using 1" gulp minnows. He said the fish had just been pounding his bait and with that sized bait you know it's a nice sized Gill or Crappie. Well, I guess I will be heading back out there and hitting the south side, where he instructed to fish. That's the great thing about ice fishing. Here we were dejected over not catching any, and a guy comes up and tells us exactly what to do next time. What a great sport! I will keep you posted...thanks for checking in!
12/10/2010Well, I went out on Pewaukee Lake last night and set 9 tip-ups...no flags all night. Pulled them about 12:30. Probably 3" of ice. It had been snowing and blowing when we set the tips. After it was done snowing, there was not much ice to be seen. However there was a spot 100 yards from us that looked wet, probably a 100ft circumference. Apparently there is a spring that way, which would explain it. Kind of eerie out there, the ice was a little weird in spots, but 3" is plenty. Anyway, we played some cards and had some beers. It was just good to officially be on the ice fishing clock! Next time we put fish in the bucket!!! Be safe as you venture out your first time this year...no fish is worth missing Christmas!
12/6/2010MN Rep, Eric Marschke, reporting...Last week I walked out on the ice from my cabin in Turtle Lake, WI - not far, but it was solid where I was. Guys have been ice fishing around my house here in Lino Lakes, MN for a week and a half or so. Reports vary, but some have reported as much as 5-6" on area lakes. Up north there is more, and I guess permanents are out on some lakes. I'm sure I'll be out next weekend, maybe even with the ATV. 0 degrees the last couple mornings here at my house and another 9 inches of snow yesterday. Check back for more reports...Thanks!
11/25/2010Welcome Back...I will have blogs from other reps throughout the season, other than myself, to give a better perspective. I recently received a report from our Minnesota Rep, Eric Marschke, on what's currently happening in his region. Thanks for stopping, it's going to be a great season! "Certain lakes near the Twin Cities area as well as northwestern Wisconsin were froze over with skim ice during the week of Thanksgiving. If it stays cold, it shouldn't be long now before tip-ups are being set in the shallow bays. Most major retailers in the Twin Cities area have their ice fishing displays out in full with customers browing the new gear." -Eric Marschke (MN Rep)
3/3/2010Video...this guys catch would have been our largest Walleye. By the way, is he fishing from the back seat of his car...weird!!! Well, it only took me 3 days to muster up the energy to post what is certainly a horrible fishing report. My dad summed it up saying, "it started off slow, the it just kind of tapered off" Let's put it this way...I have never fished harder. First off, the weather was brutal. 40mph winds out of the North. The only thing that kept us from going home were the temps, which were in the upper 20's, lower 30's. The wind was wreaking havoc on tip-up holes and shanties alike. I had to take some aggressive measures to keep the Clam from being completely destroyed. 3 days of fishing everything from Sand Point in Escanaba, all the way to the flats in the Upper Bay. We ran into Perch everywhere, but we didn't hook a single Walleye. Very disturbing. We were trophy fishing and the fishing reports by others were much of the same up there. Everyone I talked to had either caught nothing or had a 27"+ Walleye bagged. However, I had a great time hanging out with my Dad. Father and son don't get to take many exclusive trips like that. Sorry I can't post anything more exciting. Believe me, I would much rather be telling a nice fish story. Oh well...Best of luck to all of you in the home stretch of hard water season!
2/25/2010Hello to all you hard water fanatics. I am writing to you from my "Equipment Cave" as I gather up all my gear for an exciting trip. I am leaving with my Dad, Lee Blavat, for an ice fishing excursion to the U.P. It's been a long time since we've taken a extended fishing trip together. Little Bay De Noc is our destination and we will be targeting Walleyes in Gladstone, MI. As some of you may know, LBDN is an amazing body of water. It can be very fruitful, but safety is a major concern during the winter months. The ice can be sketchy and change from 2 feet to 2inches of ice throughout the bay. There are those that will push the limit, but this trip is about having fun, the fish will be a bonus. I will make sure to post video and blog about our trip upon our return. Best of luck to all of you and stay safe!
2/10/2010While I was not able to get into this weekend's NAIFC Tournament on Delavan Lake, Nick and Ben caught 11 fish in the tournament. A good day, but not enough for the Top Ten. However, I was able to get out on Okauchee lake both Saturday and Super Bowl Sunday. Not much luck though. No flags and jigged out some small perch. A great weekend to be out there trying out my new gear. Auger and Shack. The weather cooperated and the snow storm stayed away until yesterday. Here in Waukesha, we reported 11.5" of snow.
1/26/2010Little Lake Wissota, Chippewa Falls, WI – The NAIFC Ice Fishing Tournament – Ben, Nick and myself headed up early on Thursday the 21st to get a few days of pre-fishing. We had our fair share of problems. We loaded up and set out from Waukesha at 7am only to find that the lights were not operating properly on our 20ft trailer. Not good when you are making a 3.5 hour trip. We made our journey to Little Lake Wissota and pre-fished for 2.5 days, meeting up with my teammate Mark. We probably drilled 300 holes over the course of the trip and discovered some hot spots. We did bust one auger and purchased another. The fish catching was very minimal and we heard the same from the others fishing the lake. The word was that if you were catching a Crappie an hour, you were doing well. This was our first NAIFC event and the experience was invaluable. We met lots of dedicated people and learned things along the way. Check out the Ice Men show, which is on Versus Wednesday morning. This details the NAIFC event in the form of a reality TV show. The morning of the tournament was 34 degrees and rain, which had melted all the snow on the lake and turned everything into 3 inches of slush-water. Speaking for our two teams, we were sopping wet. My feet got wet before we started fishing, due to waiting in standing water. As brutal as the conditions were, there was immense excitement. The poor weather didn’t matter, the potential to come off the lake in five hours as a winner was all that was on our minds. Well, unfortunately all Mark and I could catch were Rock Bass and Walleye, when the tournament was for Bluegill and Crappie. However, Ben and Nick were able to get a couple Bluegills and put themselves 13th in the tournament. Ben had a shot at "Big Fish" with a Bluegill weighing .62lbs. Unfortunately, someone registered a .99lb Crappie. What a great time we had and we can’t wait for the next tournament at Delavan Lake. Thanks for stopping and good luck!
1/20/2010-Well the weather has certainly improved, but the fishing has been slow. Got out in Black River Falls with my teammate Mark to knock off the cobbwebs. Saturday morning we fished Hoffman's Pond and could have filled a bucket, but no size to them. Mostly Crappie in the 8" range, mixed in with some perch and trout. That same afternoon we decided to do a little truck tip-up fishing. Mark, Jenelle and I headed out to Lower Lake. Beautiful weather, slow fishing. Actually, it started off slow, then it just tapered off...ha! 3 flags, one 18" Northern. However, the weather made it enjoyable. Look for video next week of the NAIFC tournament on Little Lake Wissota. Two teams for this event, consisting of Bill Blavat and Mark Hill and Ben Warner and Nick Kemos are making up the IceStriker Teams. Thanks again for visiting. Keep em' tight!
1/8/2010-Happy New Year IceStrikers! Congratulations to Carroll...the winner of the December Hooded Sweatshirt Giveaway! Bob, I will contact you shortly via email for your mailing info. Hope all of you are being safe and enjoying the winter weather. The new year in Southeastern Wisconsin has brought cold weather and 8" of snow to the Lake Country area. Enough snow to get out and do some snowmobiling, but the conditions last night were not good for fishing. The practice fishing will continue in preparation for the Chippewa Falls tournament. Thanks to all of you for being patient, while the site is enduring some growing pains. Good luck on the hard water and thanks for visiting!
12/4/2009- Thanks for visiting my site! I am currently at the 17th annual St. Paul Ice Fishing Show. I’m looking forward to meeting all sorts of ice fishing enthusiasts. The reason I made the 6-hour trip was to see all the gear and get fired up for the new season. Unfortunately, I was unable to book a booth, but if you see me walking around in my IceStriker Gear, stop me for the chance to win a FREE hooded sweatshirt. Hope to see you there. Please bookmark my site for a chance at FREE gear every month. Plus, check out the Funny Page for fishing humor, the Trophy Room for cool photos, and also don’t forget to weigh in on the poll question. This site will be sure to bring you new and exciting stuff every week this ice season. Thanks for stopping!
These are all important, but what\'s the most important late ice safety tool?