Multiple heavy snowstorms that dumped about 20 inches of snow on the area last week have put a big damper on the current ice fishing scenario across the North Woods.

The heavy snow cover has pushed down on the thin ice and created the thing we most dislike — slush. As a result, very few anglers have been willing to try to get out there. 

The combination of slush, heavy and deep snow, and thin ice to begin the ice fishing season means that we won’t see a lot of ice fishermen on the lakes until we get some cold weather to firm things up. 

What an ice fishing season so far. First we had cold temperatures in early November that built some good, early ice and then we get the heavy snow that is hindering ice fishing. 

The very few walleye fishermen who made it out experienced slush and reported they needed rubber boots to stay dry. The usual pattern of evening and after-dark fishing is still the same, but be sure you know where you are going to stay safe on the ice.

The walleye fishermen who are venturing out are using shiners or suckers under tip-ups in the weeds and catching fish as they come in to feed as the sun sets.

No one is going out to deeper water at this point to fish for crappies, but you can get some bluegills in the weeds. Waxworms and spikes are working best for the ’gills.

Hunters for the latter part of deer season had much of the same experience as the anglers did. Deep snow made it impossible to even get to their stands. With the muzzleloader deer hunt running Dec. 2-11, hunters might need snowshoes to get anywhere in the woods.

Cross-country skiers and snowshoe fans, on the other hand, are happy to be able to get out there and enjoy the trails. There is some grooming started on the ski trails this week, but we don’t need any more snow at this point.

We sure hope things get better.

Good luck and good fishin’.