There is not a lot of fishing going on right now in this area, as the lakes have not developed enough ice to be safe for anglers to get out on. There are a lot of people anxiously waiting for this to happen.

If you remember, the good early ice last year was basically ruined by heavy snow and it was nearly impossible to get around on what had been decent ice. 

We’re ahead of that this year, but desperately in need of colder weather to build ice before we get any large amount of snow. 

The just completed open water season was very good for walleyes and crappies on the Eagle River and Three Lakes Chain of Lakes, so we have high hopes for fishing the Chain this winter. However, muskie fishing was pretty disappointing this fall.

Early ice fishing for walleyes, when the lakes finally freeze and are safe, is usually pretty good with tip-ups in the evenings. Medium shiners set under tip-ups right at the drop-offs or the deeper weed edges can be quite productive.

It  will be awhile before the panfishing picks up on ice-covered lakes. There are a few early ice fishing lakes with shallow bays, including Big Arbor Vitae, Thunder and Rice, but caution is advised on all lakes. 

When venturing out on early ice, spud your way out if others have not been on the ice first. Colder weather is coming, be patient.

The nine-day gun deer hunting season that ended last Sunday just seemed a little slow this year, but the muzzleloader deer season runs through Dec. 9.

Now is the time to check your ice fishing equipment out for the upcoming season. Have those auger blades sharpened, change your jig fishing lines, pick up some new jigs and check those tip-ups. 

Then it’s time to look forward to the great winter season out there. It’ll come soon enough.

Good luck and good fishin’.