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Tenkarabum and Finesse-Fishing Websites, Winter's only salvation!

by Kelly Peterson
(Prentice, Wisconsin)

Guys, this time of year here in Northern Wisconsin the only fishing to be done is thru a small hole in 24" or more of ice. Can't put up with the cold anymore so my enjoyment comes from reading the above two websites and living ultra light fishing thru all who post here. Many thanks go to Chris for providing these sites and allowing us to participate.

We are in the midst of a warming trend, temps reached 16 degrees today. Attached is a picture I took off the front porch/deck earlier. The river in front of the house has been iced over since Thanksgiving and there is over 2 feet of snow covering everything. Couple that with many, many days of below zero temperatures makes for a very long winter.

I mainly fish for bluegill, perch, some crappie and native brook trout. Prefer and seek out all the "thin blue lines" on maps and any small lake/pond or flowage that does not have a boat landing, because I rarely see anyone else on the water.

I picked up a couple Tenkara rods from a friend in Idaho a couple years back and hope to try them this year on some of our bigger waters, both rivers and small lakes where I can get away from the continuous bankside brush, trees, alders, etc. It is 85-90% big woods and swamps here, very few open spaces. Have been using ultra light spinning gear forever it seems, close to 60 years. First fly rods with spin cast reels, then fiberglass ultra lights and now carbon rods, some custom made on really lightweight fly rod blanks from 3-8 feet, all with small Pflueger spinning reels. Yes, am going to use a 3 foot ice fishing rod this spring on some of those overhead choked blue lines.

Am a bait fisherman from the get go. Sure I've tried the jigs and flies and plugs, etc. I've got boxes and boxes of plastic, plugs and artificial stuff that just takes up space and doesn't get used anymore. Always seem to go back to the natural bait, worms, leeches and sometimes minnows because I know they catch fish. 3-4" live minnows are the absolute best for very large trout. The biggest obstacle to using bait for fishing is keeping it lively while fishing. Leeches and warm weather tolerant worms like Red Wigglers and European Crawlers in insulated bags on ice seem to be the ticket for me.

Comments for Tenkarabum and Finesse-Fishing Websites, Winter's only salvation!

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Feb 09, 2018
Too Cold!
by: John Evans

Oh, man--it warmed up to 16 degrees? I think a Texas boy (me!) better stay in Texas!

Feb 09, 2018
Thanks for Sharing
by: Les Albjerg

Kelly - I agree that these are great sites! Educational too. Either I am blind or the section is new. I just discovered the Fly Fishing tab. It was informative.

Winter in Idaho - No mosquitoes, poison ivy, or rattlesnakes. A lot fewer fisherman as well! Steelhead running in the upper Salmon just begging to be chased with the Kyogi 21 the end of March and beginning of April.

It is tough living in "the land of the cheese and the freeze."

Feb 10, 2018
I Feel Your Pain
by: Herb S.

Where you live sounds like much of the U.P. and spots in the northern lower peninsula; tight brush fishing, mostly dunking bait through holes in the vegetation, spin-cast reels under fly rods, etc.

Down here in the banana belt of Michigan we've had on-and-off ice fishing with thaw and freeze weather. I've decided to stay off. Yesterday we were treated to 12" of snow with more on the way. It's our record snowfall of this winter -- we hope that's all.

Like you, it's reading, looking at websites, fly tying, plotting and scheming and wrestling the snow thrower.

Stay warm,


Feb 10, 2018
Nice Packer Blanket!
by: Bill Piatek

Looks like a fellow lover of the Green & Gold :-)

Best thing my wife ever did was push me down here in NM. There's always a spot for winter fishing. Beat the brush yesterday with my little 270 Nissin Fine Mode and bait. Did well.

Feb 13, 2018
by: Charlie

You could head down to the Driftless region and fish this weekend! ... It's going to be in the thirties and forties.

Feb 14, 2018
by: Your Name (REQUIRED!) Kelly Peterson?

Charlie, is that all catch and release? Also, artificial lures only?

It has been 20 years since I fished down there. Back then it was year around season.

Feb 14, 2018
by: Charlie

Hi Kelly,

It is catch and release from 5 a.m. on the first Saturday in January (January 6, 2018) through the Friday preceding the first Saturday in May (May 4, 2018). Otherwise, some streams are for artifical lures only, others are not.

The Daily bag and length limits are by county for the most part, but are more granular in some of the counties.


Feb 15, 2018
by: Kelly Peterson

That pretty much is how I figured the seasons were. Since I use bait 90% of the time, even tho I release most trout I would still only fish when I could keep a fish if badly hooked.

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