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.

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