UNDATED (WSAU) -- Wisconsin’s fishing season starts Saturday. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Ed Culhane says the conditions vary depending on where you go, because winter lasted so long and the weather has been unpredictable. “The weather has been a challenge this year. We still have some ice on north central Wisconsin lakes, so access to some of those lakes is going to be problematic, and even here in central Wisconsin with all of the rain we’ve had, some of the rivers are running a bit high, and they’ll be a bit cloudy, so that will cause people to change their tactics a bit, perhaps.”
With the cooler water temperatures, Culhane says the fish may not be very active yet. He says that means anglers may have to adjust how they fish. “In these kind of conditions, you’ll see anglers using slower presentations, fishing the edge of deep pools, using high contrast lures, lures that will have both a bright light color and a dark color you know to kind of get that contrast, and (they’ll need) patience.”
There are several lakes up north that still have ice on them, and Culhane says under no circumstances should you trust that ice to support any weight, and be cautious of river levels because of the runoff from snow and recent rains. “Most of that ice isn’t really safe for ice fishing, yet there’s enough of it to prevent you from getting your boat in the water. Primarily, we’re seeing this in north central Wisconsin. Up in the northwest, the lakes are open. In central and southern Wisconsin, obviously, everything’s open, and there this issue is the water might be a little high in some places, and a little cloudy and a little cool.”
Culhane reminds everyone to wear their personal floatation devices in the boat, and he advises wearing them if you are along the river shore in case you fall in to prevent the current and high waters from causing more danger. He says the DNR also has many interesting and useful tools on their smartphone application, which has access to fish and game laws, and can help identify species of fish and wildlife.