12/23 Our three smaller lakes, Hills Creek, Hamilton Lake, and Beechwood Lake, are all being fished these last few days. Anglers reported ice thicknesses between 4.5 and 5+ inches on all three lakes. Again, please check the ice yourself before venturing out. The ice sheets are uneven still with the crazy weather we had to start the season.
We've had a lot of people concerned about these few warmer days coming up. Keep in mind, that this week is the shortest week of the year in terms of daylight hours. Daytime highs last only a few hours before cooling back down. That isn't to say, we couldn't lose a little ice and you should always be on the lookout for thin spots, but barring a terrential downpour, the ice is here to stay. Lows below freezing will refreeze whatever does melt.
The ice is super slick. Bring cleats wherever you go!
Fishing-wise, anglers are catching good numbers of panfish, including mostly perch and bluegills so far. Some crappies are in the mix, but not huge numbers. Pickerel and bass are also being caught on Tip-Ups. Waxworms and maggots (spikes) have been the best baits for jigging. Medium shiners and fatheads are working well on tipups. Various color jigs have been effective. Plain gold and silver worked well, as did pink glows, fire tigers, and various shades of green.
Good luck and be safe out there. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a great holiday season. Tackle Shack will be open 6AM-3PM on Saturday (CHristmas eve) and we will be closed Sunday. We will reopen Monday at or before NOON, so we can enjoy some time with our families too.