Update- the edges are starting to get bad on some of the lakes and ponds. We will update conditions later this week after the rain. Some of the lakes will likely be unfishable until it cools down. The edges were getting bad at Hamilton Lake today. Some of it will refreeze tonight, but rain this week will likely make it unfishable until it cools down. We are awaiting more info regarding the tournament. We will post here with an update ASAP.
Nice weather has had lots of people out on the ice this week and good reports are coming in from most of the lake. Hamilton and Hills Creek are fishing best with good reports coming in the mornings and again in the evening. A few people are fishing the Corps lakes (Hammond & Cowanesque), however the bite has been very slow.
Hills Creek has been producing good numbers of bluegills, perch, and crappies throughout the lake. Green or motor oil colored plastics, wax worms, and spikes are all working. Hot jig colors have been chartreuse, blue, glow, and wonderbread, among others. A few people have been doing well with Hali jigs too. Black, orange, and silver Halis were popular. Minnows and shiners are working for bass, pickerel, and perch too. Some of the larger perch are being caught towards the dam, but most of the panfish are coming off the stumps end.
Hamilton is fishing very well for trout and panfish. The trout are being caught throughout the lake using waxworms, live minnows, powerbait, and various jigs. They are roaming and scattered throughout the water column. The bite seems to come in waves as the schools move through the area. Small spoons and Z-vibers tipped with wax worms are also working. Most of the panfish have been out in deeper water. Look for 15-25 feet of water. Tungsten jigs have worked best. Blue, pink, Green, and glow have been popular colors.
Beechwood has been hit and miss for anglers. Most days, anglers have done well with trout. One angler yesterday catching them 'nearly every drop' using waxworms. A few big golden rainbows have been caught too! Areas near the boat launch have been good for the trout. Perch and crappies are also being caught. Locating the schools has been tough for many, but drill lots of holes and stay on the move and you will find them.
With warm weather and rain moving into the area, it's extremely important to check conditions yourself before venturing onto any of the lakes. Warm days and rain can open up old holes, melt the edges, and areas with incoming water will become much thinner. Check conditions yourself and be aware of your surroundings throughout the day. It's supposed to cool down again this weekend and 'normal' winter weather is in the forecast for next week.
As of now, the Hamilton Lake ice tournament is still on for Saturday. We will update here asap if anything changes.