You may have to start thinking about next year when it comes to getting some quality ice fishing this winter. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), only approximately three percent of the Great Lakes are ice-covered, which is 18 percent below average for January. Only pockets of the Bay of Green Bay are above 50 percent for ice concentration, a critical factor in if it’s safe enough to ice fish. Ice fishing guide Jimmy Doering of Cast and Catch Charters in Sturgeon Bay doubts it will be safe enough to ice fish on the bay this year, saying it usually has to be completely ice covered from Green Bay to Chambers Island for that to happen. As a safety precaution, he has been canceling several of his trips this year.
This could be the first time in his five-year career as an ice fishing guide that Doering does not take a group out onto the bay for a trip, adding that other guides have compared this year to 2012. If you can find a safe spot to ice fish, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources offers free fishing this weekend, allowing you to drop a line without having a license.
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