Ice fishing has its advantages: It’s easy, the fish are much more clustered, so catching numbers of them is easier, and most of the necessary basic equipment is not very expensive. Dozens of friends ice fish all winter and always offer invitations to join them, but I don’t ice fish because I don’t like walking out on frozen water no matter how thick it is. But some of you may be inclined to go ice fishing, so here is what is going on out on area lakes.

The area lakes all appear to have plenty of ice for good fishing, with most of the lakes reporting 10-13 inches of ice. The smaller lakes have more stable ice with less fluctuation in depth from day to day; larger lakes such as Lake Geneva have thinner ice out in main lake areas.  Speaking of Lake Geneva, the perch bite seems to be going great, interrupted only by a pike now and then. Lake Delevan has been giving up some great catches of slab crappies and slab bluegills. The Fox Chain has been getting mixed reviews; Lake Catherine and Channel Lake have been producing some bluegills, but the water has been unusually cloudy, but Pistakee Lake has been reporting very good crappie production with clear water. Lake Zurich and Crystal Lake both are reporting good catches of bluegills with occasional northern pike thrown in. Interesting from all the reports was that the bite was really day-to-day – today hot and tomorrow not.

Just a little follow up to the Asian carp problem: Last week there was an article in the business section of the Tribune about several companies who are working on another solution: If we can’t beat them, we’ll eat them. They are working with some top chefs to develop recipes for Asian carp, and several companies are researching ways to capture and process the fish. Creative ideas may be a solution, who knows? Until next time … keep a tight line.