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The cold weather has been great for the ice fisherman in the area – and they may be the only ones who have enjoyed this latest dive into the deep freeze. Most of the area waters gained several inches of solid ice and the additional snow cover was a bonus. Fishing has been either really slow or quite active depending on the body of water.

At Bangs Lake in Lake County there is 10-12 inches of ice and the bluegill are biting in 6 to 8 feet of water. Diversey Harbor in Chicago has reported 13 feet of ice and a good perch bite early in the morning. Further up north, Lake Winnebago has reported 18 inches of ice and, if one moves around, the bite has been good for white bass, crappie, perch and a few walleye. Lake Geneva and Lake Delavan are both reporting 10-12 inches of ice, but very slow fishing, on both lakes the past week. The warm-up the last few days has put several inches of water on top of the ice, so those heading out in the next few days should be prepared with good boots.

Those not enamored of ice fishing may want to check out the two outstanding indoor sports shows coming up. Any show that has fishing as the first item in its name is going to be excellent, and the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo will be held Jan. 23-26 at the Schaumburg Convention Center. There is a great speaker line-up for the weekend and plenty to do for everyone. Complete information and directions can be found at www.sportshows.com/chicago.

The other show is less than three hours away in Indianapolis. One of the largest shows in the Midwest, the Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show covers the entire Indiana State Fairgrounds. This show is a great way to spend an entire day looking at boats, RVs, hundreds of resorts and, of course, acres of fishing tackle at great prices. Information on this show can be found at www.indianapolisboatsportandtravelshow.com. Going to both shows to stock up, say, on lures and to plan a few trips will certainly help break up the winter blues.
Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.