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The Outdoor Punch - February Madness

POSTED March 2, 2017 1:50 p.m.

With the awesome 60-70 degree weather that has spoiled us lately here in our small corner of Wisconsin, many anglers have taken to the open water.  Hopefully it will last, and we can say goodbye to our ice fishing gear and focus on the spring bite!  Anglers have reported all kinds of catches these past couple weeks.  Sauger and walleye are starting to bite on the rivers, and the panfish are still going mad on the lakes. 
Good quality panfish are being caught from dusk through dawn.  Small jigs tipped with minnows seem to be the choice of most.  The crappie bite usually stops within the first hour of day light, but starts again at dusk.  Bluegills seem to be hitting all day long.
Walleye are starting to hit, but the bite is slow.  With the warm weather, everyone wants to get out and catch them, myself included, but the spawn is still awhile off.  They can be caught right now if you can find them.  I believe they are starting to come off their winter holes, and transitioning to their spawning areas.  Current seams, steep rock banks, and eddies are great places to try.  Jig and minnow, or jig with a soft plastic has been the choice so far.
If you are fishing on the Mississippi River, the sauger bite is on!  Sauger can be found in the deepest holes you can find.  If you find them, you will find lots of them.  Fish close to spillways, or dams.  I fished pool 12 last week below the Dubuque lock, and came home with a limit of 15 inch sauger.  The key was keeping your bait on the bottom.  I was using a ¾ ounce buck tail jig tipped with a minnow.  Chartreuse, or orange were hot colors that day.
Living in Wisconsin, we know that this weather may not...probably will not…last long.  Get out there and enjoy it while it’s here!  Be safe…and happy fishing!

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