Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Houghton Lake Ice-Out is Underway

A Pair of Ducks at Dead Stream Flooding
photo by
K. Stephenson
Although winter hit us with one last shot in the form of 8 inches of snow about a week and a half ago. Warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine since then have the ice on the run. Houghton Lake and surrounding area lakes and waterways have all begun to at least show water, with some moving waterways almost completely ice free. Ice out on Houghton Lake could occur as soon as the third week in April. The DNR puts the docks in around the beginning of May.

Dead Stream Flooding Next to Reedsburg Dam
photo by
K. Stephenson

The above photo was taken the last day of March and the ice has receded even further since then.

Backus Lake is still mostly covered with ice but is showing signs of melting such as a 3 inch wide crack near the boat launch. The road back to Backus Lake is heavily rutted from the winter ice fishermen. And with the frost coming out of the ground the road is very muddy and slick. Use caution or just wait until May before venturing out to Backus Lake.

Now that we're in the transition period between ice fishing and open water fishing, this is a great time to think about cleaning and oiling your favorite reel. Maybe replacing the frayed or stretched line with some new line. One maybe two seasons can cause the line to lose it's strength. There's nothing like getting the big one on the hook only to have the line break when you get him next to the boat.

Speaking of hooks you should sharpen or replace any dull hooks. Heck, why not just empty the tackle box and get rid of the junk. You know the pieces of fishing line, the bent jigheads, broken bobbers, lures that are missing hooks. How about the wrappers from the crappie rigs, the sinkers, the beef jerky and sandwiches? You know what I'm talking about. Put the boat battery on the charger. Nothing can ruin the day like a dead battery. You don't even get away from the dock. Not to mention it's embarrassing (believe me I know).

Get organized before the season starts and your fishing adventure will be much more fun and relaxing.

Think safety and have a great summer of fishing.

Ken S.


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