Warm weather and rain have made for an ‘OK’ fishing week.

Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait, said fishing was slow Monday due to the rain, but the weekend weather made for a good time on the ice even if fishermen weren’t catching anything.

“It was a wonderful weekend, the sun was shining, people were out and about catching fish, not catching fish, but still having a good time,” he said.

As of Sunday ice depth at Lake Tomah was about nine inches at the lagoon and about eight inches over the main part of the lake, Roscovius said.

“The center was the last to freeze over. Guys were giving reports that they didn’t go over there, so a word of caution,” he said. “(Monday) water was let out of the lake ... all the rain water running under the ice is not good, so just be cautious if you go on to the lake as you would any body of water. The tragedy in Sparta, we don’t need any more of that.”

The bite was decent on Saturday, Roscovius said. He got reports of a few northern pike, a lot of bluegills and crappies and some largemouth bass being caught on Lake Tomah.

Reports on cranberry marshes were hard to come by, as marsh owners are flooding their beds this time of year, and it makes for iffy fishing, Roscovius said.

“I didn’t get good reports on too many of them, but I know out on John Rezin’s on Saturday there was a 41-inch northern caught; it was real nice,” he said. “I’ve (also) had other people say they fished all day and did not get any panfish. So it’s hard to say. ... If on a pond that just got emptied and refilled, it’s going to be bad. They take four to five days to settle down.”

At Petenwell Flowage, a lot of small walleyes have been caught, Roscovius reported, and there have been a few pressure cracks in the ice, so travel is difficult on the large impoundment of the Wisconsin River.

Fishermen report that purples and pinks are the colors of choice for panfish, but orange with a minnow are working for walleyes, Roscovius said.

In hunting news, Matt Modjeski, Department of Natural Resources conservation warden for Monroe County, said the crow season is about to open for its second half.

The small gamebird season is split with one half running Sept. 15 to Nov. 15 and the other running Jan. 18 to March 20.

The squirrel season continues on, and it has been a good season, Modjeski said.

“I heard a lot more squirrels have been seen (this season),” he said. “This year there was a good acorn crop, so there are more squirrels out and about, whereas about two years ago there were hardly any acorns, so it was not a good year.”

The cottontail rabbit season also runs until the end of of February.

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at meghan.flynn@lee.net.


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