Houston's fishing report: Lake travel proving troublesome
Conditions are tough. After the recent dumps of snow and now the melting, we are in way-less-than-favorable ice conditions. Traveling by snowmobile is the only way that is somewhat efficient. ATVs and most vehicles don't stand a chance. If you try to drive on a lake, bring a shovel because getting stuck is inevitable.
To make it worse, fishing continues to be on the slower side as well. Logging many hours for little reward has been the rule over the past several days. The good news is we are getting closer to "late ice" as the weather changes to milder temperatures. I sure hope this snow melts fast so we can get back to better ice travel conditions. Otherwise, until then we will continue to grind out and chase fish.
Lake Superior is showing more signs of anglers. It won't be long until many will take to the open water and troll for coho salmon. We already have reports of anglers casting from shore having some success catching a few salmon and an occasional Kamloops rainbow or steelhead. It's no secret that in the coming weeks, the North Shore is going to get very busy. Ice anglers are still finding some success in the Ashland area on Chequamegon Bay. Ice travel is no better over there than it is in the Duluth area.
The St. Louis River continues to be on the silent side of things. With the close of game fish seasons (walleye, northern pike, bass) on the river, angling pressure will be very low. Some will continue to chase backwater panfish.
Inland lakes are the best bet for catching a few fish. As previously mentioned, it is not easy. Hole-hopping or "ice trolling" is a big challenge when you have lots of snow, slush and water to deal with. Some of the launching points in the area are bad, so take extreme caution if you decide to drive onto local lakes. Some anglers are finding mixed success just dead-sticking crappie minnows over deeper basins for crappies.