Ice on lakes ahead of Wisconsin Fishing Opener

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With the Wisconsin fishing season starting this Saturday, tourist season for the Lake Nebagamon Village Inn Motel and Restaurant has already begun.

“It’s mostly people getting ready now for spring, coming up for cabins, hopefully getting out on the ice or the open water. I should say, see some ice here, open water and yeah, you get a few guests for that and then go from there for the rest of the summer, of course,” said owner Shannon Salomaki.

As spring temperatures vary greatly in the northland, having ice on lakes at the start of the Wisconsin fishing opener would not be entirely new.

“I have had, I think, two other times that I’ve actually sat out on the ice on a fishing opener,” said Salomaki. “I think it was just three or four years ago, I think there was 18 inches of ice still when I was drilling holes and fishing, and everybody’s driving by going, yeah, he’s crazy.”

Last year’s fishing opener featured temperatures in the eighties and nice, open waters.

Now, there’s flowing water right by the shore of Lake Nebagamon. If you venture out a little bit further, you’ll find nothing but ice.

Salomaki took his canoe out on the lake to get a closer look at the ice thickness.

“I’m guessing there’s still probably 12 inches maybe there still,” Salomaki estimated. “Still thinking it’s got a little bit of thickness to it yet, so that’s going to be an interesting weekend.”

With warmer temperatures in store for this week, some melting is likely.

“If we get the hard warm weather, it should help a lot,” Salomaki explained. “And then if we get a good wind to break, just break it up. There’s a couple of big cracks going across. If the wind switches enough, hard enough, it could start moving it and it just doesn’t take much after that.”

If it doesn’t all melt, Salomaki’s plans will only change slightly.

“I’ll be fishing opening morning,” Salomaki said. “Either on the ice or maybe in my canoe in a little bit of the open water. Either way, I’m still going.”