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Rick

Wisconsin Fishing Reports & Outdoor Report for December 21, 2017

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Snow is piling up on properties in northern Wisconsin, but has been melting away in southern counties. The Brule River State Forest is grooming cross-country ski trails after an additional 2-3 inches of snow brought their total to around 10 inches. The Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest is also packing trails for skiers but still has not been able to set tracks. Trails have also been groomed at Newport, Peninsula and Potawatomi state parks in Door County but most of the southern half of the state has no snow cover. A couple more northern counties have opened or partially opened snowmobile trails but conditions are only fair to poor on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR).In the north, many smaller lakes have 4 to 6 inches of ice, but some of the larger lakes just froze up completely in the last week and have only 1 to 4 inches of ice. There is a fair amount of snow on the ice which is leading to slush and inconsistent ice underneath. People should be very careful if they venture out to fish. Anglers finding good ice were catching bluegills in shallow green weeds and crappies a little deeper over flats or near cribs. Walleye anglers are catching walleyes on small minnows set under tip ups on the outside edges of weed beds. Pike action on tip ups has been slower than average.Southern areas that had been forecast to get several inches of snow this week, will likely now only see a dusting. This means easy access for those looking to get out on a hike this coming week. The last firearm deer hunt is just around the corner in the Farmland Zone--the Holiday hunt runs from Dec. 24-Jan. 1 and is an antlerless only hunt. One last reminder for pheasant hunters: the state game farm will be releasing an additional 1,500 birds on five wildlife areas prior to the holidays for some late season hunting.

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