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Wisconsin Fishing Expo in Madison this Weekend

Anglers can expect the same quality vendors, and many new ones as well, but the new second floor will feature a extensive wildlife art gallery with fishing/hunting art, including, prints, paintings, photography and sculpture!

I’ll be at the show in the Wildcat Lodge booth in the 1500 aisle.  Stop by and say hello, it would be great to meet you. Also, fellow AGLOW member and outdoor writer Dan Small of Dan Small Outdoors will be in the 100 Aisle.  Stop by Dan’s booth too.  Members from the Boulder Junction and Mercer Chambers will be at the show

Consumer can still expect mom-and-pop fishing vendors with gear that anglers simply can’t find at box stores, there will also be a tremendous presence from some of the leading national brands in the fishing industry, like: Berkley, Beaver Dam, ACME, Fenwick, Okuma, Gamakatsu, Ray Marine, Garmin, St. Croix, Fishing Hot Spots, Stren, and many, many more.  As for boats, over 20 brands will be ready to sell from top bets like Crestliner, Alumacraft, Bass Cat, Yar Craft, Tracker, Ranger, Triton, Recon, Smoker Craft, Bennington, and others.

It doesn’t matter if a person is new to fishing or an advanced angler- there is something for EVERYONE at the WFE!


“Tradition.” It’s more than a word. Tradition has been a part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show since 1940. For five days in March, everything outdoors will be celebrated indoors. As always, there will be something for every outdoor sports enthusiast, from those who love fishing, hunting, and camping to those who get outdoors to enjoy kayaking, boating, and hiking.

MARCH 8TH – 12TH 2017

March 8th, 9th, 10th: 12 PM – 9 PM
Saturday, March 11th: 10 AM – 9 PM
Sunday, March 12th: 10 AM – 5 PM

Wisconsin State Fair Park
Exposition Center
640 S. 84th St.
West Allis, WI 53214


Thursday, March 9 – 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Scouts please wear your uniforms and enter at north main entrance of the Expo Center to pick-up free tickets. No pre-registration needed.

Thursday, March 9
Persons with disabilities get FREE admission, Noon – 5 p.m.
No pre-registration needed.
*Wheelchairs are not available for use or rent at the Exposition Center.

Thursday, March 9
Seniors, 55+ with a valid ID will receive FREE admission, Noon – 5 p.m.

Thursday, March 9
FREE admission for active duty and retired military personnel
with valid military ID.

Local Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O’Malley and Don Dz

Hey Don, The ice gear has officially been put away and it’s only mid February. Don’t tell the bass on area lakes that it’s only February. Bass patterns that usually set up early spring are going now. Lipless cranks retrieved slowly along the inside and outside weedlines are taking quality bass. Ticking the top of the weeds and causing the bait to pause entices that reaction strike despite the cold water. Sunny days have been producing better numbers. Even the turtles are out in full force thinking its spring.  TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Huskeroutdoors Waterworks fishing team

Dz’s report….   Fished last Sunday with Roger Wright and Jeff Novak.  We hit a couple south suburban ponds and found that the bass were active.   Seen some small gills along shores.   I went armed only with Strike King worms and fished them wacky style.   I used a weightless hook.   Jeff and Roger used wacky worms and some other baits.  What we found common on both ponds was silty dead weeds on the bottom so the weightless hook that I used was helpful to retrieve a clean worm close to the bottom.  Like Husker said, the retrieve had to be slow.  There was a little bit of time in between bites but for mid February when it’s supposed to be really cold, we enjoyed fishing in shirt sleeves and catching some nice bass.

Always make sure you have permission to fish private ponds.   Many municipalities have park district ponds open for fishing.  And with that said, remember that “Great fishing is not that far away.”  tm

Boulder Junction’s Frozen Tozen

Boulder Junction’s 9th Annual Boulder Junction Frozen Tozen, held on Saturday, February 18, was a great event thanks to the support of all our sponsors, donators, volunteers and participants. The spring like temperatures and sunshine made for a beautiful day on and off the ice.  The Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce is very grateful to all who were involved in making this event fun for the community and visitors which is a fundraising event for the Boulder Junction Area Boat Landing Improvement Fund!

The following awards for the ice fishing tournament on Boulder Lake were presented during the awards ceremony at the tent on the boat landing.  148 fish were caught throughout the day of which 48 were northern pike, 98 perch, and 2 walleyes.

Frozen Tozen Award with $300 cash payout for the largest fish of the day: Tom Fisher of Green Bay, WI: 28.5 inches Northern Pike. We also acknowledge that Stan Kuklinski of Boulder Junction, WI also caught a 28.5 inches Northern Pike, however, per tournament rules, in the case of a tie, then time caught will be used to determine the winner with the earliest time declared the winner.

1st Place Award with $100 cash payout for most accumulated inches: Mark Lenda of Oak Creek, WI: 221.8 inches caught.

Junior Award with $100 cash payout for most accumulated inches: Casey Polega of Hatley, WI. 22.25 inches caught.

Team Award with $100 cash payout to team with most accumulated inches: Jacks Jigs 413.45 inches caught. Team anglers were: Mark Lenda, Oak Creek, WI; Randy Szukalski, Oak Creek, WI; Mike Donahue, Monticello, WI; Cal Johnson, Presque Isle, WI

Calming Stone Massage and The Outdoorsman Restaurant hosted games for the kids on the airport runway. Relay races, volleyball, crochet and snow sculpting proved to be big fun for those in attendance. Team Shimmering Shiner of Woodruff, WI was awarded the best decorated Mardi Gras themed shanty.

Congrats to our grand prize raffle winner, Kathy Bolanowski of Algonquin, IL, who won the Weekend Travel Package: 2-night stay at Boulder Bear Motor Lodge, ½ day fishing with Bob’s Manitowish Guide Service, $50 gift certificate to Aqualand Alehouse, Breakfast for 2 at the Outdoorsman and $25 gift certificate at Coontail. The travel package was valued at $449. 90, many other raffle prizes were also awarded to ticket holders of the 1345 raffle tickets sold.

Thank you to the following businesses and friends of the chamber for their continued support of Frozen Tozen:  Achilles Foot & Ankle Clinic, Alder Lake Cranberry Gift Shop, Aqualand Ale House, Barb Boston, Big Bear Hideaway, Bob’s Manitowish Guide Service, Boulder Bear Motor Lodge, Boulder Beer Bar, Boulder Junction Shooting Range, Boulder Junction Snowmobile Club, Boulder Marine Center, Calming Stone Massage, Camp Holiday, Coontail, Friends of the Boulder Junction Library, Friends; Gene & Carol Klisnick, FYI Northwoods, Gooch’s A-1 Bar & Grill, Headwaters Restaurant & Tavern, Island City Lanes, Janie’s Flies, McGann’s Pub & Wine Bar, Moondeer & Friends Gallery, Northern Highland American Legion State Forest, Northern Highland Sports, Peeplelures, Stormy Kromer, The Granary Family Restaurant, The Guide’s Inn, The Outdoorsman, White Birch Village, Wild Women of the North and Few Good Men

For more information on upcoming in events in the Boulder Junction area, visit or call 1-800-GO-MUSKY.

Central Wisconsin Fishing Report by Phil Schweik

Big week for crappies and bluegills plus some nice walleyes and northern pike.  Ice conditions are very good with 14 to 20 inches of good ice on most area lakes but still use caution when you are near areas with current. Travel conditions are very good with little to no snow on the lakes either.  This weekend may change things though with temperatures forecasted up to 50 degrees.

We have been having a great crappie bite all winter long and this past week just capped it off with lots of nice crappies on every trip.  Most of the action came on tip-downs but we caught plenty of fish by jigging small Northland spoons tipped with a minnow head or tipped with spikes.  A lot of the fish that we caught were in 12 to 18 feet FOW suspended 2 to 5 feet off the bottom.

The action for walleyes and pike has been consistent with good numbers of fish being caught.  A lot of the bites have been on tip-ups baited with golden shiners but we are getting some nice walleyes by jigging Slab Raps and Jigging Rapalas. Most of our fish have been in the 12 to 15 foot range but we have been getting a few fish shallow during low light periods of the day.

If you are really looking for action though you cannot beat the big bluegill bite. We have had an extremely good week catching big bulls bluegills and with the warm weather that is forecasted the bite is only going to get better.

Have a great week,

Phil Schweik
Hooksetters Guide Service

Mercer WI area Fishing Report by Barb Carey

The ice is perfect being about 18 inches thick with a light snow cover.   And the good news is there is no slush on top. You can pretty much go where ever you want.  Snowmobilers are enjoying decent snow cover on the trails. The fishing was very good for perch crappie and gills.  No walleyes but that can change at any time. Reports are they are in stumps under 8 feet of water. I found fish in cribs and in holes.  Crappies are found 4 feet off the bottom. Perch right on the bottom and the gills are everywhere.  Fun day on the ice.

Barb Carey – Women on Ice

Niagara USA Fishing Forecast for Friday, February 17, 2017 by Bill Hilts, Jr.

It’s a free fishing weekend Feb. 18-19 for anyone who wants to sample some fishing around the state. It was designed to promote ice fishing but you will be hard pressed to find some safe ice around here. It will be up to 50 degrees into next week. In the Niagara River, water is still stained but you can catch fish if you work for them. Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston took out Diane Lorka of Pittsburgh earlier in the week and managed to catch her a 17 pound steelhead while drifting a Kwikfish lure off a three-way rig. MagLips will also work to catch fish. Egg sacs and minnows will work on any given day and you may have to experiment a bit to see what the fish want. Capt. Arnie Jonathan of Lockport took out a couple of Alaska fishing guides mid-week – Joe Romano and Kyle Kruchten – and they were three for seven in Devil’s Hole using minnows off three-ways. Water will continue to be stained heading into the weekend, but if the winds subside, it should start to clear up slowly. Shore anglers have been picking up a few trout, too, casting hardware or fishing eggs/beads…or a combo of both. With temperatures warming up to 50 this weekend and into next week, we should see some activity in the river. If we don’t have any wind, check out the Niagara Bar, too.

In 18 Mile Creek, Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott reports stained water with a flow of over 100 cfs. The creek is open and you have the option of being able to catch a trout but you do have to work for them. The smaller creeks are still low and clear. Saith Shine of Sanborn was three for three on steelies at mid-week at Burt Dam using different combos like a jig tipped with a wax worm and a bead above it, egg sacs and a combo of baits. Incidentally, Shine won a local contest through the “Fishing Nerds” Facebook page for cleaning up some of the local streams in a little challenge contest by the site and Greg Schloerb of Amherst. Let’s keep those streams as natural-looking as possible

On Saturday, Feb. 25, there will be the annual rack scoring day with official scorers Dave Muir and Don Haseley at Niagara Outdoors in North Tonawanda. They will be scoring from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Whether it’s a rack you shot last fall, one you found or just an old rack that’s been laying around the garage and you always wanted to know what it scored, stop down and share your story. If you are looking for a fishing boat, check out the WNY Boat Show February 22 to 26 at the Adpro Sports Fieldhouse located at 1 Bills Drive in Orchard Park. Talk with a wide variety of marinas and boating-related vendors. To find out more information go to

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation
1.877 FALLS US
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Sonar units continue to be an anglers best friend. Still some suspended fish out there. Working every fish hard is key. Some fish are players and some pretenders. A good tullibee and perch bite in some areas amongst walleyes / saugers. The anglers working a spoon and a dead stick with a plain hook and minnow are doing good.  Key depth  29-33 ft in the morning/afternoon and 17-24 before dusk.  Best colors continue to be glow red and gold on jigging spoons tipped with minnow head or tail. Snow pack on the lake is disappearing and ice is still very good.

The Rainy River morning and evening bite has been okay. Know the river or use a resort or guide for safety. Warm weather and current will effect areas harsher than others.   The snowmobile trail is staked from Wheeler’s Point to Baudette on the river.  Do not deviate from trail unless you are familiar with ice conditions.

Up at the NW Angle, fishing has really picked up. The dead stick is producing the most fish with depths under a foot off of the bottom. Lots fish in the slot, as well as some over 28 inches! On the Canadian side, walleyes are being caught in transition zones, with gold and pink and whites being the hot colors. The crappie bite is at 30 ft plus in the mud with Tungsten jigs tipped with plastic. Jigging spoons with a minnow head are also producing fish. Remember to move on to another species after you have your limit of crappies as these fish have a high mortality rate over 25′ of water. Work through resorts and stay on ice road. Fish houses can stay on ice through March, walleyes/saugers through April 14th.  Resorts and ice fishing reservations at   Please remember to “Keep It Clean” and remove trash from ice.

Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism |
m: 320-260-7727 | office: 800-382-3474 |


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