We’re into the last days of February and with that we are nearing days of warming temperatures. We got a taste of that this past week; two days of near 40 degrees and we’ve not see 40 in a long time. For most, it felt pretty good. More of that lies ahead and after a harsh winter it will be welcome.
As we go into the weekend conditions are prime for snow sports; not so much for ice. We may or may not have a good load of new snow; this paper goes to press early enough that the snowfall predictions may or may not hold up. But it seems safe to say we’ll have some new snow over a very good base. It also seems that we may get stiff winds Friday and some overnight lows near or below zero.
We do feel safe in predicting some very good conditions on all area snowmobile trails. Trail groomers can work in pretty tough conditions with their big machines and it is a good bet that trails will be very good to excellent for the weekend and upcoming week. Temperatures will be chilly but we should be used to that.
Skiers are more vulnerable to wind and cold as groomers often are on smaller machines and more exposed to cold. So this weekend will be a question of how soon trails will be worked on. Heavy snow followed by wind will slow things but we feel that by Saturday we’ll have good to excellent conditions in the area.
Next week it’s back into some bitter cold again so the snow is not going anywhere very soon.
Ice condition continue to vary with slush over the past few weeks limiting access. By late this week we did see more anglers out and that trend may continue unless we get very heavy snow.
March 2 marks the date for the end of walleye and northern seasons. Walleyes have been slow but northerns have been fairly active of late. Bottom line is anyone who wants one more shot at them had best hurry.
From here on out ice fishing will focus on panfish. Crappies have been slow on most lakes and are suspended in deeper water. They’ll stay there until weather warms up and then they’ll move to shallows. They can be taken now with small jigs tipped with waxies or small minnows.
Bluegills also are spotty but the real issue of late has been limited access due to slush so we’ve simply not had a lot of reports.
Cold weather returns this week with what many hope is the last gasp of winter cold.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.