Ice condition needs improvement as major events approach

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LAKE WINNEBAGO, Wis. (WBAY) - Winter in Wisconsin is synonymous with ice fishing, sturgeon spearing, and other events out on frozen lakes. But, so far this year, the warmer weather has led to less than ideal conditions for those activities.

Ice Fishing in winter scene

After a December warm-up and high winds broke up the ice on Lake Winnebago, conditions out on the lake right now are less than ideal for upcoming ice events or just ice fishing in general.

"You try to get your permanent out by now and get the trucks going, but that's Mother Nature for ya, unpredictable," says angler Mitch Rady from Neenah.

According to ice expert Don Herman, from Sunk? Dive and Ice Service, there's only about three inches of ice on parts of the lake.

"We need a week of below zero weather, somewhat, at least five, six days in order to get this, some ice on it. There's still open water out there," says Herman.

Ice shoves created by high winds have added another layer of difficulty.

Herman adds, "It's going to be, especially across the lake, where the ice shoves, it's going to take a toll on our trucks because we have to plow through all of that stuff, chop it down and plow if we get cold weather."

Conditions are a little bit better on lakes Poygan and Butte des Morts and fisherman are still able to get out onto the bays of Lake Winnebago.

Cory VanVonderan from Fish Tales says, "Unfortunately we're still stuck to fishing the bays. The good part is that the bays are producing some pretty good fish."

Those who are fishing the bays, until we get a good freeze, are walking because there is not enough ice yet to be driving.