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George Langley

Fishing with the Guides

George Langley has been a fishing guide and businessman
in the North Woods for more than 40 years.
He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Ice conditions ideal on most lakes here

By George Langley

Continued cold weather and little snow have made for almost perfect ice conditions for North Woods ice anglers at this point.

Anglers are driving on almost all lakes in the area and thus are able to get out there without snowmobiles or ATVs. With trucks on the ice, shacks aren’t needed to stay warm. These are the best conditions we have seen in many years, with ice from 12 to almost 20 inches on some lakes.

There also is very little slush on the lakes, so that makes

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 5:34 PM
Cold temps helping ice conditions on lakes

By George Langley

With the recent cold weather the North Woods is getting, anglers should have some great ice for the rest of the ice fishing season. By the end of this cold spell, anglers can expect 12 to 15 inches of ice on the lakes.

The ability to get around on the ice is as good as it has ever been at this point and anglers are now able to drive vehicles on most lakes. As always, if there haven’t been vehicles where you are going, stop and check ice thickness.

The North Woods has had just enough snow for the cross-country skier and snowshoe enthusiats, but there is a scarcity of that white stuff for snowmobilers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 4:49 PM
Ice conditions improve for hard-water anglers

By George Langley

Weather that is really changing has been the dominant factor in our ice fishing news in the last week or so. Ironically, despite all that warm weather, we’ve ended up with improved ice conditions.

The surface coat of 5 inches or so of snow melted into the ice base and we can now boast thicker ice that is easy to get around on. Few of us can remember these types of conditions in January in our lifetime. The lack of snow at this point is unbelievable.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 4:54 PM
Conditions improving on North Woods lakes


By George Langley

North Woods lakes are slowly getting to great ice conditions for anglers, as the cold nights have really thickened the ice on lakes.

This is just great for the ice fishermen and women, as we will soon be able to drive out there. That sure makes lake access to some of the spots easier for many. Don’t be too hasty, however. Wait until you see that others are driving on the lake.

Snow conditions continue to be poor for those who like to snowmobile, but they are OK (barely) for the cross-country skiers and snowshoers. The daytime temperatures in the 20s have really been great for just getting outside.

Walleye fishing has been good and is getting better. Some big fish have been caught in the last week, with some in the 10-pound range showing up. We commend those anglers who take pictures of them and then return those huge fish. Good numbers of fish have been caught with some consistency in the evenings and after dark on most of lakes. As always, shiners or sucker minnows are the baits used under tip-ups. Set those minnows about 18 inches off the bottom at the deep weed edges or on the edge of bars for best results. We also have reports of some fish being caught by jig fishermen during the afternoons in deeper water.


Tuesday, January 08, 2013 4:44 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 18, 2014 1:34 PM )
Ice conditions improve across North Woods

By George Langley

North Woods lakes have ice conditions that are much improved over several weeks ago. Ice thickness varies from 5 to 10 inches throughout the area and the ability to get around on the ice is just about as good as it gets.

Some lakes have a little slush in areas, mostly on the north side of lakes where wind formed snow drifts along the shorelines. With little slush, this bodes well for ice fishing in the weeks to come. It is very much an improvement over last year at this time.

Monday, December 31, 2012 2:09 PM
Ice conditions better as cold temps arrive

Despite a slow start, the lakes are, ever so slowly, building some good ice for anglers. Most anglers report 3 to 7 inches of ice on the lakes, depending on the size of the lake.
While the snowmobilers are waiting to get some more snow, the ice fishermen are pretty happy and can get around well on the ice-covered lakes. There is just a light layer

Monday, December 24, 2012 6:19 PM
Ice depth improving on most area lakes

By George Langley

As we discuss the weather, I’m tired of saying this, but wow! Just when we think it is starting to get nicer for outdoors people, we get hit yet again with this terrible weather for everyone.

That said, in the last several days, it seems things have improved unexpectedly on the ice.

The small amount of snow that was on the ice melted and merged with the ice already there and has begun to give us hope for some really decent ice conditions as the week goes on. We now have reports as of Tuesday morning that there are areas with as much as 6 inches of pretty solid ice now — on the bays of the bigger lakes and some of those small lakes. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 8:07 PM
Some ice anglers getting early start

By George Langley

After a really slow start we are now starting to see some ice development on area lakes. It’s great to see people getting the opportunity to get out there and do some fishing.

Generally, there are roughly 2- to 5-inches of ice on the lakes, depending on the size of the lake or bay. This is not enough for any snow machines, but is enough for people to walk on. Exercise some care out there and check the ice thickness as you go out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 3:42 PM
Thaw puts delay on early ice fishing

By George Langley

What a bummer. It’s usually a treat for this writer to share with you the goings on in our local outdoor arena, but several times a year there is little to say. This is one of those times.

We had some developing ice in the area, enough to have those early nuts getting out there, albeit carefully, onto the ice and getting some northerns and walleye. Well, even that thin ice is gone as we have lost most of our ice due to a thaw and are back into a waiting pattern. The one good thing about this is that when the ice refreezes, it should happen quickly and the ice should be good black ice. We hope.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012 4:56 PM
Open-water fishing comes to an end

By George Langley

We’ve come to the end of the line for open water fishing for the year. It was a weird season right from the start, as we had open water in mid-March. This early open water seemed to make much of our fishing off base from the get go.

If you’ll remember, we had that very heavy snow right before the warm spell opened the lakes, so we did get the benefit of some higher water for a while. That reversed itself as the summer went on and we ended the year — again — with very low water levels throughout the area. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:26 PM

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