Outdoor Report: Milder weather could be a boon for winter sports
The weekend, for a change, seems to hold the promise of more tolerable weather. The upcoming week? More of the same. Can it be that we’re turning the corner at long last? One might hope so. This winter has been long and hard for all with night after night of sub zero temperatures and daytime highs that barely top 10 above.
That cold weather will hold the snow and that’s good news. We’ve gradually built up a snow base that makes all snow-related sports exceptional. Skiing and snowmobiling have been very good and snowshoers have had week after week of great conditions. That will all continue this week.
Ski trails are simply very good right now and there is no sign of pending thaw to jeopardize that. We expect that all area trails will be good to excellent this week. As days lengthen and temperatures rise, however slowly, we may be looking at an exceptional month for cross country skiing.
The same can be said for snowmobiling; it’s good and getting better. Trails are groomed regularly and snowmobiles can bank on great trails for the upcoming weekend and into next week. This may be working out to be one of the best years in some time.
February brings a transition for ice fishing. From here on out the focus will shift to panfish as the primary target for anglers. Walleye will linger but the peak has passed. Panfish action should build weekly.
We have see a marked drop in ice angling of late due to the combination of bitter cold and the buildup of slush on many lakes. The temperatures will get better but slush is another story and as long as it persists we will see fewer anglers out. Those that do spend time will find crappies in deeper water and bluegills more in mid-depths. And both species will become more active I. The next weeks.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.