Anglers Have Busy Weekend On Lake Winnebago, Despite Safety Concerns Over Ice Thickness

Despite the ice on Lake Winnebago not being as thick as usual, the 16th annual Battle on Bago ice fishing tournament starts today.

$345,000 in prizes is up for grabs in the contest.

Organizers say there are areas on the lake where it isn’t safe, but other areas are and its up to the individual to decide where to go and what steps to take to stay safe.

Up until Wednesday night, air temperatures were above freezing for several days in a row and rain didn’t help matters either.

DNR officials say that there have been multiple reports of off-highway vehicles and ice fishing shacks going through the ice.

Due to the heavy winds, hazard markers indicating cracks, shoves and abandoned sturgeon spearing holes have been blown away.

The Battle On Bago event takes place Friday and Saturday and anglers need to purchase a ticket to weigh in their catch during the tournament.

The Sturgeon Spearing Season remains open with much lower than normal numbers being reported. This is largely due to many spearers abandoning the ice due to safety
as warm weather and rain ate away several inches of ice earlier in the week.

Thursday only saw 19 sturgeon being speared on the Winnebago System and only 11 on Wednesday.

In total there have been 1012 sturgeon speared. Hundreds less than the caps given for the season. The season ends at 1PM on Sunday.