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Cold Weather Procures Early Ice Fishing in Wisconsin


A cold and snowy November has brought opportunities for early ice fishing in Wisconsin. 

November proved to be plenty cold, giving anglers a chance to start ice fishing in Wisconsin a little earlier than normal.

Wood County was one part of the Badger State that saw unusually cold temperatures and higher-than-average snowfall.

This cold snap froze many areas which typically don’t become frozen until December or later. In response, many fishermen have taken to backwaters of rivers and smaller ponds for early opportunities for ice fishing in the state.

This November saw 18 inches of snowfall around Marshfield, and last year only five inches fell, according to the National Weather Service records. Average temperatures last month had an eight degree drop from last year’s averages to 26 degrees Fahrenheit.

Joe Sukana, regional generation supervisor for the Wisconsin River Power Co., told reporters fisherman still need to be careful.

With cold and sometimes unpredictable winter temperatures, many are lulled into thinking ice should be thick and safe to be out on. That may be the case on standing bodies of water, but certainly not the case near hydroelectric facilities or in river channels. Water below the ice continues to flow at a rapid pace, not allowing the ice to thicken.

Tom Helman of the National Weather Service was quoted in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune piece as saying this wintery November doesn’t necessarily translate in to a cold and snowy winter. An unusual warming of the Pacific Ocean could create normal temperatures and drier conditions in future months, Helman said.

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The coldest November on record occurred in 1959, at 21 degrees, and last month’s average was 22. According to records, the biggest snowfall for November happened in 1991, as 21 inches fell during the month.

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Cold Weather Procures Early Ice Fishing in Wisconsin