Happy Holidays to all of you in Up North country.  My adventures in Razorback country certainly is interesting and exciting.  Actually, the only thing Iíll miss here is a white Christmas.  Other than that, the Ozarks look and feel just like Wisconsin.  Thatís probably why many Wisconsinites relocate here.  Since weíve been here, we have met a great number of folks from Wisconsin.

The neat thing is, within 50 miles of here, we can enjoy diversified Wisconsin-like terrain and wild life.  Just 40 miles south is Conway, which is about the size of Wausau and offers all the shopping malls big cities do.  Little Rock is only 70 miles if one would want the big city atmosphere.  The rolling hills and farmland between here and Conway remind me of my home area of the southern Kettle Moraine around Waukesha County with cows and farms.  However, here on the lake, itís much more rugged terrain with lots of deer, turkey, bear and wintering eagles just like we enjoy in Northern Wisconsin.

Yup, the best of all worlds.  Heck, even the Packers are more popular here than closer teams like the cowboys or the Chiefs.  The winter here is like fall in the Great Northwoods, with lows around freezing and then highs in the day reaching the 50s or sometimes the 60s.

The lake itself is a reservoir and fishing methods are just like we use in the reservoirs, or flowages, of northern Wisconsin.  The main structure, of course, is rocks and timber.  The big difference is water depth.  These reservoirs have channels that are 180 to 200 feet deep, where deep water in our flowages is only 20 to 30 feet.  Walleyes, bass, crappie, bluegills and even catfish are rarely found here any deeper than 50 feet, though.

Iím finding the same methods and structure is producing here as they do in Wisconsin.  Jigs and live bait, deep running crank baits and spoons are producing best, with deep rocks producing better than wood.  The deeper water of 100 feet or more is the place to fish the abundant hybrid stripers.  These game fish follow the schools of shad around in this deep water and donít enter shallow water except in the spring when they make their spawning runs along with the white bass.

You know me.  Walleyes are my favorite species and most of my time is spent hunting for them.  Right now, Iím finding them beginning to stage in creek arms in 25 to 45 feet of water along with bass.  These fish are feeding on all varieties of minnows, including shad, which move in and out of these creek arms.  However, crawfish are also a major food of these staging fish in the relatively shallower water.  Thatís why the good old crawler is my favorite bait.  I expect this to continue most of the winter until the Ďeyes begin to move up the creek arms into very shallow water to spawn in February.  At that time, bigger crank baits like #8 or #9 Shad Raps will be the way to pop these big spawners.  Most locals around here are interested in hybrids or bass.  But itís us Wisconsinites who are targeting the Ďeyes.  The locals know they are great eating, but donít have the patience to slow down and fish for them.  All the better for us Badger State folks.

Tommy's Fishing Adventures
PO Box 2089
Woodruff, WI 54568

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