• Shawn the Fisherman


You, the finest readers of fishing reports across this beautiful nation, are probably getting just as sick of reading about unfishable ice conditions as I am typing about them. I’d like to give you some hope for safe ice soon, but it looks like with more rain and moderate nighttime temps forecast, I probably won’t be doing much of that. On a side note, the header picture above is of my dock. The small pond we live on is fairly shallow and is one of the last to freeze in WMass. So you can all enjoy staring at my skim ice as much as I do.

I seriously considered changing the name of the report to the "WMASS SKIM ICE REPORT" this week. Or just typing “Waiting for safe ice.” and “Writing research papers.” repeatedly as I proceed on my way to college oblivion. But once again, the dedicated crew of correspondents, the Jigheads, came through huge. So, I’m going to just jump headfirst into their fishing adventures this week.

Ryan ventured east to the edge of our reporting area to just Worcester and surrounding waters. He was able to report that Northern Pike there had no qualms about hammering blade baits. Good to know for anyone fishing the Chronic Trips December tourney and looking for some toothy points!

Tim is getting out in the cold this weekend to try to keep his deep blade-bait bite going. Good luck to him, and I’ll be sure to include his post-deadline trip next week.

Jon made a quick trip to a Pioneer Valley water body that he’s been keeping a close eye on throughout the year. No luck this trip, but he’s developing a good habit of checking out water during the slow parts of the year. Seeing exposed structure while water levels are down and weeds have died out is a great way to develop warm-water strategies. Kudos to him and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their fishing skills. Learning about the environment can be critical to success.

Nelson, master of efficiently using his time to get a cast in when-and-wherever, stopped at the same water he landed a Nibbler-Pickerel at last week. This week was a different story, as the howling wind and sub-freezing froze his line-guides and chased him off the shoreline after about 30 minutes. Excellent effort, but these things happen this time of year. Nelson did send me a photo of the remaining snow that central Mass saw this past weekend...

Wickaboag Pond

Joe is in full-on hunting mode but did want me to share that Old Glory is ready for ice fishing, as we all are, and have stocked up on hardwater essentials. So stop in or call ahead to make sure they have what you need. (Remember to use your Jigs and Bigs discount at checkout!)

Brett is keeping a close eye on the ice forming up da’ ‘shires, but has very little to report, unfortunately. The fluctuating temps and intermittent rains are stopping ice from forming. He predicted that safe ice would be very rare before Christmas if this pattern continues.

Andy came through with a couple pics of Otis Reservoir, which is valiantly trying to provide a safe habitat for hardwater anglers. Really need a string of those 20 degree nights up da’ ‘shires. (Check how the wind is keeping the water open farther out.)

Otis Reservoir

Finally, I would like to throw a (cryptic) teaser out there for you readers. If you aren’t listening to the podcast on a regular basis, I’d like to take a moment to suggest that you give it a go. Particularly, this upcoming week’s show (Dec 15) will be a great jumping-on point. Bobby and I have been working very diligently behind the scenes on several topics that may be a benefit to anglers in the coming year. 2020 was rough on everyone, and we’ll be looking to pull a U-turn in 2021.

Of course, please take the time to visit the following local Bait and Tackle shops in your travels.

BG Sporting Inc., Westfield

Ben’s Tackle Shack, Brookfield

Flagg’s Fly & Tackle, Orange

Granby Bait & Tackle, Granby

My 4 Sons Bait & Tackle, Lee

Old Glory Outdoors, East Brookfield

R&R Sport Shop LLC, Belchertow

Red Bridge Bait & Tackle, Ludlow

As always, please feel free to email me at jigsandbigs413@gmail.com for any input or feedback.

Thanks for reading, stay safe out there and rip some lips!


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