I've been carefully looking at area lakes and ponds, making sure what I write here is accurate.
There are some areas on the Fox River that seem to draw ice fishing fate-tempters.
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That sad case of machismo has been explained to me as people willing to put their lives at risk by trying to jump sections of open water on their snowmobiles.
It happens every year on the river, with some folks discovering the true meaning of freezing off their mufflers.
It's only the more isolated back channels that have the safest ice and fairly good crappie and bluegill fishing.
Now to the rest of the ice-house spiel:
Bangs Lake in Wauconda is getting better every day. There's excellent bluegill action (fish over 9 inches, a rarity there), concentrated on the northwest side, right on the weed edge.
Channel Lake has good bluegill fishing as well as an occasional walleye on the sand bar separating Lake Catherine from Channel Lake.
Bluff Lake has white bass and crappies close to the channels.
•Contact Mike Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and live-streamed at www.mikejacksonoutdoors.com.