Battling the elements on Lake Winnebago

Messy lake conditions
Messy lake conditions

Nearly 10,000 anglers are expected to take to the ice on Lake Winnebago this weekend. 'Battle on Bago' starts Friday.

But now there is some concern the rain and warmer weather we are seeing now will have an impact.

RJ Harwood is hoping to reel in a good catch this weekend, but he's a little worried about the weather and ice conditions.

"We're gonna go out for a little bit now and just see what's going on, see how the traveling is around," Harwood explained.

Don Herman told FOX 11 it's a good idea to get the lay of the land, or lake, I should say, early. He and others from the Otter Street Fishing Club are doing what preps they can.

"It's sloppy out there, but now it's gonna get cold.  So I don't think we'll have anymore issues with the ice. With all the traffic out here we're probably gonna have to move our bridges a few times," Herman explained.

While some parts of the lake are sloppy and slushy, other areas are still snow-covered.

"Plowing right now, getting the roads in, we put some more roads in for the guys.  Once you get off the road, there's still a lot of snow on the lake," Herman told us.

He said last weekend the club pulled 30 vehicles off the lake that got stuck.

Besides what's on the ground, the wind will be a challenge for fishermen too.

"They're gonna freeze out there! I mean they'll have shanties, but it's gonna be cold, with 40 mile and hour winds, it's gonna be cold," Herman laughed.

It's a thought Harwood is getting used to.

"Look at it right now, it's terrible!  I think we're gonna be battling it all weekend," Harwood said.

A fitting thought, for this years 'Battle on Bago,' battling the fish, other anglers and now the elements.

Herman told us most of the ice on Lake Winnebago is still safe, about 30-inches thick, but he said there are still thin patches in and around the river where you need to be careful.