Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – January 11th, 2012
Folks are doing well on browns, whitefish, and perch throughout the areas of good ice. An occasional walleye, pike, or salmon is being caught as well, in the same areas. The western edge of the bay seems more productive than any other place right now. But, the flat off of the ore dock to the lighthouse has been kicking out fish, too (seems like more walleyes and pike in that direction), on spoons. For whitefish, spoons with the chain dropper have been the ticket. Use minnow parts or wax worms on the hooks for all species.
Inland waters have varied ice depths, depending on the body of water. Most of the larger lakes have 6 to 8 inches, but there are some thin spots yet. Smaller lakes have more like 8 inches now. Fishing has been a little different this year. A lot of fish have just now started moving into the areas they would be on most years. But, fishing has picked up since ice depth increased, and the conditions have turned to an actual winter. Panfish are pushing to deeper holes, and pike and walleyes are still using the weed edges if the weeds are green. If not, they are sliding off structure to adjacent flats that they will roam from here on out. Each lake is different, depending on if it is stained or clear, big or small.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
BOULDER JUNCTION AREA
Some of the bigger lakes in the area still had only 3 to 4 inches of ice last week, especially those to the north of Boulder Junction that received more snow earlier. In other places, ice depths range from 5 to 8 inches. Still use caution when heading out. Guys are catching a few crappies and walleyes early and late in the day.
Northern Highland Sports Shop, (715) 385-2134.
CHIPPEWA FALLS / EAU CLAIRE / MENOMONIE AREA
Fishermen are now getting around on good ice in the Eau Claire area. Most lakes have at least 8 inches of ice now. A lot of anglers are heading out, but they haven’t been saying much about what they’re catching, so they must be doing pretty well.
Big Mama’s Bait Shop, (715) 231-0839, Menomonie.
Mouldy’s Archery and Tackle, Chippewa Falls, (715) 723-3607.
Bill’s Sport Shop, Chippewa Falls, (715) 723-9033.
Fishermen are getting out in the Crivitz area, but they still have to use caution. A few walleyes are being caught on Caldron Falls, but most guys are still staying pretty close to shore. Most areas have 5 to 6 inches of ice, but that can drop off to 3 inches wherever there is slush.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Winter has finally arrived, and it has been good to anglers here in the Northwoods. There’s not much snow, and enough cold to build ice. Anglers are enjoying a lot of good access to lakes, although most is foot traffic. ATVs and snowmobiles are being used, but caution is advised, as both types of vehicles and an ice shack have gone through. Overall, ice depths of 6 to 10 inches are reported on most lakes, although larger lakes and those with current have to be used with caution. Walleye action is good. While things have slowed at times, some good catches and large fish were reported. Most activity is at dusk and after dark, though some big fish have been caught during midmorning by anglers fishing crappies. Daytime and weed anglers using shiners are having success in 8 to 12 feet near cabbage. Evening anglers using suckers and large chubs on tip-ups or jigging lures are catching nicer walleyes up to 28 inches from off-shore humps topping at 12 to 22 feet. Pike action is good. There is lots of pike activity for those using shiners. Crappie action is good. After a bit of first-ice slowdown, action picked up in the weeds. Bluegill action is good. Waxies, spikes, mousies (when available), and plastics are all working.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
Great Outdoors, (715) 356-6818.
Captain Hooks, (715) 277-2405.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
The lakes are developing some very good ice right now, with 5 to 9 inches on most area lakes. Walleye action has been grading out at B to B-plus, with some really big fishing being caught. Pike have been hitting big shiners or suckers under tip-ups. Now that the guys can get out to deeper water, they’re finding crappies in the deeper holes on the chain. Ice and travel conditions are far better than at this time last year. There is no slush, and guys can get anywhere with an ATV or a snowmobile.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
LAKE HOLCOMBE AREA
Area waters had 8 to 10 inches of ice last week, and fishermen were getting out with shanties. The fishing has been good, too, with crappies and bluegills leading the way.
Lake Holcombe Sport Shop, (715) 595-4293.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Price County lakes had 6 to 10 inches of ice last week, and anglers were getting out on foot, or by ATV and snowmobile.
Bridge Bait and Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
RICE LAKE AREA
Fishing has been pretty good throughout the area. Rice Lake has been kicking out panfish, and the walleye fishing hasn’t been bad, either. Long Lake has been good for walleyes and crappies. Northern pike action has been spotty. Guys started driving out with full-size vehicles last week.
Rainbow Ace Home Center, (715) 234-8116.
J.C. Bear Paw Co., (715) 236-7300.
Anglers started driving on lakes with full-sized vehicles last week, on Yellow and Clam lakes, where they were looking for crappies and walleyes. Others fished Doctors Lake for some decent pike action.
Big Mike’s Outdoor Sports, (715) 349-2400.
Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445.
The ice conditions are excellent now, with depths of 8 inches everywhere and some places with 10 to 14 inches. There is very little snow on the ice, so access and travel conditions are the best in years. The guys who are putting time in are catching fish.
AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.