Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report – February 22nd, 2013


Crappies and bluegills have been hitting with enthusiasm on Fox Lake.
Nehls’ Fish Tales, (920) 520-0015.


Anglers have reported finding up to 10 to 12 inches of ice on area lakes. The main bodies of large, deep lakes may have less ice in areas. Perch fishing was good. Anglers found them at various depths, but often on the bottom. The best way to find schools is to set a tip-up or tip-down rigged with a light leader and a No.12 treble hook baited with a golden shiner or lake shiner. Drill a hole next to your tip-up to jig in when a school comes through. Bluegills were caught in weeds in 8 to 15 feet, along with deeper water 20 to 30 feet. Small No. 16 to No. 14 ice jigs and light 1-pound or 2-pound test line must be used to entice gills. Wigglers have been the best bait for finicky fish, with wax worms, spikes and plastics also taking gills. A spring bobber must be used to detect bites. Crappie fishing was best during early morning hours and just before dusk. A jig baited with a wiggler, wax worm, small minnow or ice plastic has produced. A tip-down or tip-up rigged with a No.14 treble hook, light line, and baited with a small fathead, rosy red or lake shiner worked for finicky crappies. Jigging with a small spoon such as a Lil Cecil or Swedish Pimple worked well for aggressive fish. Northern pike action was good. Anglers had their best luck setting up tip-ups around weeds in 5 to 15 feet of water. A 40-pound leader with a No. 6 red or glow treble hook produced the most action. Brined jumbo smelt on a quick-strike rig works well for big pike. Walleyes were caught around weed beds or rock bars in 6 to 15 feet of water during dark hours. Tip-ups rigged with a fluorocarbon leader, a No. 10 red or glow treble hook, and small beads was the preferred method for most anglers. Jigging with a Jigging Rapala, Swedish Pimple, or Buck Shot spoon tipped with a piece of minnow also caught walleyes.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Ice conditions continue to be good throughout the Madison area. Lots of yellow perch are being caught on Lake Mendota, with the bulk of the action coming in 60 to 65 feet of water. Sometimes the perch are 10 to 15 feet off of the bottom, but other times they are just below the ice over that deep water. Crappies and bluegills are hitting on Cherokee. Walleyes are hitting on the Mendota bars, and pike are hitting in Warner Bay and around Governor’s Island. There has been no bluegill action along the shorelines yet, but that should start soon. On Lake Monona, bluegills were being caught in the Triangles. Lake Waubesa crappies were hitting in deep water in the Bible Camp area. News from Lake Kegonsa has been pretty quiet, but guys had ben catching perch over there recently.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


The first hour of the day and last hour of the day has been decent for all types of fishing, but daytime action has been slow. A recent contest did produce a 2.2-pound crappie, 4.2-pound bass, and a 12-pound northern. One guy caught a limit of crappies on the south end of Gremore Lake. He had a 1.9-pound crappie. There is a lot of ice; guys are going anywhere they want. This winter, for the first time in a long time, the “city slough” has given up decent bluegills and a few nice perch. This year it’s one of the hotspots, and it’s just a few steps from downtown Prairie du Chien.
Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.


Bluegills and crappies are hitting on Fish Lake and Lake Redstone. White Mound Lake bluegills are hitting near the dam. The sloughs on Lake Wisconsin are giving up bluegills. There has even been some tip-up action for northern pike on Fish Lake.
Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.

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