Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – April 5th, 2013
Anglers are still having great success on Chequamegon Bay. Travel conditions are rough, but it’s still possible with a snowmobile. Cohos can be found near the shore if you can’t make it out far on the lake. Use Swedish Pimples and small jigs for the best results. The river mouths have been productive, with anglers catching rainbows, browns, and cohos. Shiners and bright jigs are working best. Turkeys are being seen in large flocks, and a great opener is anticipated.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
BOULDER JUNCTION AREA
Nice-sized perch and crappies are being taken in area lakes. Anglers are having the best luck with crappie minnows and wax worms. A few are having success with tip-downs and minnows for crappies. Fish late afternoons and into the evenings for crappies. Bluegills are biting consistently all day. The slush has worsened, so travel by snowmobile is recommended. Ice thickness remain good, but always proceed with caution.
Northern Highland Sports Shop, (715) 385-2134.
In Marinette County, pike are on the menu along the bay shore with fishermen using tip-ups in 4 to 7 feet of water. Large shiner minnows and smelt have been catching pike ranging from the high 30-inch range to the mid-20s. In Oconto County, Green Bay ice is still tight to the west shore, with most people now fishing pike close to shore and the mouths of the tributaries. Anglers should be wary when trying to get on some of the inland lakes in the area, as the landings are deteriorating. Gobblers continue to show off on the sunny days.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Crappies are being caught in 6 to 15 feet and are beginning to move up in the water column. The best times have been early to mid-morning and then again in late-afternoon to dusk. Tip-downs with crappie minnows and rosies, as well as plastics, are working well. Rockers and Shad Darts tipped with waxies also are starting to produce fish. The perch bite is good to very good. Low temps are still holding fish over deeper mud flats of 15 to 30 feet of water. Tip-downs with rosies and crappie minnows are producing larger fish. Tungsten jigs tipped with wigglers and waxies are catching fish. Shad Darts and Gill Pills tipped with waxies and Chena Bait are working well on bluegills. Spikes also are working for less-active fish. Anglers are targeting depths of 6 to 12 feet with dense vegetation.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
Great Outdoors, (715) 356-6818.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
While the ice is good, travel is extremely difficult. There is 6 to 12 inches of slush, covered by a foot of snow. Anglers who are using well-traveled tracks are getting out, but those who try untraveled areas are getting stuck, sometimes even with snowmobiles. Crappies, bluegills, and perch are putting on a fair to good bite. Fish in 12 to 35 feet of water over mud flats, or in 10 feet of water or less near weeds. Crappies and bluegills are suspending at various levels, but the perch have been near the bottom. The crappies and bluegills are just beginning to come up higher. In deeper lakes, crappies and bluegills are hanging 15 feet down over 35 feet of water. This pattern will continue and accelerate as spring comes along. Use a spike, wiggler, waxie, or crappie minnow on a small jig, slip bobber, or hooked up to a tip-down.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248
Crappie action is good on most lakes and is excellent on the Chippewa Flowage, with the best fishing coming in the late afternoon hours. Look for fish suspending over deep water and on wooded flats. There is some indication they are inching toward shallower water. The most productive baits include crappie minnows, rosy reds, waxies, spikes, plastics, and Gulp baits on jigs or fished under tip-ups and tip-downs. Bluegills are suspending around weeds and other structure in 6 to 18 feet of water. Minnows can help you target larger bluegills. Downsize your line and baits to improve your success. Perch anglers also are catching fish on most area lakes, with the best action for bigger fish on the deep, clear lakes. Work depths from 6 to 25 feet near weeds and on mud flats with fatheads, waxies, and plastics.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
Lake conditions remain sloppy, and access is difficult. Doctors Lake is producing panfish of all sizes. Nice-sized crappies are being caught on Yellow Lake, with many anglers having success with rosy reds. The bluegill action has been great on the south end of Clam Lake, according to some anglers. Big tom turkeys are being sighted in many places.
Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.
Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445.
Crappies are still being targeted heavily by area anglers as nice catches are being made in areas between deep-water haunts and spring spawning areas. Most of the fish are in 10 to 16 feet of water along channel breaks. Tip-downs scattered along the breaks will pick up traveling crappies, as will ice jigs tipped with plastics or minnows. The key to consistency is to run baits at various heights; the fish come through at different levels throughout the day. Bluegill fishing has been consistent, with some dandy fish being caught. Most of the bluegills are roaming out on the 10- to 12-foot mud flats, or they’re holding tight to shallow wood cover in 4 to 6 feet of water. Tin Gill Getters in yellow and orange, and tipped with waxies or spikes, have been the ticket. Northerns have been active, especially in the shallow backwater areas of the Wisconsin River system. Try running tip-ups baited with large golden shiners or good-sized suckers in 1 to 4 feet of water. Anglers have been catching some walleyes below the dams and through the ice. Target shallow backwater areas early and late in the day.
Backwater Sports, Merrill, (715) 536-9056.
Gander Mountain, Rothschild, (715) 355-5500.