Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – May 3rd, 2013
The number of Chequamegon Bay ice anglers is waning. Anglers have retreated from the hot pond and coal dock as dirty water invaded from Fish Creek. A few coho anglers are going out to the channel areas, but walleye anglers are still searching the dirty-water areas. Many areas are starting to open, including the head of the bay, the lighthouse, and the back of the breakwall. Tributaries are fishing well. Fish Creek has many fish, but it is dark and needs to clear, while the Sioux has been perfect, but with fewer fish.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
Walleye fishing has been good on the Menominee and Peshtigo rivers. Water temperature just nosed above the 39-degree mark, so the bite should improve. Best catches are coming on shallow-running crankbaits or jig and large fathead combos. Anglers targeting pike should see good action in the shallow marsh flats at the river mouths. Inland, ice has finally deteriorated to the point where ice fishing is not possible. The walleye bite at the Stiles dam is starting to improve. Fish are ranging from 21 to 30 inches. Some fish are being caught at the mouth of the Oconto River. Turkey hunting has been slow and hunters are still reporting large flocks. Turkeys are sticking to the woods and field edges. They have yet to be seen out in the fields.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Ice is slushy on top, though the ice still measures 23 to 26 inches. Erosion at the landings has limited access to foot travel. Bad weather has limited reports, but when anglers do get out they are catching fish. Anglers willing to walk out on some of the lesser-known crappie lakes are catching slabs up to 14 inches. Tip-downs are a favorite, tipped with regular crappie minnows or rosy reds. For those not wanting to haul as much equipment, try dipping ice jigs or small Russian spoons tipped with waxies, or white plastics in weeds in 7 to 10 feet of water. At times, crappies are just under the ice. Perch fishing has been good, but getting to them is half the battle. Nice perch up to 11 inches are being caught out over mud flats. Try wigglers on pimples or minnows on tip-downs. Forecast for temps in the 50s and 60s will make conditions for the opener a game-time call. For now, keep your tip-ups handy.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
Great Outdoors, (715) 356-6818.
Captain Hooks, (715) 277-2405.
J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Ice conditions remain good with 20 to 30 inches, depending on the lake. Crappies, bluegills, and perch are putting on a good all-day bite in 10 feet of water or less, or on mud flats in 12 to 30 feet of water. The perch will be tight to bottom. Crappies and bluegills are suspending. Your best bet is to be mobile and drill lots of holes and use electronics to locate fish. Turkey hunters are anxiously waiting for some warm weather, and there is still a significant amount of snow in the area. Logging roads and trails will be difficult, if not impossible, to navigate. You will need snowshoes to move around in the woods. The upside is that turkey tracks will stand out clearly.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
Most Hayward-area lakes had 20 inches of ice, with up to 25 inches on the big lakes, last week. Some access points were getting soft and there was a little honeycombing in some areas. Recent weather conditions affected ice-fishing interest, but the fish are still there, and anglers who are fishing are catching fish. For crappies, expect to drill numerous holes. Look for fish suspending and/or near weed edges in 15 to 30 feet of water, but at any time now they should start their move to shallower water. This is a great time of year to catch large bluegills, and some anglers are doing just that. Look for fish around weeds or suspending in 5 feet out to more than 20 feet. Waxies, spikes, and plastics are all catching fish, though on certain days one will work better than the others.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
LAKE HOLCOMBE AREA
A handful of ice anglers are still at it; bluegills are the primary target. Ice conditions vary day to day. The sucker run is providing the best open-water action right now. A slip sinker rig, and small hook tipped with just a piece of crawler, has been the ticket on area streams as well as below the dams on the Flambeau and Chippewa rivers. Deep snow, high winds, and lousy weather have all added up to a lackluster first half of the turkey season.
Lake Holcombe Sport Shop, (715) 595-4293.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Area ice anglers have been doing fairly well on bluegills. Musser and Lac Sault Dore have all been producing fish. Ice travel is fair, and around 20 inches of ice has been reported, but landings are deteriorating and areas with current are opening up. Afield, there is still a fair amount of snow cover and turkey hunting has been slow.
Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, (715) 339-3625.
Open-water anglers are finding walleyes on the move and a good bite going on. Most of the action is coming by working jigs and fatheads in eddy areas with little or no current. A lot of fish also are being caught in heavy current by running Wolf River rigs baited up with floating jigs and large fatheads. Turkey hunters are having a good season. Early time periods saw flocks still intact, and hunters reported up to 40 birds piling into a setup. In these cases, the challenge was separating a single bird in order to get a clean shot. Flocks have since dispersed and hunters can expect hunts similar to the early time periods in a “normal” year.
Backwater Sports, (715) 536-9056.
Gander Mountain, Rothschild, (715) 355-5500.