Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – March 9, 2018
Access on the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay is in good shape, except for Second Landing where anglers will need a machine to access. The bay has 20-plus inches of ice, but be sure and check with a spud bar. Machine travel has been the norm. Fishing has been very good, but conditions can change rapidly depending on the weather. Fishing has remained steady on both sides of the bay with a mixed bag of browns, splake, whitefish, trout, perch, walleyes, northerns, and smelt being caught. It’s good ice fishing right now, but beware of pressure cracks.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
Travel was difficult early last week after a fresh 15 inches of snow fell here last weekend. Once it settles and some paths are opened, look to Staples Lake, Big Round Lake, and Rice Lake for panfish in 10 to 12 feet.
Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
There are some pike being caught in downtown Sturgeon Bay along the shipping channel, along with a few walleyes and some brown trout.
With the warmer weather, Lake Michigan tributaries started to run a little; a few rainbow trout have been spotted throughout the county. As the weather continues to warm, more fish will pour into the streams.
As we move into March, pending on ice cover, there will be lots opportunities to catch big walleyes as those fish push shallow.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
A very significantly increased snow load on the ice has resulted in some more slush problems throughout the area. It is harder to get around out there at this point, but expected warmer weather will thin that snow on the ice and make it easier. What a winter, but it has been a good panfishing season already and we looking forward to the best panfishing of the year soon. As we get into March, the crappies move shallow in the evenings to feed in the weeds, and provide great action. Right now the crappies are still in the holes on the Eagle River Chain, and are hitting in depths of 15 to 30 feet during the daytime. The bluegills are in the weeds and hitting on waxies or spikes daily. Try some red spikes for variety. Perch are deeper in those weeds and hitting near the bottom. Look for softer bottom areas for those fish.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
FLORENCE COUNTY AREA
Perch action improved over the last week. Some nice sized perch were caught, including one that measured in at 14.5 inches. Fishermen were catching them deep and wigglers were producing the best bite. Bluegill and crappie action has been very good. Fishermen were catching their limits on both species using a variety of live baits. Pike and walleye action remained slow through the last weekend.
Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
In Brown County, anglers fishing the Fox River at Voyageur’s Park report slow fishing. A few walleyes and whitefish are still being caught on spoons and jigging Raps tipped with minnows. Lots of reports of short/light bites were coming in from anglers. Finding the current breaks behind structure seems to be the key to finding fish that will bite. Longtail Point area fishermen reported catching a few perch and a couple of big pike, with the pike being caught on tip-ups with large shiners. Perch fishing off of Sunset Beach has been slow, with only a few fish still being caught. A couple of whitefish were reported off of Sunset.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.
After 16 inches of new snow, some slush has formed and it’s been difficult to get on many lakes. The anglers who are battling lake conditions were catching northern pike on the 10- to 15-foot weed flats of Lake Lac Courte Oreilles and Round Lake up through the last weekend of the game fish season. Look for suspended crappies over 15 to 30 feet on Nelson Lake, Smith Lake, and the Chippewa Flowage. Plan to move until you find them and be sure to check all depths, top to bottom, as fish are suspending at various locations. The best baits include minnows, waxies, spikes, plastics, and Gulp! Bluegill reports have been best off Lac Courte Oreilles, Round, and Nelson in 10 to 15 feet. Fish are in and around weeds and nearby deep water. Waxies, spikes, and small plastics on small jigs are producing nice catches. Perch fishing is fair to good on waxies, spikes, plastics, and small minnows on tungsten jigs.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
LA CROSSE AREA
Work the 18- to 22-foot current breaks during the day for sauger or the 12- to 15-foot current breaks for walleyes during low-light periods on the Mississippi River. A jig and minnow is working best; some of the landings are now wide open for boats.
Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.
Bob’s Bait and Tackle, (608) 782-5552.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
There has been a lot of great northern pike catches on the backwaters of the Wolf River near Fremont and New London. Anglers are doing the best with tip-ups baited with a shiner in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Lake Winnebago anglers are still catching perch and white bass in most spots. A few walleyes are still coming out of deep water on Lake Poygan. There are a lot of bald eagles in central Wisconsin right now. Keep an eye out for them along areas of open water.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
Ice conditions have been holding up fine throughout the area. The snow cover is gone, so use creepers. Some Lake Mendota expansion cracks have heaved up, but nothing has really opened up yet. Guys did get into a handful of perch on Dunn’s Bar on a variety of lures and baits. Pike action has been decent on Lake Mendota along weed lines. Bigger pike were coming from the Marshall Park area. Walleyes have been running small on Lake Mendota. Bluegill action has been good on Lake Monona and around “the triangles.” Lake Waubesa continues to show some bluegill action near Lake Farm Park and some walleye action in the greater depths. Guys are getting boats in the Wisconsin River at Sauk City where they have been catching some smaller walleyes.
D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
In Oconto County, whitefish are still being caught off the Oconto breakwater in decent numbers. Anglers are using slider rigs and Swedish pimples tipped with waxies to catch whitefish, a few perch, and the occasional walleye. Geano’s Beach fishing has slowed for whitefish and perch with reports of very few fish coming in. Northern pike fishing off of Oconto Park I and Peshtigo Harbor has been hit or miss with lots of anglers out in both spots and only a few fish to show for the effort. Tip-ups with large shiners caught a few smaller fish.
In Marinette County, Lake Noquebay has produced some very nice perch, crappies, and bluegills – even a few walleyes and northern pike before the season closed. The ice is nearly 2 feet thick with little snow, so travel will hopefully remain good.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Recent heavy snows are making travel tricky as only trucks, snowmobiles or quads with tracks are making it across the lakes right now with 12 to 14 inches recently. Hopefully that snow and anymore to follow will get rendered down with highs in the low 40s forecasted, but then it will be slush that anglers will have to deal with.
Crappies have been very good to good – best in the afternoons and through dark. With cold and wind effecting tip-down use (which was still good when manageable) anglers fishing minnows below small floats were doing well as were “dippers” with rocker jigs tipped with plastics or Lethal Cecils tipped with waxies. The bite has been good with lots of limits reported.
Yellow perch were good – still two distinct bites. The shallow, cabbage flats of 7 to 10 feet producing numbers with some real big perch mixed in. Use minnows, but a Demon Tongue or Vingle Spoon with waxies threaded on are also working. Or fish the mud flats of 16 to 32 feet with Hali jigs, Swedish Pimples, or Flash Champs tipped with wigglers or red spikes.
Bluegills were good to fair – wind affected these anglers the most, keeping them from moving about. After last week’s heat wave, some bodies of water with incoming stream saw bluegills move in as shallow as 5 to 7 feet.
Take a shovel if you’re traveling by truck, or follow existing trails the best you can. The long-range day forecast has nights below freezing but days of mid 30s to mid 40s – comfortable temps, but it could get messy.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
Anglers started sneaking a few boats into the Wisconsin River below the dams, but interest has been light and action has been hit or miss thus far. Things should start breaking loose pretty soon, though. Anglers are still driving on the Petenwell Flowage where they have been catching some crappies, bluegills, and walleyes.
Petenwell Sports, (608) 564 7707.
Fishing action has been limited to a few perch from Spooner Lake in 5 feet and Dilly Lake in less than 10 feet. With 14 to 16 inches of new snow, anglers have been limited to only a few lakes they can get on.
AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.