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Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report - February 8th, 2013

Posted on February 7, 2013

BEAVER DAM / FOX LAKE AREA

There is 12 to 15 inches of ice on Fox Lake and Beaver Dam, but be careful on Beaver Dam – the aerators are on. Walleyes have been hitting on Beaver Dam, and a few crappies were caught around the island. There should be more crappies showing up there soon. On Fox, anglers have been catching limits of crappies in 15 to 17 feet on Little Cecils and rosy reds. The walleye action has been very good on Fox near the Government Marsh and The Jug. Some northerns up to 40 inches have been caught near the golf course and in the Indian Point area. Use golden shiners and tip-ups for walleyes and pike. Perch fishing has been slow, but bluegills started hitting in The Jug last week.
Tim Nehls’ Fish Tales Bait, (920) 520-0015.

BIG GREEN LAKE AREA

About 7 inches of snow fell on Jan. 29, and that followed a warm day of rain, so ice conditions likely changed on Big Green Lake. Prior to the warm weather and then the snow, fishermen were catching a few lakers off of the Shale Bar. There was about 4 inches of ice in that area prior to Jan. 28. Ice depths ranged from 2 to 8 inches in other areas of the lake as of that day. That likely changed, so use extreme caution if you’re heading out on the ice.
North Bay Sport & Liquor, (920) 294-6462.

LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES

With the warm weather and rain last week, area lakes lost 3 to 5 inches of ice. However, there is still enough ice for walking on the small, shallow lakes and bays. Luckily, the snow totals were light enough not to insulate the ice for the next few days of cold weather, which will improve ice thickness. Use caution. Fish have been biting, but the “bite windows” have been smaller. Bluegills were caught near weeds in 8 to 15 feet of water, along with deeper water of 20 to 30 feet. Small No. 16 to No. 14 ice jigs must be used. Tungsten ice jigs worked best in deep water, while Rat Finkies, Moon jigs, Marmooskas, and teardrops caught fish in shallower water. Wigglers have been the best bait for finicky fish. Crappies were suspended over various depths. Use a flasher to locate the schools and place your bait above the school. Early morning hours or just before dusk are the best times to target crappies. Jigging with a Lil Cecil, Swedish Pimple, or Forage minnow took aggressive crappies. Perch were found on the bottom in various depths. A tip-up rigged with a 4-pound fluorocarbon leader, No. 12 or No. 14 treble hook, and baited with a small golden or lake shiner minnow has worked well. Pike were caught near weeds in 4 to 12 feet on tip-ups baited with golden shiners. Place your bait above the weeds for the best results. Walleyes were most active during dark hours when they were found around weedbeds in 5 to 15 feet of water. A tip-up rigged with a fluorocarbon leader, a No. 10 or No. 12 red or glow treble hook, and baited with a golden shiner, large lake shiner, or small sucker, was producing fish. Jigging lures such as a jigging Rapalas, Swedish Pimples, or Buck Shot spoons also worked well.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.

MADISON AREA

A good 5 to 6 inches of snow fell on Jan. 30, on top of 2 to 8 inches of ice. Guys are fishing in some spots, but it’s not safe everywhere. Anglers were catching decent perch in spots on Mendota and Monona. On Mendota, anglers found perch around Governor’s Island, where they had 6 to 8 inches of ice out to 60 feet, on Dunn’s Bar, in Warner Bay, and on the west side of the lake at the county park and Spring Harbor. They also caught some crappies in the mornings. On Monona, they were fishing Monona Bay and The Triangle. They caught some pike on the east shore of Monona in shallow water, and also some perch in 30 feet. Waubesa was giving up some nice pike and perch. Waubesa anglers also were catching crappies in the deep water off of the Bible Camp. Kegonsa anglers caught some decent walleyes and a lot of pike on tip-ups in weeds.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA

Crappies and perch had been hitting in the Lynxville and Desoto areas prior to the warm weather. Most waters still had 8 to 10 inches of snow on the ice, so be careful moving around.
Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.

SAUK CITY AREA

Crystal Lake is producing bluegills and crappies, with the crappies coming on minnows toward dusk, an hour before, and after dark. Fish Lake has been giving up a few panfish. A few boaters have been on the river, but they didn’t find any action. Lake Wisconsin panfish are hitting in a few of the bays, but be careful on the ice out there. A vehicle recently went through at the trestle.
Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.