Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report - January 10th, 2014
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
Most of the small, shallow lakes and bays on larger lakes in Waukesha County had 3 to 6 inches of ice in late December. The snow has insulated the ice, causing slower ice formation despite the low temps. Do not venture out over the main bodies of deep lakes. Avoid areas around springs or near current. Use a spud bar to check the ice as you walk out, wear a life jacket or float suit, and carry safety picks, a throw cushion with a rope attached, and fish with a friend. Bluegills will be found near green weeds in 4 to 8 feet of water. On smaller lakes, where the ice is “safe” in deeper areas, look for them in 20 to 30 feet. A spring bobber, light line, and a small jig must be used. Tungsten jigs will work best in deep water. Spikes, wax worms, mousies, and wigglers work best for live bait. Plastics such as Wedgies, Noodles, Duppies, or Micro Nuggies also have produced fish. Crappies will be most active during early morning hours or just before dusk. Look for them near mid-depth weeds, just a foot or two below the ice. Tip-downs or dead-sticking with a No. 14 treble hook baited with a small fathead, rosy red, or lake shiner will work best. Perch will be found around sand flats with scattered weed clumps. A Ratfinkee jig or small jigging spoon baited with spikes will work well. Tip-ups rigged with light leaders will produce bigger perch. Pike will be around shallower weedbeds. Use tip-ups baited with golden shiners or suckers above the weeds for best results. Brined jumbo smelt baited on smelt rigs can also work great. Walleye fishing will be best during low-light hours. Weed flats in 3 to 6 feet of water will produce the most fish. Tip-ups baited with golden shiners, suckers, or two large fatheads will work well. Jigging with a Jigging Rapala, Swedish Pimple, Buck Shot spoon, or Slender spoon tipped with a piece of minnow will attract aggressive walleyes.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
There is ice coverage on the entire Madison chain, along with some snow cover. Lake Mendota perch are hitting over deeper water. Guys were fishing on 4 to 5 inches of ice over 45 feet of water on the west side of Governor’s Island. They did well on perch there. Perch also were hitting on the university shoreline. Pike were hitting on Cherokee Marsh. Bluegill action on Monona Bay was slow, but action in the Triangle was good, with some bluegills up to 7 inches. Squaw Bay had bluegills up to 71⁄2 inches, but there also were a lot of smaller ones. Perch were hitting on Monona in 25 feet of water. Mud Lake has been busy with the new access now open. Anglers were catching Mud Lake bluegills and crappies in the dredge hole. Lake Waubesa perch were being caught near the bible camp.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Everything had been great until the bottom dropped out. We saw a 62-degree temperature swing from Dec. 28 through Dec. 30, and a lot of cold since then. Anglers were out in force enjoying the above-freezing temps and the holiday weekend. While there have been some conflicting reports, most reports were of good fishing throughout the area. Numbers and size was the talk of the weekend. Come Dec. 30, though, action and participation fell off sharply. By the morning of Dec. 30 (-29 degrees), very few anglers ventured out. Walleye action has been very good to fair. What started out as a great bite slowed way down with the drop in temps, rise in barometer, and lack of anglers. A very good bite during the warm days occurred oddly enough from noon until 2 p.m. Walleyes were cruising 8- to 12-foot weed flats by day, taking shiners meant for pike on tip-ups. Evening bites continued for anglers using suckers on tip-ups. Jigging Raps, Slender spoons, and Vibratos accounted for good catches during the warm spell. Pike fishing also was good to fair. During the warm spell, flags were flying! There was lots of good action on tip-ups. Big fish were active as catches of pike in the 30- to 40-inch range were common. Perch action was good to fair. Tip-downs with fatheads/rosie reds accounted for nice catches of larger perch in 10 to 12 feet near a weed/wood mix during the warm spell. Deep-water perch (20 feet or deeper) wanted wigglers on Hali jigs or Swedish Pimples. Cold slowed the action, but the weed bite still produced for anglers using minnows inside shacks (it was too cold for tip-downs) after Dec. 28. Crappie and bluegill action also went from good to fair. Anglers hunkered in shacks picking up an occasional crappie on tungsten jigs.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
Great Outdoors, (715) 356-6818.
J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA
Very few anglers have been fishing because of the weather, but for those who have been going out, Mud Slough and Gremore Lake have been producing consistent panfish catches.
Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.
SAUK CITY AREA
Fishing continues to be pretty good in the Sauk City area. Crystal Lake is giving up good catches of crappies, with bluegills and perch in the mix. Tip-up fishermen are having good success on Fish Lake, with some nice northern pike being caught, as well as largemouth bass up to 22 inches. Gallus Slough off of Lake Wisconsin has had lots of action on medium-sized bluegills, making it a great place to take younger anglers. Some nice bucks were shot during the holiday hunt by hunters willing to brave the frigid temps. The cold weather also has concentrated large numbers of bald eagles below the Prairie du Sac dam because much of the Wisconsin River is now covered with ice.
Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.