Northern Wisconsin Fishing Reports
Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report - April 18th, 2014
Posted on Thu, 17 Apr 2014
The few anglers in Chequamegon Bay reported varied results. On the good days, anglers fishing in 30 feet of water in the channel are catching loads of smelt on waxies. At the hot pond and the head of the bay, anglers fishing in 10 to 15 feet of water report mixed results on cohos with lake shiners and waxies. Fishing river mouths has been productive with shiners, waxies, and spawn, particularly on warmer days.
CHIPPEWA FALLS /EAU CLAIRE / MENOMONIE AREA
Area lakes had 2 to 3 feet of ice as of April 9. Although there is a lot of ice, the river was cutting down into Lake Altoona as of April 9. Anglers were starting to fish the Chippewa River a little bit last week; the Eau Claire is up and moving.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
April 4 snowfalls came in at 8 inches in the Minocqua area and up to 14 inches in Boulder Junction. That set us back. It took the next three days to get us back to where we were before the storm. Ice thickness had not begun to diminish as of April 9. Most lakes were still averaging 34 inches, with some areas still at 38 to 40 inches. With some rain, we may get a little chance at open water come May 3. Crappie action is excellent. The bite isn’t 24-7, but lots of anglers are reporting hot action on crappies in bays in 8 to 12 feet of water with standing weeds. Lots of fish under 10 inches ( let ’em grow), but there are enough 10- to 11-inchers for anglers to bag limits, with fish of 12 to 13 inches mixed in. We have seen a few 14- to 15-inchers, plus one 151⁄4-incher last week.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Winter weather April 3-4 slowed the spring melt considerably. It was hard to get around on the ice before the storm; it was much harder afterwards. We need a lot of melting to have even the slightest chance for a “wet” opening day on May 3. Meanwhile, be patient. Some serious melting has started and we’re now able to move around on the ice. Wear rubber boots when you go. We expect there will be some serious winterkill on some of the shallower lakes. Anglers have been mentioning for a month or so that some lakes looked really bad when they dug holes in the ice. Crappie fishing has been pretty good for those few who slogged out on the ice. They were still deeper last week, but we are getting near to the time that they will move shallower on a daily basis to the weeds to feed. Fish the greenest weeds you can find near the deeper edge of the weed in the evenings. Slow dropping flashy lures work best, and many evenings if they’re aggressive they’ll even hit lures with no bait on them. This action will continue right up to the ice turning black. We’ll also have some pretty good bluegill fishing in the weeds. Afternoons are better. Waxies work well for this fishing.
The foot (or more) of new snow April 3-4 did nothing to help travel conditions on the lakes, but sunshine and mild temperatures last week went a long way toward making a correction. Crappies are still suspending over deep water at various depths, with minnows, waxies, and plastics the baits of choice. Bluegills are holding in mid-depths (to 15 feet) and taking waxies, spikes, and plastics. Perch anglers are catching fish near the bottom in various depths on minnows, waxies, and plastics.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
The ice was shaky in some spots on the flowages where the river channels started opening up, but ice on the natural lakes was good last week. Crappies are hitting over deeper water on minnows or plastics, about 8 to 10 feet off of the bottom in 20 to 30 feet of water. The bluegills are coming up into 8 to 15 feet around mud and wood. Ice on the Phillips chain could be gone quickly because of current from the Elk River.
Area lakes still had a quite a bit of ice as of April 10 and guys were fishing for panfish last week. Some lakes had as much as 30 inches and ice was still tight to the shorelines.
Central Wisconsin Fishing Reports
Central Wisconsin Fishing Report - April 18th, 2014
Posted on Thu, 17 Apr 2014
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
Whitefish action continues to stay consistent for ice anglers who have been venturing out. As of last week, the ice was still hanging in there on Green Bay, though it is slowly deteriorating. It could be classed as fair and walkable as of April 8. Henderson’s Point, Riley’s Bay, Larsen’s Reef and the shoreline north of the Old Stone Quarry are still a few of the favorite spots.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
Warmer weather has fully opened many rivers in the area, making them boat accessible. Anglers have been hitting the Fox and Wolf rivers for good numbers of walleyes. The Fox River in De Pere has had great fishing, with many big female walleyes being caught. The night bite has been bringing in more fish lately. Trolling, casting crankbaits and jigging have all been producing fish. The ice conditions around Green Bay and north have been deteriorating quickly. The walleye and northern pike bite in Door County has been very good.
LA CROSSE AREA
The Black Deer Channel is producing some nice bluegills and crappies, and bass on spinnerbaits. Walleyes and sauger are hitting hair jigs and minnows below the dams at Dresbach and Genoa. Anglers could try drifting the dredge hole on Lake Onalaska for crappies, too. Fishing is really picking up.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
River anglers are battling a lack of water; we need current to get the fish going. The slow melt down over the last two weeks didn’t help water levels in the river. The river is about a foot low from summer levels; probably 21⁄2 feet low for this time of year. Most of the ice was gone mid-week last week from lakes Poygan and Winneconne. The channels were opening up, so anglers should see crappies and perch moving in soon.
There was ice covering the main part of the Petenwell Flowage as of April 9. The flowage was open from the Lure Bar north, but from there south only the river channel was open in some areas. The ice was starting to turn black. The water temperature below Nekoosa on April 7 was 37 degrees. Guys were catching a few walleyes. There were fishable areas below the Nekoosa, Petenwell, Castle Rock, and Dells dams.
Southern Wisconsin Fishing Reports
Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report - April 18th, 2014
Posted on Thu, 17 Apr 2014
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
The Rock River in Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Watertown, and Indianford is ice-free and open to anglers wanting to target walleyes and saugers. Anglers fishing in boats will do best by drifting near deeper holes or current breaks while vertical jigging. A jig or river rig baited with a jumbo fathead, lake shiner or rosy red will produce the best. Be sure to use a heavy enough jig to keep your bait near the bottom. There is no trolling on the Rock River. So, if you have your trolling motor in the water, make sure your line is vertical. There are many places to fish from shore on the Rock and catch a variety of species. Shore anglers have done best using three-way rigs with either a streamer fly, floating jig or hook baited with a minnow or nightcrawler. Casting jig and plastic combos can also be effective.
No one was ice fishing as of last week. The Madison lakes still ice, but not the kind of ice to be fishing on. Shorelines were open about 20 yards. Cherokee Marsh was fully open and anglers were catching crappies by the bridges. Monona Park was open. Monona Bay was open; Squaw Bay was starting to open. Lake Waubesa had too much ice to fish open water last week, but should be open soon.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA
Guys are on the backwaters already looking for panfish, but they’re not doing well yet. The only place fish are being caught is below the dams where walleyes and saugers are hitting jigs.
SAUK CITY AREA
Walleye fishing has been good on the Wisconsin River below the Prairie du Sac dam on hair jigs and minnows, along with purple twister tails and grubs. Wading and casting with Husky Jerk Rapalas at night has been producing some big fish. The water on April 9 was 42 degrees. Two weeks ago a fisherman from Lodi caught a 32-inch walleye near Sauk City that weighed about 12 pounds. Walleyes are also biting below the Dells dam.