Northern Wisconsin Fishing Reports
Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report - March 7th, 2014
Posted on Thu, 06 Mar 2014
Anglers are still able to get out on Chequamegon Bay – with a snowmobile. Fishing is spotty throughout the channel areas in 25 to 30 feet of water. Anglers report big numbers of smelt one day and none the next. There is better activity a little shallower, off the humps and closer to the coal dock and hot pond, with the better bites in early morning and late afternoon. Fishing reports from the Apostle Islands vary. While many bobbers are trying to go as deep as they can, there have been great reports from some areas with 15 feet of water for brown trout, cohos, whitefish, splake, and lake trout.
In Marinette County, northern pike anglers tried their luck in the Peshtigo Harbor due to a tournament. Anglers reported catching some good numbers of whitefish on the Trout Bar off of the Little River boat landing. Some walleyes were caught by the dam at Hattie Street by anglers fishing from the Wisconsin side of the river to the dam. Rapalas, jigs and spoons tipped with live baits were used.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Just when we thought that it couldn’t get any worse – last week’s two days above freezing were followed by nearly a foot of new snow, making access on most lakes next to impossible. Trucks, snowmobiles, even UTVs and ATVs with tracks are getting stuck. Conditions have been bad enough to keep most lakes angler-free. A few lakes with decent fishing not far from boat landings (Minocqua, Carroll, Big Arbor Vitae) are seeing some anglers, but even on these lakes travel is iffy. There were some reports of northern pike on tip-ups using big shiners. Some bluegills. Yellow perch over deep mud using wigglers produced some decent catches of 8- to 10-inch perch. A few crappies were mixed in with the bluegills in 6 to 10 feet of water near weeds. A few crappies found over mud lines in 18 to 24 feet and they were eating rosy reds. Check conditions daily before traveling up here. The cold should let up later this week. Getting shacks off the lakes has been a big problem. Should you feel you can’t get yours off by the deadline, try calling your warden to see if you can get an extension. It’s better to ask permission than to try begging forgiveness. DON’T BURN your shack! You WILL get a ticket if you leave a mess!
EAGLE RIVER AREA
What horrible ice fishing conditions we have at this point. There is very little on the ice fishing front to report. We have very deep snow on the lakes, made much worse by the slush under the snow. Take a shovel along to clear the snow away from the hole, as water will pour up through the hole that you just augered. What we need is, very simply, warm weather to knock down and compress the snow. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen for a while. This snow is great for the skiers and sledders, but not for anglers. Add to the terrible snow conditions on the ice the very cold temps that we are getting and you have the worst possible conditions. It will get better from here on. Panfish action has been quite good despite the bad conditions. Crappies have been the real stars this year, and guys are still consistently getting fish. They are hitting waxies and even wigglers on all lakes, plus tip-down action on those rigs with minnows. Perch action on wigglers has also been good very near the bottom in 10 to 12 feet on many lakes. Bluegills have been hitting well, especially when it warms up a little in the afternoons. They are in the weeds. All in all, we need to be patient and wait for warmer weather for that great panfish run in the later winter and early spring. Keep hoping for that warmer weather.
The game fish season closed March 2 on inland waters, and walleye action remained inconsistent right up to the bitter end. Anglers closed out the season by fishing in 8 to 20 feet of water with suckers, shiners, and fatheads. Crappie anglers are making good catches once they locate the fish. Use a flasher or locator and be sure to check the entire water column, from near bottom to just under the ice. Baits of choice include minnows, rosy reds, waxies, and plastics on jigs, teardrops, and hooks, or try jigging spoons. Look for bluegills around weeds in 5 to 18 feet of water. Waxies, spikes, and plastics will all catch fish. Anglers pursuing perch are picking up fish in 6 to 15 feet of water on minnows, fatheads, and rosy reds fished a few feet off of the bottom.
The Brule Ranger Station measured 14 inches of new snow from the last storm and some areas received more. The roads where the German Road Fire burned through are seeing quite a bit of drifting. Roads near fields north of Hwy. 2 are seeing very large snow banks due to the drifting snow. With the weather as it is now, it seems difficult to think that the steelhead opener on the Bois Brule River (from Hwy. 2 and north to Lake Superior) will be opening on Saturday, March 29.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Difficult access and cold weather have continued to keep ice fishing pressure at a minimum. Ice depths have been holding in the 18- to 20-inch range, but deep snow and slush have severely limited most travel. A few anglers have been accessing their fishing spots via plowed trails, but the wind and blowing snow seem to change conditions daily. Many regular ice anglers have all but given up and removed their ice shacks. The major draw for getting people out on the ice has been some weekend ice fishing contests. This has bumped up pressure on a few lakes, but overall fishing action continues to be on the slow side. Walleye action continued to be spotty and some of the best success was during mid-day hours. Panfish success has also been very erratic, with crappies being especially hard to find. Perch have provided the most action, and some fair catches have been made on small minnows fished in the 6- to 12-foot depths.
Anglers are having a difficult time getting around on the lakes, even if they decide to try fishing at all. It’s just been too cold, and there is too much snow out there.
Foot or snowmobile travel are about the only option for now. Try to stay on traveled areas. Also travel with a partner – getting stuck in the slush with a snowmobile requires extreme effort to get out and another person or two will greatly increase the odds of getting out more quickly and easily. Some areas have over a foot of slush and a foot or two of snow on top of that. Fishing pressure has dropped off considerably to only a hardy few willing to brave the cold, wet and hard-to-travel conditions. If exploring for new spots to fish, use caution in non-traveled areas on lakes and rivers as even with severe cold, the snow has insulated many areas with current or springs, leaving virtually only snow cover, with little or no ice.
Central Wisconsin Fishing Reports
Central Wisconsin Fishing Report - March 7th, 2014
Posted on Thu, 06 Mar 2014
DOOR PENINSULA AND KEWAUNEE AREA
Whitefish action continues to stay hot throughout most of the peninsula. Some of the most consistent areas continue to be the Sugar Creek area north to Henderson’s Point, the deep water off of Riley’s Bay, Larson’s Reef and most of the rocky shoreline and offshore structure from the Old Stone Quarry north to Sister Bay – those areas are producing very nice catches and some very big whitefish, too. The biggest fish brought in was a whopper 5.13-pounder, with many other 4-pounders being weighed in weekly. A wide variety of jigs tipped with wax worms, spikes, minnow pieces and Gulp-style baits have been the best combinations. Perch fishing is still slow. One of the main reasons the reports are lacking a bit is because the amount of snow on the ice, which has made it quite tough for fishermen to get out and scout different areas. With that said, the fishermen who are able to get out to some deeper water off of Henderson’s Point, Larson’s Reef and the Chaudoir’s Dock, and be mobile while out there, have found some nice catches of perch. And with the recent rain, it has knocked down the amount of snow on the ice and settled it a bit, which will make mobility easier and we should see some nice catches perch the next couple of weeks. Walleye fishing has been very consistent – not huge numbers, but consistent action, just like normal walleye fishing. The action should heat up as March matures. The best bite has been coming in the early morning hours and the last few hours in the evening. The biggest walleye weighed in so far was just over 10 pounds. Pike fishing is getting better and better as we move closer to spring. This past weekend, the top three fish were over 17 pounds, with the biggest fish weighing just over 191⁄2 pounds. The better areas have been Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay, the Sturgeon Bay ship canal, the Flats in Sturgeon Bay and a few of the harbors to the north like Egg Harbor and Ephraim. Golden shiners under tip-ups have been the best method. Brown trout action is going OK. Trout fishermen concentrate in the northern part of the peninsula, basically from the Little Harbor north to Sister Bay. The best method is usually running a large tip-up spread around the harbors and shoreline drop-offs. Use lake shiners and golden shiners.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
In Brown County, Voyageur Park was busy as walleye, perch and whitefish anglers fished their favorite spots. Jigging spoons and Rapalas fished in 9 to 12 feet of water produced fish. Perch anglers at Long Tail reported a few nice fish on minnows and jigs in 8 to 10 feet of water. Some perch were caught at Duck Creek upstream from the highway bridge and perch fishing was slow at Sunset Beach.
LA CROSSE AREA
The area has 30 inches of ice, forcing anglers to go to auger extensions, but very few guys are fishing. Some guys are catching a few fish, but you have to be prepared. Any kind of warm-up should improve the fishing. All anglers are using portables now to stay warm because permanent shanties had to be off by March 1.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
Crappies are being caught on Little Lake Butte des Morts near Strobe Island. Access is gained using the walking path provided by the Wild Ones Nature Center – the trail is located at the south end of the parking lot. The nature center does not permit ATV or snowmobile access.
It has been very cold and it is tough to get around. There is a lot of snow, and only one place to get onto the Petenwell Flowage right now – and that’s with a snowmobile, not trucks. We need warmer weather to melt some of this snow.
Southern Wisconsin Fishing Reports
Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report - March 7th, 2014
Posted on Thu, 06 Mar 2014
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
In Sheboygan, a few anglers have been ice fishing from the docks in the marina, as well as near the boat launch ramps. A few browns have been reported in the harbor, and golden shiners have taken the most fish.
A 45-inch, 21-pound pike was one of the biggest pike weighed in recently from Lake Kegonsa, but a number of other decent pike were also caught on Kegonsa. Perch are still biting like crazy on Lake Mendota, and some of them have been running 11 to 12 inches. The perch are still over the deep water in the main-lake basin in 60 to 70 feet. Try to fish the suspended perch – they’ve been running a little. Try a glow jig with four red spikes and a pencil sinker.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA
Lots of ice, but no one has been fishing, lot of cold weather, does look like turkey and deer are feeding.
SAUK CITY AREA
Anglers are catching some crappies on Crystal Lake, with the best action coming just before, and just after dark. Anglers having the best luck are using lanterns and glow jigs.