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Northern Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

ASHLAND AREA

Chequamegon Bay fishing has been improving for all species. Second landing is hot for perch and some walleyes. Look for weeds in 10 to 12 feet, but it might take catching 100 perch to keep 10. Move around to find the larger fish. Fishing off of the lighthouse is productive, and the Ashland side of the pressure crack in 25 to 30 feet is producing nice catches of brown trout, cohos, splake, whitefish, and smelt. Jigging, tip-ups, and dead-sticking shiners or waxies are all working. Whitefish action is very good in 70 to 80 feet from Van Tassel’s to the Apostle Islands.

    Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

    River Rock, (715) 682-3232.

MARINETTE/OCONTO AREA

In Marinette County, pike anglers from Thompson Park to the south and Pond Road to the north of the Peshtigo Harbor have seen good fishing in 4 to 12 feet of water when using shiners and smelt. Little River remains a hot spot for whitefish, with anglers fishing the trout bar in 38 feet of water. The Hattie Street dam is still producing walleyes; the lack of ice is making fishing difficult.

In Oconto County, whitefish are being caught at the mouth of the Oconto River and out in 28 feet of water on jigs and minnow heads. Anglers at Oconto Park II are going out to Young’s Reef and catching limits of whitefish while employing the jig and minnow presentation. Pike fishermen from the breakwater to Oconto Park II have been having some success on large shiners or smelt in 4 to 10 feet of water. Perch fishing at the Oconto Park II landing has been slow.

Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073

MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA

Some moderate temps before last week’s cold snap got anglers out on the ice. Many experienced good, though not great, fishing. After the way things were in mid-January, though, things looked pretty darn good. Northern pike fishing has been good and is picking up. Fish of all sizes are hitting large suckers and shiners in weeds of 6 to 12 feet, with larger fish (28 to 34 inches) hanging on deeper edges.

Yellow perch: Good. Weedy bays are seeing good action with the best perch (9 inches) hitting fatheads or large rosies. Over deep mud flats, use wigglers first, followed by red spikes. Use spoons on fast drops to get back down to roaming schools of fish, and to stir up mud to attract attention.

Walleyes: Good. The bite is best at dawn, dusk, and again from 10-11 p.m. Walleyes are becoming active in weeds as shallow as 6 feet and as deep as 14 feet as the sun is going down. Shiners are a top choice in weeds. Jigging spoons, Jigging Raps, and Chubby Darters are working well, also. Try a Slender Spoon or Tumbler jig tipped with a minnow head.

Bluegills: Good. Most action has been in weeds in 8 to 12 feet on small, dark jigs colored purple, black, or red. Mousies, waxies, and spikes crushed on a hook to get the juices flowing are working best. Plastics users found red and maroon the best colors last week. Some bluegills were being caught on clear lakes over sand grass in 14 to 20 feet. Use a No. 4 or No. 5 tungsten jig tipped with a mousie or a red spike.

Crappies: Good. There two places to fish. Weedy bays (standing plants) using Rockers, Moxy jigs, and Cecil jigs tipped with plastics (on Rockers) or waxies (on Moxy and Cecil jigs). For deep, suspended fish, use rosie reds on tip-downs/slip-floats or glow jigs loaded with waxies, in 18 to 30 feet of water. There were no reports of limits, but guys did make nice catches of 10-to 13-inch fish.

With little new snow for the past few weeks, travel conditions are improving, but not everywhere. It’s still mostly truck and snowmobile travel, but with less slush. 

    Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616.

EAGLE RIVER AREA

Some colder weather is visiting us for a while, but nothing (so far) as bad as last year’s late-winter horrible stuff. The colder weather we got last week did reduce the slush significantly. People are driving now on many lakes, so we can all get around better. Ice is anywhere from 6 inches in current areas on the Eagle River chain to 18 inches on parts of lakes.

Walleye fishing could best be described as spotty. Most anglers report a few fish daily, but not a real concentration of fish that they can find. Tip-ups set with suckers or golden shiners are working best. The usual evening bite isn’t overwhelming this year, but there has been a pretty good late bite well after dark. We have had a few reports of some walleyes caught while jigging for crappies in the afternoons. Northern pike action has been steady and good. Large shiners are working best for these guys, and they always are located near or in some sort of weeds. As a general rule, if you can find some of the deep weeds you will find active northerns.

Panfish action is good, with crappies leading the way. It has been a good winter for these fish. Most of the action has been in deeper water in the holes on the Eagle River chain. Jigging with smaller vertical jigs tipped with waxies has worked best, but there also has been action on tip-downs baited with minnows. Perch action has picked up, with fish feeding on wigglers near the bottom. Bluegills are in the weeds and hitting waxies or spikes. Look for the greenest weeds you can find for these fish.

    Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

HAYWARD AREA

Walleye action is inconsistent as we near the March 1 close of the game fish season. Anglers are catching fish in 5 to 35 feet on points, rock bars, drop-offs, weed edges, muck/sand flats, cribs, and other structure. The lake and time of day dictate the depths and locations. Look for fish near the bottom and use suckers, shiners, fatheads on tip-ups, jigs, and jigging spoons. 

Northern pike fishing is good during the day on weedlines and over cabbage beds in 5 to 20 feet. Suckers and large shiners fished just above the weeds on tip-ups will produce action. 

Crappie action is slow to good, with the best fishing in early morning or late afternoon just before dark. Use electronics to locate fish suspending on drop-offs and in deep water. Top bait choices include minnows, rosy reds, waxies, spikes, plastics, and Gulp baits fished on jigs and jigging spoons, or on tip-ups and tip-downs.

Bluegill anglers report fair to good action over weedbeds, cribs, and on structure in 5 to 30 feet. Use jigs tipped with waxies, spikes, plastics, and Gulp baits – and downsize to improve success. 

Perch fishing is also fair to good. Look for fish near the bottom in depths from 6 feet out to deep water. Effective baits include rosy reds, fatheads, waxies, spikes, and plastics fished on jigs, teardrops, and jigging spoons, and various combinations of tip-ups and tip-downs.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.

PRICE COUNTY AREA

Ice thickness has remained in the 12- to 16-inch range on most lakes across the northwoods. Strong winds have been blowing a lot of the snow around. Many lakes had packed or plowed trails that most vehicles could readily access, but the drifting snow closed off some of those trails for a period of time. A few slush areas are being found, and the wind-blown, grainy snow has been bogging down even some four-wheel-drive vehicles. The erratic weather has made for some slow fishing action. Most of the regular walleye anglers have reported inconsistent success, with some decent action about every third day (and in between the cold, windy days). No one tactic or area has been better than the other, as rock bars, gravel drop-offs, weed edges, and muck/sand flats have all been experiencing various levels of success. Panfish action has continued its mid-winter slow period. Most anglers have been moving around in search of active fish.

    Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.

    Ross’s Sport Shop, (715) 339-3625.

SIREN AREA

Anglers are still catching fish all over. One guy caught a nearly 2-pound crappie on South Clam. Anglers are catching northerns on Big Clam, and panfish on Viola and Mud Hen. Lake travel is still in good shape.

    Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.

    Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445.

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Central Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Central Wisconsin Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA

Whitefish action has been absolutely fantastic throughout the Door County peninsula. The whole Green Bay shoreline and structure will hold a bunch of whitefish, but a few of the well-known areas are Sugar Creek, Henderson’s Point, Riley’s Bay, Larson’s Reef, and most all of the structure to the north of Sturgeon Bay. The key is to stay away from large groups and pick a spot that is relatively quiet. Whitefish will get spooky when there is a bunch of surface noise. A wide variety of jigs are working depending on depth and the amount of current you are dealing with. Any type of jigging spoon will work, and most fishermen are running one or two slider hooks above the bottom jig. Wax worms, spikes, minnow pieces, and Gulp are the best baits with which to tip your jigs and slider hooks.

Walleye fishing can be classed as good and should continue to hold strong through February and into the pre-spawn patterns in March. Here again, there are many different areas to set up for walleyes, and a lot of fishermen are starting to realize that. The whole Henderson’s Point shoreline has fish on it. The Sand Bay area is a well-known spot that can be hit or miss depending on traffic, and the off-shore structure and rocky shoreline to the north of the Old Stone Quarry has a bunch of fish on it. The key is to steer clear of the large groups and set up somewhere quiet. Nils Master’s new Hali bait has been good, along with Rapala jigs, Moonshine Shiver Minnows, Puppet Minnows, and Odd Ball jigs. Tip your jigs with lake shiners or minnow heads.

Perch action is a little better than it has been the past few weeks. We would still class it as just fair at best. But there have been a few nice catches reported in Little Sturgeon and some of the deeper mud-bottomed areas from Chaudoir’s Dock north to Larson’s Reef. An assortment of jigs tipped with waxies and minnow heads are working, as is soaking lake shiners under tip-ups or hand lines.

Pike fishing is going pretty well. Some of the better areas have been Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay, and the Sturgeon Bay area. Egg Harbor and Ephraim also have given up some big northern pike. Try suckers and golden shiners under tip-ups.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934.

    Stevenson Pier, (920) 824-5222.

Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.

GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA

In Brown County, anglers at Voyageur Park are seeing lots of fish but are catching only a few. Some walleyes are being caught by jigging with minnow heads. Anglers using cameras report seeing plenty of perch of all sizes, but getting them to bite has been difficult. Perch anglers at Long Tail Point were fishing in 9 feet of water with jigs and minnows.

    Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.

LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA

In Calumet County, the colder weather improved ice conditions along the east shore of Lake Winnebago. Most fishing clubs are reporting ice thickness between 16 and 24 inches. However, multiple cracks have opened up near several landings and are opening and closing because of strong winds. Water clarity is reported as good to excellent. Ice anglers are advised to use caution and check with the clubs before venturing out. White bass and a few perch have dominated the harvest, and most anglers are concentrated off of the Quinney and Gladwater Beach areas. Anglers also have been catching bluegills and crappies on Bullhead and Long lakes near Brillion.

In Outagamie County, anglers along the Fox River are continuing to do well catching perch and northern pike. Ice thickness in many areas is around 16 inches. Those fishing on Lake Winnebago are struggling to find fish on the north end, but water clarity and ice thickness appear to be good for sturgeon spearing. However, the continued wind, coupled with warming and cooling, has been opening and closing cracks.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

    Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

    Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.

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Southern Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

BEAVER DAM / FOX LAKE AREA

Action has been a little slow on Fox Lake and Beaver Dam Lake. The cold weather late last week didn’t help generate any fishing reports.

    Nehls’ Fish Tales Bait, (920) 520-0015.

LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES

Bluegill action was spotty on area lakes. Look for them in weeds in 8 to 15 feet of water, along with deeper structure in 20 to 40 feet. Small ice jigs and very light line must be used to entice the ’gills.

Crappie fishing was good during early morning hours or just before dusk. Use your flasher to find schools suspended along drop-offs or over deeper water. Using tip-downs or dead-sticking with a No. 14 treble hook baited with a small fathead, rosy red, or lake shiner worked best for finicky crappies. Small jigging spoons such as a Lil Cecil, Swedish Pimple, Kastmaster, or Forage Minnow caught aggressive crappies.

Perch were caught in deeper water, most often near the bottom. Larger perch have been caught on tip-ups or tip-downs rigged with 4-pound fluorocarbon leaders, No. 14 treble or No. 10 Aberdeen hooks, and baited with a lake shiner, golden shiner, or rosy red.

Northern pike fishing continues to be great on the area lakes. The best action was near weeds and baitfish in 5 to 15 feet of water. Tip-ups rigged with a 40-pound fluorocarbon leader, small spinner blade, a red treble hook, and baited with a golden shiner, sucker, or red-tailed chub have produced fish.

Walleye anglers continue to do well on the area lakes. They’re not catching many, but most have been of legal size. Look for them around structure and baitfish in 18 to 40 feet of water, most often on the bottom.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.

MADISON AREA

Lake Mendota anglers are getting around OK despite the recent snows. The walleye bite has slowed. The perch fishing seems to be steady, but the fishing traffic for perch has slowed down. Most of the guys were catching 12 to 20 fish per outing. Pike action slowed for bigger fish. On Lake Monona, the best bluegill bite has been taking place on Turvilles Bay. Things have been very quiet on Waubesa and Kegonsa.

    D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.

    Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.

SAUK CITY AREA

Anglers are reporting that there has been a good night crappie bite taking place on Crystal Lake.

    Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-5229.

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Archive »Fishing Tips

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