Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sportsmen splitting time between whitetails, walleyes

BEAVER DAM AREA

The crappies were biting like mad last week on Beaver Dam Lake
and Fox Lake. Most of the action is coming from shore on small
minnows and waxies. Walleyes also are being caught on Beaver Dam,
more toward evening on jigs and minnows.

Phil & Sons Tackle, (920) 885-6766.

EAGLE RIVER AREA

Nice muskies in the mid- to upper-40-inch range are hitting at
most any depths all over the area. Work the shore or midlake areas.
Big suckers are your best bet, but artificials also are getting
hits. Walleyes are biting off of breaks in 17-30 feet on jigs and
minnows. Action is good. Northern pike are off of weed edges in 12
feet or less. Use a smaller sucker, or a crankbait. Good action.
Crappies are being caught alongside the walleyes. The crappies are
right on the bottom or up to about 4 feet off the bottom. Use
minnows under slip bobbers. The deer are rutting. Grouse are still
around, but, because of recent winds, have hunkered down a bit.
Waterfowl are still providing good hunting opportunities.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.

GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA

In Oconto County, the rut is in full swing. Hunters are
commenting on bucks chasing does. Some of the smaller lakes froze
over, but reopened with the warmer weather. Walleye fishing is
picking up. A few diver ducks have migrated into the area. Trappers
have been successful running lines for muskrats, mink, and
raccoons, with fisher also being trapped steadily. In the southern
portion of Oconto County, a large number of swans are along the
shores of Green Bay. There also are a large number of ducks still
in the area; hunters are reporting good success. Perch fishing on
the bay continues to be good with limits being caught. Shore
anglers are having some success at Oconto Breakwater Park and
Oconto County North Bayshore Recreation Area.

The Sportsman, (920) 734-3299

Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934

HAYWARD AREA

The muskie interest is holding up; guys are still looking for a
big one, and they are getting some action. The walleyes are still
hitting, but most of the reliable action is in deep water on big
lakes. Crappie action has slowed down a bit. Grouse hunters are
having good luck with bird numbers up.

Pastika’s, (715) 634-4466.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

LA CROSSE AREA

Crappies, walleyes, and sauger are providing the best action
right now. The crappies are in the river near deeper piers or
submerged wood. The walleyes and sauger are below the main dams, or
sitting near wing dams. There have been good waterfowl reports,
with some very good goose hunting. The whitetail rut is in full
swing. Tundra swan numbers rapidly increased late last week. The
best area to view swans is a couple miles south of Brownsville,
Minn.

Schafer’s Bait, (608) 781-3100.

D&J Riversports, (608) 783-3349.

Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (608) 782-5552.

LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES

Pheasant hunters are happy to see that some of the standing corn
has started to be harvested. Since opening day, pheasant hunting on
public hunting grounds has been good.

In Sheboygan, action in the harbor and off the piers has been
slow. On the Sheboygan River, water levels are relatively low, but
fish are still being caught near the Kohler dam. Browns, steelhead,
and even some chinooks remain in the upstream portions.

In Port Washington, shore fishing has been slow. The discharge
at the power plant has been turned off, and only a few browns have
been caught.

In Milwaukee, water levels are low on all tributaries. Although
the salmon run on the Milwaukee River is waning, there still was
moderate fishing pressure. Some steelhead were still being found in
the deeper holes toward the southern end of Kletzsch Park, and
salmon were still being caught by fly-anglers in the Hubbard Park
area. Anglers at the lakefront have been catching some nice perch
and a few browns by the Summerfest grounds. Most of the perch have
been biting in the late morning. When the weather cooperates,
trollers have been catching good numbers of chinooks and browns on
spoons in 50-70 feet.

In Racine, fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead
Facility on Nov. 6. More than 12,000 fish have been handled at the
facility so far this season, including 10,223 chinooks, 1,210
cohos, 523 steelhead, and 92 browns. On the Root River, flows are
relatively low and the water clarity has improved. Good numbers of
salmon and a few trout were still being found throughout the
upstream portions of the river from the steelhead facility to the
Horlick dam. Yarn eggs, wooly buggers, and egg-sucking leeches all
have been effective. Action also has been good downstream of the
weir in Lincoln Park, where more browns have been caught, along
with a few cohos and steelhead. Island Park has been holding
browns.

In Kenosha, most action has been in the small boat harbor, for
browns on spawn. Anglers have been catching fish from the Best
Western all the way to the boat launch.

In Walworth and inland Racine and Kenosha counties, northern
pike anglers were catching a few on suckers fished near the bottom.
Anglers were catching some walleyes in shallow water at night on
plastic jigs. Perch have been biting on minnows and crawler pieces
in 20-25 feet.

In Washington, eastern Fond du Lac, and inland Sheboygan
counties, a fair number of anglers have still been looking for
muskies on Random and Big Elkhart lakes. Anglers were seeing a fair
number of muskies. Panfish action has been slow with the water
temperatures near the mid-40s and dropping. As temperatures go
down, it is important to reduce the size of bait and hooks.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait Shop, Delafield, (262) 646 2218.

LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA

Since the beginning of the fall hunting seasons, fishing in and
around Lake Winnebago has slowed down considerably. However,
walleye activity has been reported at the mouth of the Rat River.
Walleyes also were being found up and down the Wolf River. The bait
of choice appears to be large shiners. Panfish have been active in
the Lake Winneconne channels. Perch fishing in Lake Winnebago has
been pretty good on shiners.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Kiesow’s Landing, (920) 836-2590.

MADISON AREA

Water temperatures were in the 40s last week. Northern pike were
hitting on Lake Mendota points last week, mostly on rubber baits
and live bait. Some nice bluegills were caught in University Bay in
6-10 feet of water on small jigs under small bobbers. Lake Monona
bluegills also are hitting. Some muskie action was reported on Lake
Monona. A lot of bluegills were crowded into 4 feet of water on the
north end of Lake Waubesa last week. Anglers are fishing for
muskies on Waubesa, but reports have been light.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.

MARINETTE AREA

Bluegills are biting pretty well in the river, and yellow perch
are still hitting out in the bay. The night walleye action has been
very good for anglers trolling crankbaits in the river and on the
bay. Crappies are hitting at dusk in some areas of the river.
Waterfowlers have been seeing a lot of mallards and a few geese.
The rut has begun, with observations of bucks chasing does. Ice
that was forming on inland lakes is again receding due to the
warmup last week.

MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.

Pete’s Sport Shop, (715) 582-3681.

MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF AREA

Muskie action last week was pretty good. High winds and clouds
had fish hot for suckers, but by the end of the week things slowed.
Large, deep lakes are producing best. Fish along gravel shores
where ciscoes/whitefish hang out during the day. On smaller lakes
without whitefish, muskies have been hugging deep weed edges.
Walleye fishing was fair. Deep-running fish are still available in
25-40 feet, but the bite is slower. Try Squirrel, Big Muskellunge,
and Pokegama. Shallow-weed fish were quiet. Some walleyes were
being caught in 40-70 feet by whitefish anglers on Trout Lake. A
few largemouth bass were caught on Minocqua in 13-15 feet on weed
edges. Minocqua ran 35.5-37 degrees early last week. The rut is in
full swing. Some big bucks were registered at the shop.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

PARK FALLS AREA

The ice that was beginning to form receded due to warm
temperatures and sunshine last week. Fishing has tapered off since
the last cold snap and most sportsmen have switched to hunting.
Bucks are very active during daylight hours, and are following
does. Archery hunters are finding bucks responding to rattling and
grunt calls. Beaver and otter season opened and trappers have been
working in the wetlands. A few fishers have been registered
already. Hunters are finding some grouse in areas that were
clear-cut during the past few years.

Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA

The Mississippi bottomed out at 6.5 feet a week ago and has
since come up to around 6.6 feet. Waterfowl hunters were still
having trouble navigating in backwater areas. The Wisconsin River
is very low right now. The Kickapoo River is about normal. Large
masses of floating celery grass have been floating downriver,
causing problems at boat landings and making fishing difficult.
Bluegill action was spotty. Many bluegill anglers are switching
over to bobbers tipped with ice-fishing jigs and wax worms. Crappie
fishing has been spotty, but some have been found along weedbeds
and in the downed tree tops. Walleye fishing continues to improve
with water cooling down. Some action was being reported on the wing
dams and deeper sloughs. The area around the Lansing dike (Big
Slough and the Winneshiek Slough) produced some fish. Most anglers
were drifting with jigs and minnows. Largemouth and smallmouth bass
action was fair this week. Bass anglers are finding fish all over
the Prairie du Chien area in Pool 10. In Pool 9, bass have been
taken from Lynxville to Lansing. Catfish action has slowed. Duck
hunting is starting to improve. The Lower Wisconsin River produced
a few wood ducks, mallards, and teal. The Lower Bottoms (Wisconsin
River Delta) produced mallards, pintail, wigeon, gadwall, teal, and
wood ducks. The Ambro produced teal, wood ducks, and some mallards.
Hunters in Pool 9 reported good success with mallards and other
dabbling ducks, while others had poor success. Archery deer hunters
report very good activity. Some very nice bucks recently have been
harvested. Most archery hunters report seeing bucks chasing does.
Thousands of canvasbacks and other diver ducks, along with
mallards, gadwall, and wigeon, have moved into the Pool 9
area.

Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.

RICE LAKE AREA

Bowhunting action for big bucks is getting better as the rut
begins. Grouse hunting remains good. Muskie hunters are getting
nice-sized fish off of steeper drop-offs in 3-15 feet of water.
Fish shoreline or midlake areas. Big suckers are the bait of
choice, but fish are being caught (and released) on big crankbaits,
as well. Walleye action continues to be good. Fish hard-bottom
areas where the weeds used to be. Depth will vary from 10-16 feet,
or so. Use a jig and a fathead, or a small sucker. Smallies are
still being caught in the Red Cedar River below the dam.

Rainbow Ace Home Center, (715) 234-8116.

J.C. Bear Paw Co., (715) 236-7300.

SAUK CITY AREA

Walleyes and sauger have been hitting on Lake Wisconsin in deep
water. Most are being caught by vertically jigging Sonars or Zips
in the main river channels. On Crystal Lake, nice catches of
bluegills and crappies are being made from shore, or by drifting
with slip bobbers set 4-6 feet down and rigged with ice jigs. Use a
waxie or spike. Hunters are getting a lot of pheasants on the
public hunting grounds. Bucks are starting to follow the does
around, so bowhunters are seeing some nice bucks.

Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.

SIREN AREA

Fishermen are waiting for some decent ice to form. There were
some thin sheets of ice on backwater areas late last week, but
still nothing good enough to walk on. In the meantime, sportsmen
have turned to grouse, waterfowl, and deer hunting.

Big Mike’s Outdoor Sports, (715) 349-2400.

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

SPOONER AREA

The deer are in full rut. Bowhunters are seeing a lot of action.
Muskie fishing has been OK. Walleyes are hitting very well on Big
Long – a local angler released a 27-incher out there last week.
Last week’s nice weather brought anglers back out again. The
bluegill bite isn’t too bad, and crappies are starting to kick
in.

Spooner Sports, (715) 635-6500.

STURGEON BAY AREA

Northern pike are hitting crankbaits in Little Sturgeon. Perch
fishing has been good, but the fish are going deeper. The best
action has been in 26 feet of water. A few muskies have been caught
in the Little Sturgeon area – on bucktails, surprisingly. Walleye
fishing is slow, but smallmouths are hitting suckers and chubs in
10-12 feet.

Stevenson Pier Mini Mart, (920) 824-5222.

WAUSAU AREA

Fishing continues to be very good. With water temps cooling to
the upper 30s, bays and sloughs were starting to freeze over. While
numbers of muskies caught have slowed, size has not. Soak a big
sucker 3 to 6 feet below a slip bobber, or run a Suick, Smity, or
Bobbie Bait. Best lure color is a sucker pattern, with orange and
black producing as well. Walleye fishing has been very good in
backwater areas in 6 to 8 feet. When the bays and sloughs start to
freeze, walleyes will move back into deeper water in the main
Wisconsin River channels, either on the river itself or on any of
its impoundments. Drag larger jigs, tipped with minnows, right on,
or just off, the bottom. Some real good-sized northerns are
continually being caught by muskie anglers. The northerns are
running 33 to just under 40 inches.

Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.

Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573

WOLF RIVER SYSTEM

Walleye fishing has been fantastic on the Wolf River, mostly
south of Orihula. Either anchor with Wolf River rigs, or drift with
jigs and minnows. Most of the walleyes are in the 12- to 13-inch
range. White bass fishing has been slow.

Chico’s Landing, Orihula, (920) 446-3345.

Ma’s Bait, Fremont, (920) 446-2444.

Cash’s Shop of Bait, (920) 982-4802.

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