There is one little shelf of ice from Second Landing to Ashland
that is about 3-4 inches thick. Some anglers are walking on it and
trying to fish, but that ice sheet is not anchored to the
shoreline. The rest of Chequamegon Bay is still wide open, which is
almost unheard of. Boat fishermen are still fishing. There also are
quite a few people pier fishing off of the Washburn coal dock and
they are doing pretty well on cohos, splake, and browns. There is
some “walk-on” ice on the inland lakes. There has been some
panfish, pike, and walleye activity on the inland lakes. There
isn’t much snow on the ground, so the white snowshoe hares are easy
to spot, and bunny hunters are doing pretty well.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
Outdoor Allure, (715) 373-0551.
BEAVER DAM AREA
The ice has disappeared off Beaver Dam and Fox lakes. Some guys
are doing some crappie fishing in open water from shore, but that’s
Phil & Sons Tackle, (920) 885-6766.
BIG GREEN LAKE AREA
Big Green Lake is wide open – there is no ice anywhere. All of
the boat landings are open. Lake trout season opened Jan. 6.
Anglers had boats out before that date, and were catching ciscoes
and a few white bass. They’ll start fishing for lake trout on Jan.
North Bay Sport & Liquor, (920) 294-6462.
Panfish are hitting steadily on the Chetek chain, with Prairie
and Pokegama getting the most attention. Northern pike have been
hitting pretty well, too, with the best pike action on Moose and
Ten Mile lakes on the chain. Ice thickness has been running 6-7
inches on the chain.
Rod and Gun Shop, (715) 924-4181.
Up-Der North Guide Service, (715) 829-9477.
CHIPPEWA FALLS AREA
Ice conditions have been deteriorating the past week. Two
anglers tried to walk of Lake Hallie, and the last 15 feet of ice
next to shore collapsed on them. They got wet feet. There is
“walking” ice on Lake Altoona and parts of Lake Wissota. Guys have
been doing some tip-up fishing at the state park on Wissota. If the
area gets some cold weather, the ice will build quickly, because
there is no snow on the ice.
Gordy’s Hardware Hank, (715) 726-2515.
Buroker’s Taxidermy, Bait & Tackle, (715) 835-0847.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Ice conditions are good enough for at least foot travel, and
ATVs were being used in many spots, but no one is recommending
truck travel. Action picked up last week. Walleyes, northern pike,
and perch were hitting well last week. Crappies have been slow, but
a few anglers are finding bluegills. For walleyes, depth and time
varies by lake, but the afternoon bite has been pretty good
throughout the area.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
The area has enough ice – at least 6 inches on most lakes.
That’s not enough for large vehicle travel, but fishermen are using
snowmobiles and ATVs. There has been a very good walleye bite, with
a lot of 23- to 28-fish caught on suckers under tip-ups. The fish
are starting to move a little deeper. The panfish bite has been
sporadic, with perch leading the way. Guys are finding northern
pike all over; fish are hitting shiners on virtually every
Pastika’s, (715) 634-4466.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
LAKE HOLCOMBE AREA
Anglers are catching a few northern pike and panfish on most
lakes. A few walleyes have been caught, but most are within the
protected slot limit. Anglers are walking out on the Lake Holcombe
Flowage, but be careful on the ice; flowages can have thin ice in
current areas. There’s no snow on the ice, so cleats are
Lake Holcombe Sport Shop, (715) 595-4293.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
The upper stretches of the Sheboygan River still had some ice
cover last week. In Port Washington, shore anglers were catching a
few browns on spawn and spoons. In Milwaukee, river flows are
relatively high, but anglers were catching some steelhead in the
parks. Fishing on the lakefront was spotty for browns and
steelhead, but boaters were finding browns in the harbor. In
Racine, flows on the Root River are approaching fishable conditions
again. Fishing conditions should be good. Browns and steelhead are
in the upper reaches of the Root, with good action in the parks.
Flies are working on browns; spawn on steelhead. In Kenosha, most
of the action has been in the small boat harbor, where browns and a
few steelhead have been taken on spoons and spawn.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait Shop, Delafield, (262) 646 2218.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
If the ice conditions were as good as the fishing, everything
would be outstanding. The fishing has been excellent on perch,
bluegills, walleyes, and northern pike, but if you don’t know where
the good ice is, stay off the lakes. Call ahead for ice
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Kiesow’s Landing, (920) 836-2590.
Most lakes have enough ice for walking or ATVs, but there is no
snow on the lakes, so use cleats. Ice fishermen are catching
panfish and a few walleyes on Wheeler and Cauldron Falls
Ace Hardware, Townsend, (715) 276-6888.
LITTLE GREEN LAKE AREA
Little Green Lake is still covered with ice, but it’s is pretty
thin. No one is walking on the ice.
The Landing, (920) 398-2620.
There is not a lot of fishing going on around town. Cherokee
Marsh still had some ice last week, and a few anglers were catching
nicer bluegills, crappies, and white bass. On Lake Mendota, guys
who were going out in boats were catching nice fish. Monona Bay
still had some ice, but it didn’t look good. Lake Waubesa had some
ice at Lake Farm Park, but no one has been out on it. Ice fishermen
are hoping for cooler weather and better ice.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
Good fishing ice has been in short supply. Ice fishermen are
getting a few bluegills and northern pike around the islands in the
lower Menominee River, but the ice is getting kind of iffy. Anglers
were catching a few walleyes in open water below the dam on
nightcrawlers and minnows. Off of the bridge, they’re using Rapala
Husky Jerks and Original Floaters. They’re picking up a few bonus
rainbows and browns while fishing for walleyes.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Pete’s Sport Shop, (715) 582-3681.
It was an overall great week for ice fishing, with some limited
access due to poor/no ice on some larger lakes. While most lakes
are running 5-8 inches on average, with a few bays at 10 inches,
large lakes, such as Fence, Tomahawk, and Trout, still have open
water or thin ice (less than 2 inches). Several snowmobiles went
through on Lake Katherine and Lake Tomahawk. Be aware of the
dangers of running on these lakes. Stick to the bays, smaller
lakes, and areas that are well traveled. Walleye action remains
good. Wild shiners, spot-tails, and suckers have been the best
tip-up baits, but jiggers are still scoring. The warm nights (low
to mid 30s) have been helpful to jiggers by giving them mobility,
and not having to worry about hole freeze-up. Minocqua, Big St.
Germain (check ice), and Squirrel have had the best reports, with
action spottier on the Arbor Vitae lakes. Anglers also are catching
a lot of 22- to 27-inch pike. A 33-incher was the biggest last
week. Larger shiners and suckers are getting the best action. Lots
of largemouth bass also are hitting pike tip-ups. Perch fishing has
been very good. Try Big Arb, Minocqua, Little Arb, and Katherine.
Bluegill action is good to fair. Mousies are very hard to find, but
have been the best bet, along with waxies.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
Right now, ice conditions are terrible. If you plan on ice
fishing, make sure you take all the safety equipment you can think
of. Where there is ice, it is very soft. Get the boat out. The
river has been producing walleyes. With all the rain, and the gates
to the dam being open, that has pulled a number of fish into the
Wisconsin River below the Nekoosa dam. Fish the deeper holes in the
river, timber shoreline adjacent to deeper water, and up by the
papermill. Shore fishermen are having luck below the dam.
Sunrise Bait, (715) 886-5440.
Petenwell Sports, (608) 564 7707.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA
Ice fishermen are having a hard time finding spots to fish; the
lakes and backwaters are losing a lot of ice. The Mississippi is
wide open down to Genoa. Anglers are catching sauger out in the
deeper holes right out from Prairie du Chien in about 30 feet of
water. Walleyes are being caught below the Genoa dam on some bars,
and below the Lansing bridge.
Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.
RICE LAKE AREA
Walleyes have been hitting on the Chetek chain. A few walleyes
have been hitting on Bear, but Long has been pretty quiet. Northern
pike and panfish action has been spotty. Ice thickness varies by
lake. Vehicle travel is discouraged.
Rainbow Ace Home Center, (715) 234-8116.
J.C. Bear Paw Co., (715) 236-7300.
SAUK CITY AREA
There is no ice anywhere. Crystal Lake, Devils Lake, and Lake
Wisconsin are wide open; the ice disappeared in December. Guys are
out in boats on the lakes and the Wisconsin River. Trout are biting
on Devils Lake, and water is up about 2 feet in the river, and the
walleyes are biting. The bigger walleyes are coming on plastics.
Guys are trying to hunt coyotes, but there is no snow. Deer hunting
is still open in the CWD zones, but deer are not moving during
Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.
Ice thickness is running 7-10 inches on most area lakes.
Walleyes and crappies have been hitting on Yellow Lake. Clam Lake
has been giving up some northern pike, bass, a few walleyes, some
bluegills and a few crappies. Crappies have been hitting on Clear
Lake; try Little Wood for bluegills. Sand Lake anglers have caught
a few walleyes and crappies.
Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.
Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445
Anglers experienced a pretty good bite during the holidays. The
arrival of snow covered the clear ice, making fish less spooky.
Crappie fishing has been pretty good on Big Long Lake, with the
best action toward evening. Spooner Lake has had some very good
northern pike action. The south bay of Shell Lake has given up pike
and a few walleyes. The Yellow River Flowage has been producing
some very nice bluegills. Travel is limited to foot, snowmobile, or
ATV, so many anglers are not getting to the spots they would prefer
Spooner Sports, (715) 635-6500.