EAGLE RIVER AREA
There’s 6 to 8 inches of ice on the Eagle River Chain, but foot
travel is still recommended. There are still plenty of thin spots,
especially in current areas, so no cars or trucks are recommended
yet. Walleyes in the Eagle River area are putting on a good bite.
Fish in 5 to 20 feet of water off break edges, or on shallow flats.
Use a small shiner or walleye sucker under a tip-up. Sunrise and
sunset are providing the best action. Northerns are hitting well in
15 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a larger shiner
or northern sucker under a tip-up. Set your bait high, as the
northerns “hunt” by looking up. In a weedy area, this may mean
setting your bait just under the ice. In less weedy areas, set your
bait high off the bottom. Largemouth bass are biting well. Fish
large weed flat areas in 8 to 10 feet of water, or along edges of
weeds where water depths drop off into deep water. Use shiners
under tip-ups. Perch are mixed in with the walleyes. Fish 5 to 20
feet of water off of break edges or on shallow flats. The best
action is coming on a small jig tipped with a wax worm. Crappies
are scattered and are putting on a fair bite. Fish 20 feet of water
or less over mud flats. Use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber.
The crappies will suspend up and down the water column, so fish
different depths until you find them.
Eagle River Chamber of Commerce Eagle River Chamber of Commerce,
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
Action is good for perch on Asylum and Millers bays on Lake
Winnebago. Perch are biting on small jigs and teardrops. A good
number of whitefish are being caught in Dyckesville. Anglers are
having a fair amount of success targeting whitefish with jigging
Raps, small ice jigs, and small spoons. The Wolf River has opened
up in New London due to the rain. The rest of the ice is in good
The Sportsman, (920) 734 3299
Mild temperatures and rain just before the start of the new year
removed a considerable amount of snow from the area’s lakes and
trails. The subzero temperatures and highs in the teens forecast
for this week should improve lake conditions for ice anglers, and
the expected snowfall will help to rejuvenate snowmobile and
cross-country ski trails. Cold temperatures should make for
excellent ice conditions overall, and anglers could be driving on
the lakes by the end of this week. Action is just starting to heat
up on Round, Lac Courte Oreille, and Grindstone. Anglers are
catching walleyes in 12 to 20 feet of water on walleye suckers and
shiners under tip-ups, and by jigging fatheads and large rosy reds.
Panfish fishing is good on Spring, Nelson, and Namekagon, with
anglers catching crappies up 14 inches and some nice bluegills.
There was still a layer of slush under the snow at last report, and
it is a good idea to wear cleats on your boots.
Pastika’s Sporting Goods, (715) 634-4466.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
LA CROSSE AREA
Ice conditions are improving on Lake Onalaska. Perch, bluegills,
and crappies are being caught on ice jigs and teardrops tipped with
wax worms or spikes. Northern pike and bass are hitting tip-ups and
shiners. Anglers are open-water fishing near the Dresbach dam while
using hair jigs, and they’re catching walleyes.
Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.
Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (608) 782-5552.
LAKE MICHIGAN / METRO AREA LAKES
In Port Washington, the area near the power plant discharge is
providing good winter open-water fishing opportunities. Brown trout
and steelhead usually can be found there this time of year.
Milwaukee-area tributaries are freezing over, but open-water
fishing can be found in the lower stretches of the Menomonee River
and canals. The Milwaukee River mouth and harbor are ice-covered
and unfishable, and Riverfront ramp is not usable. On the Root
River in Racine, open water can still be found from the Horlick dam
through Quarry Lake Park. The water has been very clear, with
temperatures around 33 degrees. Fishing effort has dropped
dramatically, but those anglers who are out have been successful at
times. Most fish have been caught on small brown and orange flies.
Some anglers have been ice fishing on the Root near the 6th Street
and Marquette Street bridges, as well as in the Racine harbor. Use
extra caution, as conditions can change quickly. Fishing has been
relatively slow in the harbor, but some steelhead have been caught
farther upriver on spawn set close to the bottom.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
In Rock County, ice conditions have been improving on area lakes,
but there are still areas that have dangerous conditions. Anglers
have been driving ATVs and snowmobiles on Lake Koshkonong, but some
seams have opened up on parts of the lake, causing the ice to be
weak in spots. Fishing on Koshkonong has been slow so far this
winter, with most anglers reporting limited success on walleyes and
northern pike. Storrs Lake has been producing some panfish, but
success also has been limited there to northern pike and bass. The
snowmobile trails are still open, but have deteriorated during the
past week with the limited snowfall. Snow this week should help
Ice conditions are holding up well, with 6 to 7 inches of ice on
Lake Mendota. Always proceed with caution due to expansion cracks.
Ice anglers are catching a mixed bag of perch near Governors Island
and the Four Doors, as well as the Commodore area. Some pike action
on Lake Mendota has been by the Union, Governors Island, and Dunn’s
bar. Use jigs and tip-ups for the best walleye action. Most
walleyes are being caught at night. Currently, Menona Bay is the
place to catch bluegills.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
Bluegill, perch, and walleye action has been good on Lake Noquebay.
The ice is fair to good, but officials are warning no vehicle
traffic yet. Northerns are being caught by Cox landing and the
cemetery on golden shiners. Swedish Pimples with a minnow or a
fathead are producing walleyes at the turning basin.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Due to the recent heavy snow, lack of wind, and high temperatures,
slush has been a growing issue. Foot traffic and ATV traffic are
recommended. Ice thickness is still holding in the 6- to 10-inch
range, but some areas have less. Walleyes, bluegills, and northern
pike are reportedly active. Use shiners on tip-ups, or jigging
spoons tipped with small minnows or one medium fathead to catch
walleyes. Use big shiners on tip-ups along weedy edges in 8 to 10
feet for large pike. For more action, move in shallower to 6 feet,
and scale down to medium shiners. Try a small spinner blade 9
inches up from the hook for added flash. Bluegills are biting best
at mid-morning on waxies or bright plastic tails in 6 to 10 feet
where there’s weed cover. Crappie, perch, and largemouth bass
action has been reported as fair to good. The crappie bite is
sporadic. Slow-dropping, flashy thin-bladed lures tipped with wax
worms are working best. Tip-downs with a minnow also are
working. Stick to 8 to 12 feet of water with weeds to find the
bluegills. Some anglers are finding perch in weeds in 6 to 8 feet,
and they’re catching them with minnows with wax worms.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
Great Outdoors Sports Shop, (715) 356-6818.
Captain Hooks, (715) 277-2405.
J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
At the Petenwell Flowage, 8 to 13 inches of ice was reported.
Anglers were having success catching walleyes, crappies, and
catfish. Shiners, jigs with minnows, and flashy spoons were
producing the most fish. Call ahead for conditions.
Sunrise Bait & Tackle, (715) 886-5440.
Petenwell Sports, (608) 564 7707.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA
The Mississippi River has produced fish for anglers seeking
bluegills and perch. The best baits to use have been wax worms,
spikes, and small jigs. Anglers are reporting purple, pink, red,
and black seem to be the colors to use for best results. High water
has made ice fishing on Gremore Lake exceptional this season.
Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Ice depths in the Upper Chippewa Basin continue to be variable and
have ranged from 5 to 10 inches in thickness. Some anglers have
begun to drive ATVs and snowmobiles on a few local lakes, but
extreme caution is still urged. Lake ice cover can be irregular
with a solid 10 inches in some areas and only 5 inches of ice just
a few hundred yards away. Slush conditions add a lot of weight to
the top of the ice and soften the ice underneath. This results in a
weaker ice cover and less weight-holding capability. Ice-fishing
success has been generally fair in the Upper Chippewa Basin.
Walleyes and panfish have been the main species of interest, and
action has been quite variable. For walleyes in the stained lakes
and flowages, the best success has come to anglers in the late
afternoon hours, with small to medium suckers fished on tip-ups in
the 5- to 12-foot depths producing best. The mud flats and weed
edges in the 5- to 8-foot depths have produced fair numbers of
walleyes in the 12- to 15-inch size range, and the deeper
breaklines and rock bar edges at the 8- to 12-foot depths have
produced a few walleyes up into 20 inches. For clear-water lakes,
the best action has occurred at dusk and just after dark, and at a
little deeper depths than the stained lakes. Panfish action has
been a little more consistent than walleye fishing, as some good
catches of crappies, perch, and bluegills have been made. Perch are
being caught on wax worms and small minnows, and have been found at
a variety of depths from 4 to 20 feet of water. Some nice crappies
and bluegills have been found suspended just off the bottom in 15
to 24 feet of water, with wax worms and small minnows producing
some decent action Call ahead for the latest in ice conditions in
Bridge Bait & Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
SAUK CITY AREA
Ice is thick but very slick due to the rain. Wear creepers or
cleats to prevent falling. Ice anglers are catching bluegills and
crappies on White Mound Lake and Fish Lake. Jigs, wax worms, and
spikes are working the best. Crappies are being caught near the
Wisconsin River sloughs. Find trout 30 feet down in Devils Lake and
catch them with medium fathead minnows.
Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.
There’s been a good walleye and northern bite, with fantastic
action for both crappies and bluegills on area lakes and the
Wisconsin River. There’s anywhere from 8 to12 inches of ice on the
waters in the central Wisconsin area, but with strong currents and
many thin areas, caution is critical. Walleyes in the central
Wisconsin area are hitting well, particularly in the early morning.
Fish shallow areas in 3 to 4 feet of water near weed edges. Run
your tip-up parallel to the weed edge, and use a medium golden
shiner under a tip-up. There’s been a good northern bite in and
around weeds, as well as in the backwater areas around stumps and
logs. The northerns are being found 3 to 4 feet deep. Use a large
golden shiner under a tip-up. Fish for northerns throughout the
day. There’s been a fantastic crappie and bluegill bite going on.
Crappies are in 12 to 18 feet of water over hard-bottom areas.
Bluegills are in backwater sloughs; fish 2 to 4 feet of water in
and around wood and weeds. Tip a small jig with a wax worm or a
Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.
Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573
UPPER PENINSULA REPORT
On Lake Gogebic, ice conditions have actually improved as much of
the slush on the surface was lost during rains. Colder temps and
snow are in the forecast, so things should firm up quickly. Still
expect some slush in areas with the same ice cover. The bay areas
have about 10 to 12 inches of ice, and the main lake ice is running
4 to 6 inches. The walleye bite has been awesome for some ice
angers. Quality fish continue to come from 24 to 27 feet of water
on sucker minnows. Other anglers continue to fish the 6- to 10-foot
areas and are having success. The early morning bite has shown some
increased activity this past week.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.