WI: Inland anglers keying on panfish, with good ice up north Issue: 7


Nice-sized bluegills and crappies are being taken on area lakes.
Crappies are found suspended over the weeds. Anglers are having the
best luck with small jigs and wax worms. A few are having success
with tip-downs and minnows for crappies. Fish late afternoon into
the evening for crappies; bluegills are biting consistently all
day. Ice thickness remains good, but always proceed with

Northern Highland Sports, (715) 385-2134.


There’s been good ice-fishing action for bluegills and perch, with
the crappie bite being fair in the Eagle River area. Ice conditions
are generally good in the Eagle River area, but caution is advised,
as there are dangerous spots. Crappies and bluegills are hanging
out in the same locations. Fish 10 feet of water or less in and
around weeds. Both species are suspending up and down the water
column. For the crappies, use a minnow or a waxie on a tip-down or
spring bobber rig. For bluegills, use a waxie or a spike under a
spring bobber or slip bobber. Perch are in 10 to 20 feet of water
outside of weed edges. They’re tight to the bottom. Use a small
minnow or waxie under a slip bobber or spring bobber.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.


Trout anglers fishing the Manitowoc harbor had the most success
this week. The stubby pier near the Manitowoc marina boat launch
was the hot spot on the harbor side later in the afternoon, with
several brown and rainbow trout being landed. A few browns were
caught off the south pier in Manitowoc on spawn fished on the
bottom. Despite the high waters near the Shoto dam, a few browns
were taken on floating spawn. Fishing near the Mishicot dam has
shown more promise. Anglers have landed a handful of small male
steelhead 12 to 15 inches long, along with an occasional brook
trout. The Seagull Marina boat ramp currently is the best option
for boaters. Boaters report some success on browns and lake trout
north of Two Rivers off of the Point Beach nuclear plant in 15 to
20 feet of water. Fishing between the Two Rivers hospital and the
Manitowoc piers in 7 to 15 feet of water has resulted in catches of
a small number of browns and rainbows.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.


Crappies are still suspending over deeper water, but as the weather
warms they’ll start their move toward shallower water. For now,
fish the deeper water with crappie minnows, waxies, and plastics.
Make sure to check the entire water column. Bluegill action
continues to be inconsistent, though some anglers report good
catches. Look for fish around weeds and cribs in 10 feet and deeper
water. The bluegills are taking waxies, spikes, and plastics on
plain hooks, small jigs, ice jigs, and flies. Small minnows work
well for larger bluegills. Perch fishing remains good as the fish
are beginning their move to shallower water for spawning season.
Target depths down to about 15 feet, between deeper water and known
spawning areas.

Pastika’s (715) 634-4466.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


In Port Washington, several boaters have been out fishing, with
limited success for browns. In the Port Washington harbor, angler
activity has been spread out along the inner harbor and the pier,
with no real hot spot. Anglers at the power plant discharge have
been catching rainbows on spawn under bobbers. The rocks along the
shore have been seeing some fishing pressure, with carp caught
there. In Milwaukee, McKinley Marina is open and the boat launch is
usable. Shore fishing in Milwaukee has been slow, and area rivers
are high. In Racine, most of the recent fishing effort has been
concentrated from the Horlick Dam to the first river bend near
Quarry Lake. Some anglers were successful in landing trout. A few
anglers were able to land nice steelhead, with a couple of brown
trout in the mix. Anglers having been using mostly spawn sacs or
yarn balls. Fishing around Lincoln Park and up to the weir has
produced a slower catch rate than at the Horlick dam. Boaters
launching at Pershing Park and making the run to the Oak Creek
Power Plant have been catching decent numbers of brown trout.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

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


Ice conditions are iffy at Monona Bay, so head to the rivers.
Walleye fishing is exceptional at Petenwell, Castle Rock, and the
Dells-area dams. Anglers using jigs with minnows are having the
most success. They’re fishing in boats from the landing to the
dams. Anglers venturing to the Mississippi River are catching perch
from shore and smaller walleyes.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


People have been ice fishing for northern pike north of the
Peshtigo Harbor. They’re using tip-ups baited with shiner minnows.
Below the dam at Peshtigo, anglers have been casting small spoons
and stickbaits as they fish for trout and walleyes. The same is
true of the Menominee River from the Hattie Street Dam down to
Stephenson Island. Fishing has been a bit slow up to this

MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.

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

DNR hotline (414) 382-7920.


The bluegill bite is fair. Fish are holding tighter to cover and
are on the bottom. On some lakes, perch have moved into 3 to 5 feet
of water near weeds, probably staging for spawn. On other lakes,
12- to 16-foot depths are best. Some anglers moving from
traditionally pounded areas are finding some active crappies.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

Great Outdoors Sports Shop, (715) 356-6818.

Captain Hooks, (715) 277-2405.

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


In the Prairie du Chien area, Gremore Lake’s bluegill bite has
picked up again. The north and south ends of Gremore Lake saw some
pretty decent action. Action on Spring Lake is good, with some
decent catches of bluegills and crappies. Now that the boat landing
at Gordon’s Bay is ice-free, anglers have been fishing from boats
for walleyes and sauger. Perch action in the slack water along the
long wall has been decent. The ice broke up behind the long wall
last week, so anglers no longer will be able to fish through the
ice there. Northern pike are heading to spawning areas, so activity
has been spotty.

Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.


Open-water walleye fishing is good at Sauk City near the dam in the
Tipper area above Lake Wisconsin. All different sizes of fish are
being caught. Anglers are using jigs and minnows for best

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


On Clam Lake, sunfish are biting. Anglers are fishing near the
surface while using waxies or spikes during the day and crappie
minnows at night. Crappie and bluegill action is good on Yellow
Lake. Try fishing in 12 feet of water for the best bite.

Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.


Prior to the heavy snow, late-season panfish action was fair.
Anglers were seeing some decent catches of perch, and they were
being caught on small minnows in 6 to 10 feet of water just off the
bottom on the mud flats and near weedbeds. Some good bluegill
catches also were reported, and those fish were found suspended in
deep-water areas and enticed by small ice flies tipped with a wax
worm or spike. Crappie action has continued to be slow, and many
anglers are constantly moving around from lake to lake to try to
find an active bite. Just a few lakes have seen any kind of
consistent action, and anglers have been tight-lipped about the
location of these spots.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.


Action has been good for ice anglers going after crappies,
bluegills, and perch. Open-water anglers are having excellent
success targeting walleyes. Late ice is offering plenty of
opportunities; not only are there good numbers being taken, but the
size structure is great. Shallow weeds have been the key for
bluegills and crappies. For the bluegills and crappies, run light
2- to 4-pound-test line and small teardrop-style jigs in white or
yellow. The jigs are then tipped with waxies or spikes, depending
on the water that’s being fished. You also can run tip-downs baited
with small treble hooks and tiny crappie-sized minnows at various
depths to cover the entire water column. The crappies have been
primarily holding in 2 to 4 feet off the water, but on occasion
have been as high as right under the ice. Perch have been coming on
a variety of baits, from small jigs tipped with waxies or spikes to
wigglers and/or minnows on a small rocker-style jig.

Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.

Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573.


Lake Gogebic ice conditions are great, but may want your creepers
yet. Jumbo perch continue to hit wigglers in 26 to 30 feet in the
mud flats. Remember to check locally before you venture out as ice
conditions can change quickly.

Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.

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