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Central Wisconsin Fishing Report – January 9th, 2015

There are still only a few areas where fishermen are getting on the ice in Door County because of the lack of cold weather until recently. There have been some scattered perch catches being reported from the Little Sturgeon area in the inner bay from 2 feet of water all the way out to 17 feet.  Lake shiners and wax worms have been the best live baits. Some of the better jigs so far have been Hali Jigs, Swedish Pimples, Hexi Flies, Forage Minnows, and Jigging Rapalas. There also have been some really nice pike taken from the Little Sturgeon area. The best method has been suspending large suckers under tip-ups throughout the inner bay.
And once this cold weather decides to stick around, there will be plenty of other areas to fish. If you’re looking for whitefish, areas to key in on are Henderson’s Point, Rileys Bay, and the Larson Reef area. You can find schools of whitefish anywhere from 20 feet of water out to 75-plus feet. An assortment of jigs tipped with minnow heads, wax worms, and Gulp will work well. Walleye fishermen generally hang around the reefs, shoals, and rock-to-mud transition areas. Oddball Jigs, Rapala jigs, Moonshine Shiver Minnows, Puppet Minnows, and the new Hali Minnow are all must-have jigs while searching for walleyes.
To the far north, Washington Island is quiet. The ice is too thick for boating and too thin to walk on. Coyote hunters like the tracking snow.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934.
    Stevenson Pier, (920) 824-5222.

The past couple of days have seen some colder weather settling in up here in Mercer. The ice is 11 to 13 inches thick, and by the weekend we should be around 16 inches. People are just starting to drive vehicles out on the ice. With the cold front that has been slowly moving in, the walleyes moved into shallower water (4 to 6 feet) with the best time to catch them from 3 p.m. to about 5:30 p.m.; use suckers and golden shiners. The northerns have been doing well all day in 10 to 12 feet on golden shiners. The panfish have been slowly turning on in 14 to 16 feet of water (about 2 feet off the bottom) on spikes and wax worms, with the occasional hog grabbing a golden shiner. Fishing has been a little inconsistent as off late, with one day being great and the next a little bit of a struggle. We are all looking forward to the fishing getting better as the ice thickens.
Turtle River Trading Co., Mercer, (715) 476-0123.
Port Washington anglers fishing the harbor have been catching a few browns and rainbows near the power plant on spawn sacs.
In Milwaukee, shoreline anglers near the Summerfest grounds have been catching decent numbers of browns. The river mouth and harbor have no ice cover yet. The fishing pier at the Oak Creek power plant is closed for the winter.
In Racine, the harbor in Reefpoint Marina is starting to freeze over, but there are aerators running near the docks, which are keeping some water open. Anglers fishing in Reefpoint have been catching a few brown trout on spawn sacs and white tube jigs tipped with wax worms. Slow stretches of the Root River are iced over, but there is open water below the Horlick dam and the Main Street bridge.
    DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.

The snow in Juneau County is pretty well gone with the recent warmup. Ice anglers had some success on panfish on early ice in most locations, but that action has slowed. A few walleyes are being caught, but most are short or in the slot. The ice deteriorated substantially with the warm weather, mainly on the river channels and around the edges. Recently, the Petenwell and Castle Rock dams were pushing a lot of water through, making the ice on Castle Rock very unpredictable and dangerous, with channels and cracks opening up. Use extreme caution on Castle Rock, as it will take some time for the dams to shut down and the ice to firm up.
    Petenwell Sports, (608) 564 7707.

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