Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – March 4th, 2016
Look for perch in 20 to 35 feet on Bone Lake and Deer Lake or in 5 feet on Spencer Lake. Some walleyes are being pulled from Half Moon Lake in 15 to 18 feet and Big Round Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Lakes such as Loveless, Balsam, Bear Trap, and Wapogasset are producing crappies and sunfish in 15 to 18 feet.
Lucky Baits (715) 268-6231
The weather cooperated with most Chequamegon Bay anglers last week. There were excellent reports of brown trout, splake, whitefish, and occasional lake trout and steelhead. Anglers are concentrating on Houghton Point to Long Island or off of Bodin’s. Warm weather and rain could have changed ice conditions in those areas, so beware, go slowly, and check for cracks. Perch fishing is good off Second Landing, mainly on cloudy days, which is especially important in shallower water as there is very little snow cover.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
Crappies, sunfish, and northern pike are biting consistently along the 12-foot weeds of most lakes in the area. Perch also are active in shallow water on the majority of lakes. A few walleyes continue to hit during low-light periods on Long Lake and Red Cedar Lake.
Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Warmer weather gave many shack-happy anglers good reason to get out on the ice. Fishing success increased gradually with the increasing temperatures. There is still slush on some lakes, but overall, ice conditions are pretty good. We are seeing many snowmobiles and ATVs out on the ice, and some people are driving trucks out, as well.
Walleye fishing has been decent, and most of these fish are being caught at the normal “prime time” around sunset. As usual, the best spots vary from one lake to the next. Some lakes have been producing walleyes in deep water in the 20- to 30-foot range, and other lakes have seen most action on top of shallower structure. Use tip-ups rigged with shiners or suckers, and try jigging Rippin’ Raps or small spoons tipped with minnow heads.
Northern fishing has remained fairly productive around the area. The best spots have been around the remaining green weeds when you can find them. Action has been pretty consistent all day long until sunset. There are dozens of lakes in the area with decent pike populations, and we’ve had good reports area-wide. Large shiners have produced the biggest pike, but action has been good on medium shiners and suckers.
Panfish action is improving after a pretty slow streak earlier. Perch are being caught a little more consistently now on waxies and wigglers. Look for these fish on deep mud flats on many lakes. Bluegill action is starting to pick up. You’ll find bluegills feeding in the weeds on many lakes, and also suspended in deep water on lakes that don’t have much for weed cover. Waxies have been the best bait. Crappies are starting show up a little more, too. We had many days with limited crappie action, but that is changing now. Crappies are suspending off the bottom in deep holes, and also are feeding in deeper weeds. Crappie minnows are the best bait, but spikes, waxies, and wigglers also are working.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Walleye action is fair to good, but inconsistent, with better success in the late afternoon and early evening hours into and after dark. During daylight hours, fish 12 to 20 feet near breaklines, mud flats, and drop-offs. In the evening, fish shallower water, 4 to 12 feet, on weed edges, breaklines, and mud flats. Use suckers, shiners, and fatheads on tip-ups, jigs, and jigging spoons.
Northern pike fishing is fair to good, though a bit erratic. Concentrate on weedbeds in 5 to 18 feet, setting tip-ups with shiners or suckers over the weed tops.
Crappie fishing is good to very good in depths out to 22 feet. Fish are suspending at various levels, so be sure to check all depths. Top baits include crappie minnows, rosy reds, fatheads, waxies, spikes, and plastics, as well as Jigging Raps and Swedish Pimples.
Bluegill action is good around weeds in 5 to 12 feet and deeper, with fish suspending near the bottom. Baits of choice include waxies, spikes, mousies, and plastics on small jigs or teardrops.
Look for perch near the bottom in depths starting at 10 feet out. Use small ice jigs, teardrops, or plain hooks with waxies.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
There is open water in Green Bay and the Menominee River. Walleyes were hitting in the backwaters of the Menominee last week. Some perch have been caught there, too. There was up to 10 inches of ice before an ice breaker came through last week. There was between 7 and 20 inches on inland lakes in the area. Panfish action has been decent on Shakey Lakes. The pike bite has been good, too. Crappies have been hitting in the hole next to the beach. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground. Coyote hunting has been pretty good.
Waterfront Sport Shop, Waterfront Sport Shop, (906) 424-4108.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Yellow perch: Very good. Deep-water anglers were plying the mud flats of 20 to 30 feet with good success using Hali jigs, Swedish Pimples, Perch Talkers, and VMC Chandeliers tipped with red spikes or wigglers. On lakes with less mud, but good sand grass, similar depths provided good catches with a few reports of tip-downs and small minnows also producing. On shallower lakes, anglers patrolling weed edges and sparsely weeded humps found good catches using VMC Flash Champs and Northland Forage Minnows tipped with minnow heads or spikes.
Northern pike: Good to very good. What started out a bit slow progressively got better as the week wore on. Pike were taking large baits (suckers, shiners) on tip-ups. A lot of heavy fish were caught as females are feeding up to help their eggs. Lots of 25- to 32-inch fish were reported.
Bluegills: Good to very good. The combination of hackle, weight, and a bit of meat (spikes, waxies) on jigs worked well. The bluegills and the anglers got active with the warmer weather.
Crappies: Good. The reports from the flowages saw an upswing as tip-down anglers had some of their best success on rosy reds. On natural lakes, tip-downs with crappie minnows accounted for some of the catch, but anglers dipping plastics and grubs did better.
Walleyes: Fair to good. Catches improved during the week. Anglers jigging for walleye were successful using jigging Raps, Slender Spoons, or Forage jigs tipped with large fatheads. The late-night/all-night anglers are having their best success using suckers on tip-ups on off-shore humps topping at 24 feet.
Largemouths: Good. Mostly on tip-ups baited with golden shiners.
Ice thickness seems to be averaging 14 to 17 inches. There is some water on the ice in places, but snow depth and slush have not been a problem.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Ice conditions firmed up a fair amount with some colder nights in the past few weeks, and most lakes now have 10 to 14 inches of double-layered ice. With the double-layered ice, there is a hard crust of 3 to 6 inches of ice on top, with a several-inch thickness of water/slush sandwiched between a solid lower layer of ice. In addition, there are still quite a few areas of surface slush, and along with the double-layered ice, this continues to limit most ice travel to ATVs and snowmobiles.
Some mild weather did bring out a bunch of fishermen to the northwoods lakes and they met with variable success. Walleyes were the target for many of these anglers, and action was spotty. The best success was in the early morning or late afternoon hours and the fish were being found on mud flats or near breaklines in 6 to 12 feet of water. Suckers were providing the best action, and most of the walleyes were in the 12- to 16-inch range. Northern pike action was fair, with the fish being found in shallower water during the midday hours. Large golden shiners fished near or over old weedbeds in 3 to 6 feet of water provided the most consistent action. Panfish have continued their relatively consistent trend of the last few weeks, and some decent catches of perch and crappies have been made. The crappies have been found suspended a few feet off the bottom in deep-water areas, and perch have been showing up in greater numbers on the mid-depth mud flats.
Bridge Bait and Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
Spooner Lake is kicking out crappies, bluegills, and perch in 5 feet. There’s some evening walleye action over 24 to 26 feet on Shell Lake, while Little Rice Lake is giving up a mixed bag of panfish in 12 feet.
AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.
A few northern pike continue to be caught on suckers in less than 8 feet of water at Rice Lake and Fish Lake. Look for crappies at Island Lake in 20 feet, Boulder Lake in 15 feet, and by the dam on Fish in 16 to 18 feet of water; Fish also is producing bluegills in 12 feet. Some Kamloops are being caught by shore anglers in the French River area of Lake Superior.
Chalstrom’s Bait, (218) 726-0094.