Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – Feb. 9, 2018
Walleye action has been best during low-light periods in 15 to 25 feet on Lake Wapogasset, Half Moon Lake, and Balsam Lake. Northern pike continue to hit suckers in the 10- to 15-foot weeds on East Balsam Lake or in shallower water on the Apple River. Look for sunfish in 12 to 14 feet and crappies in 16 to 25 feet on Wapogasset, Bear Trap Lake, and North Twin Lake.
Lucky Baits (715) 268-6231
The Chequamegon Bay area, in general, has 12-plus inches of ice, but be sure and check your way with the ice bar. Machine travel has been the norm. Fishing has remained steady with a mix of browns, splake and whitefish being caught off the Washburn side. Reports of perch, walleyes, brown trout and northerns are being caught on the Ashland side of the bay. The fishing pressure has been pretty high and with a lot of pressure in one area the fish tend to scatter. Beware of pressure cracks. Conditions can change around pressure cracks. Anglers are fishing as far as Bayfield, but only in the shallows and they’re using extreme caution.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
Northern pike are being caught on suckers at Bear Lake, Beaver Dam Lake, and Upper Turtle Lake in the 5- to 10-foot weeds. Big Round Lake continues to produce sunfish in 10 to 12 feet, and the big bay on Bear is giving up sunfish in less than 8 feet.
Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
Whitefish action can still be called excellent from Chaudoir’s Dock all the way north past Egg Harbor – cracks permitting, of course. The ice thickness ranges from 14 to 24 inches, but there are cracks that can open, which will effect ice travel in some areas. With that said, the best depths have been ranging from the 15-foot mark all the way out past 90 feet of water. It all just really depends on ice traffic. Stay away from big groups of fishermen and heavily used roads and you will do just fine. A wide variety of jigs tipped with waxies, spikes, minnow pieces and Gulp have been working.
Perch action is also going well. Try Little Sturgeon, deep water south of Little Sturgeon down to Chaudoir’s Dock, Riley’s Bay, Sawyer Harbor and the Sturgeon Bay area. Shiners, rosy reds, wax worms and spikes are all good live baits for perch.
Walleye fishing around the Sturgeon Bay/Larson’s Reef area is normal – some days you get some bites and some days you don’t, but that one bite you do get could be a 10-pound fish. The most consistent action has been to the south from the Henderson’s Point area south to the lower end of Green Bay. In general, there will be more hits, but smaller fish, the farther south you go.
Pike action seems to be heating up. Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay, Sturgeon Bay and even some of the harbors to the north are now producing some nice pike on golden shiners under tip-ups.
Some scattered brown trout reports trickled in last week from the Sturgeon Bay area north to Sister Bay.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Most, if not all, lakes are again slushed up to some level due to heavy snow recently. The cold weather in the forecast should freeze up that slush. It is hard to believe that it is the start of February already. It won’t take long and we will be looking forward to the chance of some nicer weather in March. Walleye fishing has been pretty good for this time of year, with numerous reports of good fishing on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes in the evenings and after dark. As usual, it is mostly tip-up fishing in the holes, but a few anglers can find fish in the evenings and after dark in shallower water in the weeds. On some of the larger lakes, deeper water jigging has been productive with anglers using minnow heads on vertical jigs to score some nice catches. This is daytime action.
Northern action is good throughout the area, with good tip-up action using larger shiners. Panfish action is good, with good perch action being reported while using wigglers near the bottom in muddy areas. Some nice perch have been reported since it warmed up a while ago. Bluegill action is also good in the weeds. Crappie action has been very good on the chain in deeper water. One thing about these crappies this year – they seem to be moving, so you have to search for them daily. A new wrinkle is that some anglers have found these fish in the evenings in very shallow water near bulrushes.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
FLORENCE COUNTY AREA
After a slow week with poor fishing reports, things finally picked up. The bluegill and crappie bite was excellent. Most fishermen were favoring spikes and wax worms for these panfish. Perch action was slow, although there were a couple of nice ones caught. Try small spoons tipped with bait. Walleye action finally picked up. Shiners under tip-ups were producing the best bite. Many of them were in the 18- to 23-inch range. Pike action was very good, as well. The biggest one reported was just shy of 36 inches, with the majority of catches right around 30 inches.
Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
There is pretty good ice on most of the bay of Green Bay ranging from 12 to 18 inches. Anglers pursuing whitefish have been doing pretty well, but yellow perch fishing has been spotty.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.
Walleye fishing is fair to good on the deep, clear lakes, with prime hours running from late afternoon to well after dark. Concentrate on weeds and drop-offs in 10 to 20 feet; fish shallower water for the evening bite. Most anglers have been using suckers and shiners on tip-ups and minnows on jigging spoons. During daylight hours, try fatheads on small jigs. Northern pike provide great action throughout the day with tip-ups. Drop baits just above shallow weeds for the most action, but for bigger pike fish the breaks in 12 to 15 feet.
Crappie fishing has been good at various depths in deep lake basins. Panfish anglers are using waxies and plastics on small jigs and have been catching bluegills and perch around shallower weeds, wood, and other structure.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
IRON COUNTY AREA
A couple of days of above freezing temperatures – and even a few sunny days in the high 20s – has compacted the snow, so fishermen are finally getting around a little easier on most area lakes, including the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. Now, the action hasn’t been the hottest, but guys who are sticking with it have been scratching out some decent catches of panfish, and even a few walleyes.
Turtle River Trading Co., Mercer, (715) 476-0123.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
Bluegill action has been the best around green weeds in 5 to 12 feet of water. There are some lakes in the area where the bluegills were found in 20 to 30 feet of water. A flasher is helpful for catching these fish, as often they are suspended off the bottom. A spring bobber really helps, too. Crappies have been most active during early morning hours or just before dusk. Look for them suspended above weeds or wood in 8 to 15 feet of water or suspended over 20 to 30 feet, often just a few feet below the ice. Use tip-downs with a No. 14 treble hook baited with a fathead, rosy red or lake shiner.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
Anglers have been doing fairly well on walleyes in the deeper areas of Lake Poygan. The white bass are hitting, too, but they’re moving around a lot, so anglers have to move, too. Guys are using anything gold, or a Forage Minnow, or Rocker jigs in orange. Fishermen started to scout for sturgeon last week ahead of the Feb. 10 sturgeon spearing season opener, and they were seeing fish. Ice conditions on Butte des Morts and Poygan are good. Water clarity was at 5 feet last week.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
Ice conditions changed a little bit with some recent warmer weather. Cherokee Marsh has been a little tough to access – the water has come up and ice has pulled away from the shoreline. Lake Mendota pike fishing has picked up in University Bay, Governor’s Island, and near the “hatch cover.” Mendota’s perch fishing has been sporadic, in the way of action and depth. Some days they have been anywhere from 15 to 60 feet of water. On Lake Monona, the bluegill bite is going good on Monona Bay, with some action near the pump house in Squaw Bay. Mud Lake bluegills have been hitting in the dredge hole. Lake Farm Park on Lake Waubesa has been producing some bluegills. The Lake Kegonsa perch bite has slowed down, but they’re still hitting and guys have found some bluegills in shallow water all around Kegonsa.
D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
In Marinette County, better weather brought out lots of people for the DNR’s Free Fishing Weekend. Fishing was great in some areas; poor in others. Anglers reported catching northern pike on tip-ups, a variety of panfish, and even a few trout. Deer are congregating in active timber sales where they are feeding on buds.
In Oconto County, anglers have been working all over White Potato Lake, but fishing was mostly slow. There were a few jumbo perch being caught, but most anglers only had a handful of perch after fishing all weekend. Kelly Lake and surrounding lakes have been producing some panfish, northern pike, walleyes and largemouth bass. Ice thickness on most lakes is around 12 to 18 inches.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Despite warm temps and some southwest wind, fishing cooled off last weekend. Temps in the mid-40s on Jan 26 pushed snow down so travel, even by ATV, was good, though some areas are seeing some slush.
Bluegill action has been fair, with small windows of good bites on tungsten jigs tipped with J&S plastics in cabbage at 7 to 10 feet. The bluegills being caught on Lake Minocqua have been running larger than average.
Crappie action has been spotty, with the best bites coming on tip-downs baited with small rosie reds in 18 to 30 feet.
Northern pike have been fair. Flags are not flying here, either. A few big pike have been caught, including one 37-incher, but there has not been a lot of action.
Perch action is fair. The deep mud flats are holding perch, but the action has been slow. Try wigglers, spikes or small minnows on tip-downs.
The walleye bite was fair to poor. With the exception of where you can’t keep them (Minocqua chain action has been very good), walleye reports are not good. When the bites slows, switch to smaller suckers, shiners or large fatheads.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Lake of the Pines is reported to have 17-plus inches of ice and fishermen are catching crappies. Connors Lake ice depth is reported to be 16 to 20 inches and anglers are catching walleyes. Fishermen on the Phillips chain are doing OK to a little better than OK on bluegills and crappies, with the better walleye action coming at dusk and just after dark.
Bridge Bait and Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
SUPERIOR / DULUTH AREA
Northern pike continue to be caught on suckers at on area lakes in 6- to 10-foot range. A few walleyes and crappies are being caught, as well. Fish Lake is giving up crappies in 18 feet and some walleyes in 10 feet, while Boulder Lake is producing walleyes in 10 to 12 feet.
Bait Box, (715) 398-3554.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094