Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – Jan. 11, 2019


Hit Round Lake in 10 to 12 feet of water for sunfish, crappies, and walleyes early and late each day. You’ll find suspended crappies over 12 to 20 feet of water on Big Butternut Lake or North Twin Lake. Northern pike remain active on most lakes in less than 12 feet of water, and Lake Wapogasset is kicking out crappies and sunfish in 12 to 14 feet of water.

Country Store, (715) 268-7482.


There is fishable ice only on the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay and reports of up to 12 inches in the pack ice. Most anglers are walking, though a few are taking ATVs. Anglers report catching perch and whitefish in 10 to 12 feet off of Anglers All, as well as some brown trout and northern pike off the ore dock and marina. Anglers are using lake shiners and waxies. There are people fishing the inland lakes in Ashland and Bayfield counties. The inland lakes have fishable ice on some of the smaller lakes and there have been reports of nice crappies being caught using waxies, golden shiners and fatheads.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


The perch fishing has been good so far; just be aware the ice is not super. Ice thickness varies from 2 to 6 inches depending on where you are at. Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon and Riley’s Bay are the first bays to freeze up since they are the shallowest. The pike fishing has been fair. Those same three bays will produce some good numbers of pike once we get safe ice. Use golden shiners under tip-ups.

The whitefish fishing is non-existent due to the lack of ice cover over the areas that hold the majority of the whitefish. Once we do get safe ice cover, go-to spots will include Henderson’s Point, Larsen’s Reef and the shoreline to the north of the Old Stone Quarry. The walleye bite; however, will require some time with ice conditions needing to improve greatly to reach the areas the fish. Sherwood Point, Henderson’s Point, and the Potawatomi State Park shoreline, along with the vast shoreline to the north and south of Sturgeon Bay, are all good areas to target walleyes.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.


Walleye fishing has been pretty good, with anglers reporting success throughout the area. Walleyes have been mostly biting in the evenings and after dark, as usual. Many guys are taking larger shiners or suckers along to fish for northerns in the afternoons and then switch to walleye in the evenings. The Eagle River Chain has been producing good numbers, and some decent fish,. Catfish and Yellow Birch lakes have been the best. Some of the bigger lakes, like North Twin, have produced some deeper fish in the afternoons for the jiggers, and the evening bite is on also. Suckers seem to be the most popular up there, but some action has also been reported on shiners.

Northern action has been very good in the area in the daytime. Tip-up action in the weeds has been very good near or in the weeds on all lakes. Usually, large shiners have been the best bait under those tip-ups. Very good number of fish have been reported on lakes like Thunder – the darker, more fertile lakes have been very productive. 

Panfish action has been very good, with crappies leading the way. These fish are now in the holes on the chain and guys are getting good numbers of these fish in deeper water. 

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Ice conditions are steadily improving with the cold nights. Daytime temps have been mild, bringing out a lot of fishermen. The crappie bite has been fair. The best action has been about an hour before dusk. Jigging with minnows, wax worms and spikes have all been producing well. Walleye anglers have been having some success. There have been fewer catches but the sizes are improving. There were several reports of 21 inches and up with a couple of 28-inchers landed. Most fishermen are using shiners and suckers under tip-ups after dark. Perch and bluegill action has slowed down. Fish deeper water using tungsten jigs tipped with a wax worm, spike or wiggler. Pike action has been excellent. Fishermen are reporting good numbers and size.

Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.


Fishing is good, but temperatures in the mid-30s with a little snow and rain do not help build ice. Some lakes have safe ice for a snowmobile or ATV, but use caution. There were many anglers on the ice the past week and they were finding success for northern pike and bass by setting tip-ups with suckers and shiners in shallower water. Walleyes are moving in during the later afternoon into late evening hours. Walleye action is good in 22 to 26 feet, with the best bet setting up off steep breaklines and near mud flats. Spoons and minnow-style jigging lures work well, tipping the lures with fathead heads. Crappie anglers are catching fish on minnows under bobbers and by jigging in 16 to 18 feet. The best time is late afternoon into the evening. 

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.


Ice continues to be thick enough for fisherman to be successful in catching game fish and panfish throughout the county. As usual, the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage attracts most of the attention, but all of the smaller lakes are also producing fish. Many positive reports have come in from fishermen across the county. 

Turtle River Trading Co., Mercer, (715) 476-0123.


Most of the smaller lakes have walkable ice from 3 to 6 inches. There hasn’t been a lot of ATV travel. The last two rains has been a bit of a blessing in a way. The ice is still bare, so even nights of 20 degrees is building some ice. Now, about 30 miles south there is no fishable ice. The guys who are getting out are catching fish. Pewaukee Lake fishermen have been doing fairly well on walleyes.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Guys are catching a lot of northerns on the west end of Lake Poygan and in the adjoining channels. Bluegills and perch have also been hitting fairly well. Poygan has about 5 to 7 inches of ice. On Lake Winnebago, anglers are mostly fishing the bays and channels for panfish. Lake Winnebago proper is more open than closed as of last week.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.


There’s not a whole lot of ice fishing going on around the Madison area. Lake Waubesa has some ice, as does The Triangle area on Lake Monona, but much of the chain is more open than closed. There were a few guys poking around for bluegills on Monona Bay ice, but otherwise ice fishing options are a bit slim at the moment. Last week fishermen were still launching boats on the Wisconsin River at Prairie du Sac to fish for walleyes below the dam. 

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


Anglers are reporting success on most Marathon County waters. Reports from Lake Wausau have been numerous and generally good. Northern pike are being caught on golden shiners from the Eagles Club to the rookery area and around Radtke Point and Dickey’s Island. Smaller lakes like Mission, Pike and Mayflower have seen nice catches of walleyes, perch and crappies. Baits of choice have been: white spikes more than red, waxies more than spikes and crappie minnows are far out-selling both. A combination of all can prove an effective arsenal when going after that picky panfish. Fatheads and shiners are being used for walleyes, while golden shiners are being used for northern pike.

Riverside Rentals & Bait Shop, (715) 574-1771.


In Marinette County, mild weather has been the norm over much of the last week or so and lake ice has not developed much since the last report. Channels on flowages remain open while non-flow areas have in the neighborhood of 6 to 10 inches of ice. 

There is ice on most lakes in Oconto County, but with recent warm-ups be sure to spud your way out. There was 10 inches of ice on the Oconto Falls pond and anglers were ice fishing on the Machickanee Flowage. Green Bay is open more open than closed.

— Wisconsin DNR report


Access is excellent and the little snow from last week got washed away by the rain. A light snow after the rain put a little grip to the ice. 

Walleyes: Very good. The past four days have reports of good action on tip-ups using suckers. Jigging spoons have also been working as the fish have been aggressive in 12 to 18 feet from 3:30-7 p.m. and again pre-dawn until 8 a.m.

Crappies: Very good. The bite has been on as anglers using tip-downs with small minnows are reporting nice slabs up to 13 inches.

Perch and bluegills: Good. In weedy flats use bulk on your jigs to try to keep the smaller perch off.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

Categories: Hunting News, News, Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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