Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – Jan. 25, 2019


The Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay has up to 14 inches of ice, with anglers out to the channel edge catching perch, whitefish, brown trout, splake, cohos, and even sturgeon. On the Washburn side, there is a “mob” starting at Bono Creek on north to Houghton Point, with reports of 4 to 7 inches of ice and very good brown trout, splake, and whitefish action. The inland lakes have fishable ice and there have been reports of a good mix of fish being caught, including some nice walleyes and northerns being caught.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Some ice cover has finally started showing up in Door County, but it’s not safe ice everywhere. The most stable ice is still in the bays like Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay and Sawyer Harbor. The weather looks like it’s going to take a turn for the better, meaning the forecast coming up looks to be quite cold and should start to add to the ice thickness and may allow fishermen to spread out and do a bit of venturing. Up until this point, the perch fishing has been going pretty good, especially when you can stay away from the large groups that make a bunch of noise. A wide variety of jigs tipped with minnows, waxies, spikes and plastics have been working and also tip-up fishing with shiners is working well at times

The pike fishing has also been providing some fair action in all of the same shallow bays. Suspending golden shiners, suckers and dead bait under tip-ups has been the best method. There have been some decent whitefish reports coming in from the folks that are sneaking out to a bit deeper water. Now with that said, the ice is still quite iffy and anyone that goes out there should fish with a buddy and really do some homework. Better areas for whitefish, especially once the ice gets better, include Henderson’s Point, Riley’s Point, Sherwood Point and the shoreline to the north of the Old Stone Quarry – those are all good spots with massive amounts of whitefish in those areas. A wide variety of jigs will work. Tip them with waxies, spikes, minnow pieces and plastics.

There have been a few brown trout reports trickling in. Most have been coming in from guys fishing the most protected harbors and inside marinas that have walkable ice. Medium golden shiners under tip-ups have been good. Also, jigging with spoons and Rippin’ Raps has been effective at times

There is not much to report as far as the walleye fishing is concerned because of the lack of safe ice cover. Some of the walleye spots include Henderson’s Point, Sherwood Point and Larsen’s Reef, but the ice has to improve before heading out there.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

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


January has been providing some very good ice fishing weather and very good ice fishing conditions. The ice runs 8 to 13 inches and guys are driving on many lakes. This is a good thing, because guys can take their kids on some trips and the kids can get warmed when needed. It also avoids very long walks onto the lakes. 

Walleye fishing has stayed pretty good. So far, we have avoided that dreaded January slowdown with the below zero temps. We’ve seen some pretty good numbers on the Eagle River Chain and some of the mid-sized lakes. The fish are deeper during the daytime and as usual moving shallower to feed in the evenings. Shiners work best on the chain, as it is darker water.

On the deeper lakes the fish can be jigged in 30 feet of water quite successfully during the day. Use a vertical jig tipped with a minnow head. 

Northerns are hitting well. They are daytime feeders, so you can use tip-ups with larger shiners all day. They have been hitting well on lakes like Boot, Deerskin and Pioneer. There is a way to get the Y bones filleted out. They taste great from this cold water.

There have been a good amount of bass caught on tip-ups, especially largemouths. Panfish action has been good, especially for crappies in the last week or so. With our ability to get around now, we can fish the holes on the chain to good effect. Use electronics to locate schools of these guys, and be aware that they move around a lot. Vertical jigs tipped with waxies work well, as do tip-downs with minnows. Bluegill fishing in the weeds has been pretty consistent. They have been hitting mostly on waxies with small jigs and very light line. Perch have begun to feed more and more on wigglers near the bottom. Lakes like South Twin are good producers. Look for softer bottom areas now in or near weeds.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Walleye action remains steady. Nothing huge is being reported, but a lot of good eaters are being caught. Look for structure to find these fish. Crappie action has been excellent. Fishermen are reporting good numbers and size for this species. A variety of baits are being used but jigging with rosy red minnows seem to be producing the best numbers.

Northern pike action has been good. There have been a lot of catches, but nothing sizable reported within the last week. You’ll find these fish in the weeds and along the weed edges. Set your tip-ups 4 to 6 feet down from the bottom of the ice.

Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.


The Fox River at Voyageurs Park is mostly open water with some thin ice forming. Anglers fishing the lock canal caught perch and small walleyes from open water, while anglers fishing the 2 inches of ice that formed later in the week didn’t catching anything. Longtail area anglers said fishing was slow for perch and pike, with very few of either caught. All the perch they caught ran in the 5- to 6-inch range with no keepers. Anglers reported 8 inches of ice off of Longtail Beach Road; off Harbor Lights Road open water was seen early in the week in front of the access point.

Hook Road anglers saw good numbers of perch. Some anglers come in with over 20 fish for two anglers for a half a day fishing.

— DNR report


Anglers are driving on a few lakes, though some have 10 to 14 inches with ice heaves, so follow stick trails for safe travel. Walleye anglers should look for deep weeds/sand grass and a transition to mud or rock in 22 to 28 feet. Tip spoons with fatheads or fathead heads. For northern pike, fish shallow inside turns, weeds, and structure in 6 to 12 feet with shiners and suckers on quick-strike rigs. Crappies and bluegills are in deep basins, with some crappies near weeds in 18 feet. Tip tungsten jigs with waxies and spikes.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

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


Most inland lakes in the area are now showing 4 to 7 inches of ice. Fishermen are walking on or are using ATVs and are having decent luck with panfish and game fish in the usual spots. 

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Fishermen are getting out on the bays on Lake Winnebago and spots along the south end of the lake. Lake Poygan has some better ice and guys are using ATVs to get around out there. They have been catching some pike on Poygan. 

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.


Lost some ice earlier in the month, but things have started to tighten up a little bit lately. There has been a lot of open water in many areas, although guys have kept fishing on Cherokee Marsh, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Waubesa. Use caution when heading out anywhere. Cold temperatures in the forecast should help create some fishable ice.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


Northern pike are hitting on Lake Wausau! That’s the catch of the day. There have been numerous reports of pike – as many as there are stars in the sky. The Wisconsin River and Lake Wausau is abuzz with reports of nice northers being caught. The larger the better on golden shiners for bait. No monsters have been caught yet, but some nice pike have hit the ice. The northern portion of the lake from the Eagles Club and west to the Rib River has been one of the better areas. Anglers are experiencing problems with thin ice and shacks falling in on the Big Eau Plaine. With that in mind use caution on the ice, as conditions can change. Waxies are still a good bet for bluegills on bright jigs like pink, chartreuse and gold. Walleyes are hitting well on large fatheads and medium shiners. Use large goldens for the pike.

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


Geano’s Beach anglers were out with tip-downs and tip-ups. A few decent perch were caught on the tip-downs. Oconto breakwater and harbor anglers caught lots of small perch in the 5-inch range and a few pike around 20 inches were caught on tip-ups. Anglers fishing Oconto Park 2 caught lots of smaller perch, with a few keepers mixed in. Using minnows and jigging aggressively seems to be the ticket to avoiding the smaller perch and catching the bigger ones. No anglers were seen at the mouth of the Peshtigo or off Little River.

Anglers fishing off the Sixth Street slip on the Menominee River caught a few keeper perch but need to spend all day there to do so.

— DNR report


Lots of lakes now have 13 to 16 inches of Ice. Coupled with a lack of snow, access has been great. 

Bluegills: Very Good to fair, with excellent reports late into the week until southeast winds seemed to shut things off. Good catches came in 7- to 12-foot weeds using tungsten jigs in greens, yellows and oranges tipped with waxies, spikes or plastics.

Crappies: Very good to fair. Slow dropping Lethal Cecil spoons and small spoons tipped with waxies or plastics in white or silver. Tip-downs have been effective using small fatheads.

Northern pike: Very good to fair, with lots of flags flying. Run big shiners and suckers on tip-ups in 8 to 14 feet. The fish have been active, so running baits 12 to 18 inches over weed tops has been very effective.

Walleye: Very good to fair . Fish humps and rises of 12 to 18 feet using suckers on tip-ups, as well as jigging spoons tipped with a head of a medium to large fathead. 

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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

Categories: Hunting News, News, Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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