Thursday, February 2nd, 2023
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Fishing & Hunting Report from Wisconsin and surrounding states


Some small, shallow lakes have 3 to 4 inches of ice in select areas, but much thinner ice in other spots. Most big lakes or anything with some depth still had open water early this week. There hasn’t been anything to report from anglers as far as a bite. Anecdotal reports from opening weekend of the firearms deer season indicated a strong start, good deer movement, and quite a few nice bucks shot.

Country Store, (715) 268-7482.


Browns and salmon are scattered in Chequamegon Bay and off the mouth of the rivers, with some being caught in rivers at Fish Creek and the Sioux and others. Keep in mind that lake trout fishing is closed in Lake Superior Wisconsin waters until Dec. 1. Bass fishing is fantastic in the bay, however, heavy winds can make it difficult to get out so be sure and check the forecast. Inland muskie fishing has been great with some nice muskies being caught. There are cool temps and some skim ice is forming, but it is not safe at all yet.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Perch fishing has been fantastic when you are able to get out on the water. Sawyer Harbor and Little Sturgeon have been the best areas this fall and that fishing will stay good right up until ice fishing in 5 to 13 feet of water on fathead minnows. Bass fishing has also been good as they push out to deeper water as it cools down. That fishing, too, will stay good right up until it just gets too cold to be out there. Pike fishing has also been great as those fish are having a ball feeding on all those perch in the shallows, so Little Sturgeon and Sawyer Harbor are just a couple of the obvious spots to fish. Brown trout action has been fair along the northern Door County peninsula; not huge numbers like years ago, but some fish nevertheless. The night walleye bite has been really good, as it usually is this time of year. Some big fish are being caught. Try Henderson’s Point, Sherwood Point and Larsen’s Reef while trolling crankbaits along the shoreline dropoffs and on the tops of reefs.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.


The transition between fall and winter continues, with enough cold weather to begin building ice on smaller lakes. Water temperatures are dropping, and soon we’ll see some serious icing on many lakes. It’s been a strange late fall, with many small lakes having frozen over though as of last week, but just barely. There is little fishing left from an open-water standpoint, but there remains a few dedicated walleye anglers
out there. They have been hitting walleyes on the Eagle River Chain in
the holes, which is an annual pattern. Jigs and minnows retrieved slowly
and near the bottom have been productive.

All lakes on the chain have a hole or two, and the fish winter in these
holes. Off the chain anglers will find walleyes in 15 to 35 feet of
water along deep drop-offs. Also, try some deep rock bars.

With the cisco spawn having started, this is a great time to look for big
muskies and walleyes in ciscospawning areas. The rut is on big time for
deer hunters; this should produce good daytime activity.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


With the cold and rainy weather, fishing on Green Bay has slowed down. On
the upside, the Fox River is doing very well for walleyes, perch and
muskies. The warm water discharges seem to be the hot spot for all
species. Trolling and jigging are the preferred methods for catching
these fish.

Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.


Just about everything is icecovered, even the big, deep lakes.

Anglers have started walking out on most small to mid-size lakes and they’re
finding 3 to 4 inches of ice – a bit more on some bays and shallow
bodies of water. While the winter season has started, fishing reports
have been limited.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


The open-water fishing has ended and there was some skim ice last week.
When safe ice does arrive, that ice should produce walleyes in flats
adjacent to deep water, crappies will be deep in 20 to 30 feet of water,
and northerns will be on deep weed edges.

Grouse have been flushing along swamp edges – heavy cover like spruce/balsam.
The rut is in full swing, with scrapes being worked and does being
chased. Bucks are responding to grunt calls.

Flambeau Flowage Sports, (715) 476-2526.


In Sheboygan, fishing pressure has been low along the shoreline and on the
Sheboygan River Anglers were fishing the Kohler dam and the town of
Kohler sheds last week, but not with a lot of success – only a few cohos
and king salmon on spawn sacs.

In Port Washington, the utility discharge at Coal Dock Park saw very
little activity, but a few anglers have been out looking for rainbow and
brown trout.

Milwaukee River anglers have caught a few brown trout. Expect to see more cohos and trout in the coming weeks. Try spinners, spoons, spawn sacs (especially pink color),
crankbaits, and marshmallows.

In Racine, Root River anglers have been finding a few cohos by using flies
or spawn. At the Horlick dam, anglers began targeting steelhead and
brown trout. A healthy mix of brown trout, steelhead, and cohos were
caught on flies, yarn, and fake eggs.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Anglers are still catching walleyes in the river at Winneconne. They’re also
finding bluegills in the channels. Duck hunters have been seeing good
waterfowl movement on the river in the Winneconne area.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.


Quite a few anglers have been catching walleyes around the chain from shore
on lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa and Kegonsa. They’re mostly using
crankbaits and landing a number of decent walleyes. Things on the muskie
side have been a little quiet.

There has been some panfish action in Monona Bay. Guys have also had some
luck on Lake Wisconsin in the river channel and near the railroad
trestle. There has also been some walleye action below the Prairie du
Sac dam on the Wisconsin River.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


Last week the whitefish, walleyes and perch were biting in the lower
Menominee River. Anglers have their fingers crossed for some cold
weather needed to build some better ice than what was available last

In Oconto County, fishing activity picked up a little with most anglers after
perch at Oconto Park II and the docks at the Oconto breakwater. Some
limits of perch were seen with anglers having to put in their time to
get them. Most anglers were out several hours with an average of 10 to
15 perch caught. Minnows were the best bait with most perch running 6 to
9 inches.

A&K Bait and Tackle, (715) 732-9595.


Anglers in Vilas and Oneida counties are awaiting some colder weather that will
eventually bring in some safe ice. Some smaller lakes had skimmed over
last week, but the bigger lakes were still open.

In the meantime, guys are hitting the woods and waters for deer, grouse and ducks with some decent luck in all three directions.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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


A lot of the area lakes have skimmed over with ice, but there isn’t
enough to walk on and there is too much to punch through to launch a
boat. Some guys have been going to the South Fork of the Flambeau River
where they have caught some walleyes, muskies, and even some catfish.

Hunters are still seeing some grouse, but the county has seen a lot of traffic
from visiting hunters this fall and the birds in the places that are
easily accessed have been pounded pretty hard.

Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.



There was about 3 inches of snow on the ground in Iron River for the firearms
deer opener with more in the forecast. Hunters reported seeing a lot of
deer with good numbers of bucks. Several hunters tagged a nice buck in
the early days of the season.

Fishing pressure has been very light on inland lakes in Iron County and shore
ice is starting to form on many lakes. Anglers are hoping for an early
ice fishing season.

Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.


Walleye anglers reported fair fishing in Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc
while trolling crankbaits, as well as jigging. Most of the action was at
the head of the bay.

Perch anglers had a good week of fishing. Recent high winds, however,
resulted in a notable slowdown. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good.
Deer hunting has been good, too. Bucks are on the move.

Bay View Bait and Tackle, (906) 786-1488.


Fishing pressure has been very light on Lake Gogebic. A few shore anglers are
catching walleyes in the shallows. The best action has been in the
evenings with sucker minnows and stickbaits. The rut is on and bucks are
chasing does. The archery season has been fair. Deer numbers are up
slightly from last year. There was a dusting of snow on the ground, and
hunters are expecting a fair firearms deer hunting season.

Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.


There was just a dusting of snow in L’Anse for the firearms opener. Hunters
reported seeing good numbers of deer and several nice bucks have been

Fishing pressure has been light on Keweenaw Bay. A few splake have been caught
on casting spoons or spawn fished at the mouth of the Falls River and at
the head of the bay.

Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518



There has been some anglers walking on a couple of small lakes, such as Rice,
and starting to fish. Reports have been minimal and the few people
going out are finding 3 to 4 inches of ice.

The bigger lakes and reservoirs have some thin ice but still sections of open water as well.

Chalstrom’s Bait, (218) 726-0094.


Cold temperatures have added to ice formation on back bays and much of the
big lake – progress is being made. When the time is right, resorts and
outfitters will begin marking and grooming trails for ice travel.

pike angling/spearing is getting started in the shallow bays and things
will progress as the ice begins to form on the lake. Much of the Rainy
River is locked up with areas of open water scattered throughout.

At the Northwest Angle, the bays and much of the lake are capped. Ice is
forming nicely and is right on track for this year’s ice fishing season.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau, (800) 382-FISH.


The shallow bays have had ice on them for more than a week, but additional
snow is starting to pile up on them, which has prevented it from getting
much thicker – there has been no ice fishing at this point. The main
part of the lake and Big Bay were wide open early this week.

Pike Bay Lodge, (218) 753-2430.


The Mississippi River and mouth of it is capped with ice and there is
shoreline ice that does extend quite a ways out, into the lake. There
was likely open water beyond the ice, out of eyesight, early this week
on the main body of the lake.

Lake Winnie Resort Association,


Ice has started to form on parts of the lake, mainly on areas that are
wind-protected. The smaller bays such as Steamboat have a thin layer of
ice and there is longer stretches of ice reported from the Whipholt
area. Walker Bay remained wide open early this week.

Reed’s Sporting Goods, (218) 547-1505.

Shriver’s Bait Co., (218) 547-2250.


There is ice on the wind-protected bays and along some shorelines that extend
out, into the lake and nothing that’s safe to venture onto at this
point. There’s likely spots or pockets of open water on the big portion
of the lake as well.

RainyDaze Guide Service, (218) 290-6102.


Some foot travel started mid-week out of select locations and many resorts
or outfitters planned on letting anglers walk out on Friday. Reports
early this week indicated 3 to 5 inches of ice in areas that will be
fished this weekend. Use the contacts below or other outfitters to stay
up on day-to-day conditions, which could change with any amount of wind
or additional snow.

West Wind Resort, (218) 647-8998.


The cold weather really limited boat traffic on the Mississippi River over
the past week. Once it warms a bit, walleyes and sauger should continue
to be caught from the High Bridge to the dam around wing dams and
current seams. Three-way rigs and stickbaits or blade baits will produce

Four Seasons Sports, (651) 388-4334.

South Dakota


Most small, shallow lakes and sloughs have 2 to 5 inches of ice in place and
some fishing has started. Early reports back have been minimal since
anglers have just started venturing out.

Sportsman’s Cove, (605) 345-2468.

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