On the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay, anglers are reporting hard-packed snow with 4 to 6 inches of ice. Some areas are snow covered and do not have 4 inches of ice. Use caution. Second Landing has about 7 inches of ice a half-mile out with reports of northern pike and perch being caught. The “S Curve” and Bono Creek has about 4 inches of ice and some snow cover. This area is walkable and success has been good. Lots of splake and brown trout have been reported. On the Washburn side of the bay there are reports of 4 inches of ice and some reports of 8 to 10 inches in places where the ice has blown out and then came back in. The area is walkable, but ice values range across the area.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
The Sturgeon Bay area was still fairly shaky last week when it came to ice conditions. Anglers are walking out on Little Sturgeon where the perch action has been fair. Some pike have been caught on tips-ups baited with shiners. The Sawyer Harbor area has also had fair action for perch and pike. Most other locations in Door County had poor ice conditions last week.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Most lakes have 7 to 12 inches of ice, with slush reported in spots. However, the reports vary greatly, even from the same lakes. Some bays and shorelines are OK, others are slushy. There have been ATVs and snowmobiles out on the lakes, but no vehicles as of Jan. 2. Forecasts of some consistent cold weather should improve travel conditions. Walleye fishing has been good, with anglers reporting success throughout the area very early in the mornings and at dusk and after dark. Many anglers are using shiners or suckers and fishing for northerns in the afternoon, then switching to walleyes in the evenings. Some of the bigger lakes, like North Twin, have produced some deeper fish in the afternoons on jigs. Northern pike action has been very good in the daytime. Tip-up action in the weeds has been very good on all lakes. Panfish action has been decent, with crappies leading the way and mostly at dusk in about 10 to 12 feet of water. Bluegills are hitting in the weeds on waxies or spikes using very small jigs and light line.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
FLORENCE COUNTY AREA
Fishermen are reporting 8 to 12 inches of ice on most area waters. Panfish action has been good. Bluegills were hitting hard on waxworms. Perch and crappies have been active. The walleye bite has been fair. Anglers were having some luck with shiners and suckers under tipups. Northern pike have been keeping fishermen busy with a lot of smaller catches.
Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
Due to the lack of ice-building weather in the area, walking out should continue to be the only option right now. Green Bay waters are still far from locked up. Pay close attention to the wind direction every day.
It does not take much to separate the ice from shore and send anglers adrift. Ice breaking operations on Green Bay continue as the USCG Mobile Bay has been working in the main shipping lanes since last week. People venturing out on Dead Horse Bay and in the Suamico area are still finding some decent perch action. Tip-downs with minnows have been the best bet in the shallower waters.
In University Bay, the Joliet Park area still has good action for walleyes and whitefish. Weight forward jigs with plastics or minnow tails have been catching most of the whitefish. Jigging Raps tipped with a minnow head have been a solid choice for walleyes while also using tip-ups. Folks walking out at Volks, Bayshore and Red River areas are finding mixed success daily in shallower waters, with mostly whitefish and a few walleyes to show.
The Fox River continues to produce solid action for walleyes and whitefish. The warmer weather has weakened the river ice in areas, so use caution. If the forecast is correct, Mother Nature should bring a deep freeze soon that will improve ice conditions.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 593 1749.
Walleye fishing is good and improving around the area. Most walleyes have moved from early-ice shallow haunts to deep weeds and deeper flats with structure. The best bite is just before sunset into dark when fish move shallow to feed. Suckers and shiners on tip-ups and dead-sticks are the main offering, but jigging spoons are also working well. Northern pike fishing is good to very good, with these fish found just about anywhere from 3 to 22 feet. Concentrate on shallow to mid-depth weeds, weed edges, wood, rock, and structure. Set suckers and shiners just a couple feet off bottom under on tip-ups. In shallower water, set the live bait just under the ice. Crappie fishing is good to very good when they can be found – use electronics. Check out deeper lake basins (check the ice thickness closely and carefully) and on points in 12 to 22 feet..
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
LA CROSSE AREA
Lake Onalaska’s ice thickness averaged about 6 inches just after Christmas, but some areas had more than 8 inches. The few reports that have come in say perch are hitting in the deeper water, with tip-downs rigged with rosies working the best. There is a lot of water out there that has not even been fished yet this ice season!
Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.
Island Outdoors, (608) 782-5552.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
Fishermen were getting out and about on area lakes over the holidays and the first week of January, but most were walking out while having to deal with water on the ice in many locations. Be careful on the ice.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
Lake Winnebago ice fishermen are going to have do some poking around to find fishing spots. While Payne’s Point had 8 to 10 inches of ice last week, and Calumet Park had 8 inches, there are lot of cracks in the ice and some boat landings are blocked because of ice heaves. Fishermen have been walking out from Black Wolf, but also have had to jump cracks. Travel is better on Lake Poygan where ATVs and snowmobiles are being used. They are getting some white bass on walleyes on Poygan.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
All of the larger area lakes locked up with ice over the Christmas weekend. Fishermen are catching pike and bass on tip-ups across the Madison chain. Some nice panfish have come out of Cherokee Marsh, along with a few pike on tip-ups, but the panfishing has been a little hit-or-miss. Lake Mendota is iced over, but ice thickness ranges from about 6 or 7 inches in Warner Bay to thin ice over deep water. There is decent ice right around Governor’s Island, but the ice can thin down quickly. Be careful. University Bay has decent ice. Lake Monona had 8 inches in shallower areas near shore, but 2 inches out over deer water. The deep-water perch bite may well be under way, but it’ll take a little bit before anglers can get out there safely. There has been lots of good shallowwater walleye action all around Lake Monona. Try Monona Bay for bluegills, but it’s a sorting game. Lake Waubesa has mostly 8 inches of ice all across. Try the south end for bluegills, along with a few walleyes.
D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
After the windy and cold weather through Christmas Day mellowed out, anglers found great opportunities to get on the ice where, on many lakes, ATV and snowmobile travel is good. Caution is still advisable any place where drifts may have insulated the ice.
Northern pike: Very good, with lots of action and some nice fish to 38 inches as flags were flying for anglers using big shiners and suckers on tipups in 6 to 12 near weeds.
Walleyes: Good to very good, mostly due to size as reports and photos of walleyes “too big” were coming in. There were good reports of 15- to 19-inchers on shiners and suckers along weeds as shallow as 6 feet to as deep as 12 feet. The larger fish have been coming from humps and points of 18 to 24 feet on suckers and shiners, as well as No. 7 and No. 9 Jigging Raps, Hyper Rattles and larger Tikka Minnows.
Crappies: Good to very good. Most anglers found crappies in 8 to 12 feet near weeds while slow dropping Lethal Cecils tipped with waxies or minnows on tip-downs. Others branching out to deeper water found crappies in 22 to 30 feet where they are starting to school up. Glow tungsten spoons and jigs tipped with waxies, spikes or minnow heads worked the best.
Yellow perch: Good to very good, with the ability to cover some territory helping to find some nice perch.
Off-shore humps and the saddles between humps that have sand grass have held very nice perch.
Bluegills: Good, while fishing mid-mornings through mid-afternoons in weedy bays of 6 to 10 feet with waxies or spikes. Plastics in purple, motor oil and red have also been working.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Walleye action has been good on tip-ups with suckers and shiners, or by jigging spoons. Pike action is good on tip-ups around weeds and above timber and rocks in 6 to 12 feet. Shiners on tip-ups are the most popular approach for pike. Look for crappies to start schooling in 15 to 20 feet off points next to deep water.
St. Croix Rods, Park Falls, (715) 762-3226.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
Northern pike are as shallow as 3 feet, or in more than 20 feet, with the walleyes. Suckers and shiners under tip-ups and suspended a foot or two off bottom work well on pike. Crappies have moved to main lake basins, so be very careful of ice conditions if trying to go out there after crappies. Bluegills sometimes hang with crappies in deep water, or roam the last weedlines or cling to structure such as wood, timber, and cribs.
Big Mike’s Outdoor Sports Shop, (715) 349-2400.
Inland lakes are frozen, but fishing pressure has been light with a lot of snow on top of the ice. Warm temperatures have melted some of the snow so now there is a lot of slush. Use extreme caution and check the ice as you go.
Coyote hunting has been good.
Jonny’s Outdoors, (906) 235-2894.
Ice was still forming on most of Little Bay de Noc, but there 4 to 6 inches close to shore. Anglers were walking out and catching good numbers of walleyes at the north end of the bay and perch down by Escanaba. There was about 6 inches of snow on the ice with high winds causing some drifting.
Bay View Bait & Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
Lake Gogebic anglers can expect 8 to 12 inches of ice, with more in the bays. Very heavy snowfalls with a lot of drifting, followed by mild temps, has caused slush on many parts of the lake. Expect slush below the snow cover. Surface travel with snowmobiles has been pretty good. Perch and walleye action has been fair, with the best reports coming from 22 to 26 feet over mud areas. Walleyes have been hitting suckers and jigging baits tipped with a minnow. Perch are hitting wigglers and spikes fished tight to the bottom in the same areas.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
There was up to 6 inches of ice at the head of Huron Bay and a few anglers were heading out. There was still open water farther out in the bay. Extreme caution is advised. A good walleye bite has been reported in the evenings. Inland lakes have up to 8 inches of ice with slush on top, but anglers are getting out and catching good numbers of panfish and pike. Keweenaw Bay still had open water but is starting to freeze. Coyote hunting has been good.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
IRON RIVER AREA
There was 6 inches of ice or more on most inland lakes in Iron County and fishing has been good. Some of the bigger lakes, like Ottawa and Golden, were still a little soft. Panfish and pike have been caught on most lakes and the walleye bite has been good in the bays on Chicagon and Fortune lakes.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.
Fishing pressure has been light along the Keweenaw Peninsula. Ice was running up to 6 inches on Chassel Bay and a few anglers had their shacks out. There was about a foot of snow on the ice, but with warm weather in the forecast most of the snow is expected to melt. Inland lakes are locked up, but there were no reports coming in yet from successful anglers.
Northwoods Sporting Goods, (906) 482-5210.
Island Lake is kicking out a few walleyes in 18 to 20 feet, and Fish Lake is giving up a few walleyes and crappies in 12 feet. Hit Boulder Lake for bigger perch in 10 feet and Rice Lake for northern pike in 6 feet. The Park Point area in the bay of Duluth (Duluth Harbor) is giving up walleyes on the Minnesota side and a few crappies off the Wisconsin side.
Chalstrom’s Bait, (218) 726-0094.
Tip-ups with shiners are producing walleyes in the 16- to 20-foot mud or rocks during low-light periods on Birch Lake, Fall Lake, and Shagawa Lake. There have been bigger perch caught in the 10-foot weeds on Fall Lake, Shagawa, and Hoist Bay on Basswood Lake. Trout Lake and Knife Lake are giving up a few lake trout on white or chartreuse tubes over 30 to 50 feet.
Arrowhead Outdoors, (218)
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Anglers are sorting through walleyes to get their eaters – small fish, plenty of slot fish, and some bigger walleyes, as well. Saugers of all sizes are being caught with better action in 25 to 32 feet of water. Eelpout, jumbo perch, pike, tullibees, and an occasional sturgeon have been mixed in.
Jig a favorite spoon tipped with a minnow head or tail and use a deadstick and live minnow in another hole. At the Northwest Angle, the ice road from Angle Inlet at Young’s Bay to island resorts is open. A nice mixed bag of fish including walleyes, saugers, perch, eelpout, and pike are being caught on structure or just off of the edge of it.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau, (800) 382-FISH.
Lake conditions are still in rough shape – so bad that fishing activity has been light. Deep snow and slush are making it nearly impossible to get around on the lake. There are no roads plowed and no wheelhouses being pulled out. There have been a few anglers with snowmobiles and portables moving around, but even that’s difficult and mostly unsuccessful from an angling standpoint.
Pike Bay Lodge, (218) 753-2430.
Walleye activity has been on and off. When they go, the bite is very good and other days have been extremely tough. Low-light periods have been best on structure in 15 to 20 feet, with some fish being caught slightly deeper during the day. Perch action has been pretty slow. The average size has been nice, but staying on numbers of perch has been difficult. The bigger fish seem to be constantly moving in 15 to 30 feet of water.
Lake Winnie Resort Association, www.lakewinnie.net.
The humps and breaks in Walker Bay are producing walleyes during low-light periods in 24 to 28 feet. Setlines and rainbow minnows are producing walleyes throughout the main lake in 10 to 13 feet, especially late in the day. Work the Pine Point area in 9 to 14 feet for perch and a few walleyes, while the Sand Point area is giving up walleyes, pike, and perch in 8 to 12 feet.
Reed’s Sporting Goods, (218) 547-1505.
Shriver’s Bait Co., (218) 547-2250.
Walleyes have been hitting fatheads on jigging spoons in 26 to 32 feet. Northern pike are hitting golden shiners on set rods or jigs and shiners in 22 to 30 feet. Whitefish and tullibees have been mixed in with the walleyes over 26 feet or more.
RainyDaze Guide Service, (218) 290-6102.
RED WING AREA
The Methodist Point and Maiden Rock areas on Lake Pepin are giving up a sauger/walleye mix in 8 to 14 feet. Baypoint Park Bay is worth hitting for crappies and panfish in 10 to 12 feet. There have been a few boats on the Mississippi River when the weather is nicer. Saugers are being caught below the dam on jigs and plastics or crankbaits.
Four Seasons Sports, (651) 388-4334.
The north end of Waubay Lake continues to produce walleyes and some bigger perch in 25 to 28 feet. Walleyes remain active on Bitter Lake in 15 to 20 feet, but run small. Dry One Lake started giving up perch in 6 feet.
Sportsman’s Cove, (605) 345-2468.
Yellow perch reports have been the best in 20 to 45 feet of water throughout Black Tiger Bay, Stump Lake, and East Devil’s Lake. Spoons are working and the perch are aggressive, but tungsten jigs with spikes or minnow heads have been more productive overall. The walleyes are doing well in 6 to 15 feet of water in Pelican Lake, on all of the feeder lakes, and all across the Minnewaukan Flats.
Eye Hangers Guide Service, (701) 230-7080.