SEE MORE VIEWS
12/4/18 @ 11:15 AM
MOON PHASE (7%)
With ice thickness slowly building, more opportunities opening up for anglers here in the Northwoods.
Most areas averaging 5-7” and while some of our larger lakes are just locking up, with the lack of snow on these newer freeze ups, the ice will actually catch up on these lakes.
Walleye: Very Good-Good – Some action even as early as mid-afternoons as anglers working jigging spoons (Clam Flutter Spoons) finding good action. Best still just before dark, but the mid-day action sign of active fish. Biggest draw back has been winds this past week making fishing difficult at times.
Northern Pike: Very Good-Good – Action during morning gets best using big chubs, suckers or shiners in relatively shallow water still (4-9’)
Bluegill: Very Good-Good – Lots of action, but reports of sorting needed to get a decent bag. In shallow water, classic lead jigs (Dot Tears, Darts) tipped with waxies all that’s needed in water of 4-8’. Some anglers on smaller, deeper lakes using tungsten and spikes to get down in 20-25’ for some big Gills.
Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Some nice fish being picked up in shallow, cabbage flats of 5-9’. Most on horizontal profile jigs tipped with waxies. Some minnow bites, but these fish not schooling tight, so bite scattered.
Crappie: Fair – Had been better, mostly wind keeping anglers from slow dropping rockers with plastics.
Biggest thing holding anglers back was wind over weekend. Snow (which we didn’t need yet) wasn’t bad and wind actually kept some off lake. Cold this week will help build ice. Temps for weekend forecasted to be highs in low 20’s should be just right to continue ice build, yet be “workable” for early ice anglers to get out.
12/1/18 @ 1:11 PM
12/1/18 @ 8:59 AM
11/30/18 @ 9:01 PM
11/30/18 @ 5:54 PM
11/27/18 @ 6:48 PM
11/26/18 @ 1:17 PM
MOON PHASE (84%)
Early ice fishing definitely underway as anglers have been plying waters of the Northwoods for almost two weeks.
Despite rain on Friday Eve/Saturday making things very slippery and not very safe for walking, the rain may have actually helped by removing snow cover and weight from existing ice. We seemed to have lost very little in ice thickness, mostly just the snow cover.
Walleye: Very Good – Early evening bite best followed by dawn bite as next best time. Jigging lures (UL Rippin Raps, Slab Raps, Jigging Raps, Hyper Glides) as well as jigging spoons (Demon Tongues, Slender Spoons, Tinglers w/ minnow heads) have been deadly as Walleyes actively chasing moving baits. Tip-ups with large fatheads, suckers or chubs also producing. Yet, while bite is active, great time to work on your Walleye jigging skills! Lots of “eater” Walleyes reported this past week, yet bigger Eye’s to 28” also caught and released.
Bluegill: Very Good – Where safe ice covers green weeds of 4-8’ nice Gills taking small jigs (Moon Glitter, Dot Tear Drop, Mooska jigs) tipped with waxies, spikes or plastic (red, purple best this week)
Crappie: Very Good – Shallow fish cruising in the same waters as the Gills. Horizontal presentations (Ratso’s, Sled Heads, Z-Vibes and even the smallest UL3 Rippin Raps) producing larger slabs (along with occasional Large Mouth Bass). Slip floats and tip-downs with minnows also producing.
Yellow Perch: Very Good-Good – Great numbers in the shallows, but necessary to sort for some keepers. Try larger baits (medium fatheads, Impulse rigged mayflys, waxtails or Flutter Spoons tipped with 2-3 waxies) Aggressive jigging seems to draw in Perch, then pause to get bites.
Northern Pike: Very Good-Good – Big shiners, chubs and suckers on tip-ups. Pike cruising shallow weeds where panfish are located.
Musky: Poor? – Sorry, but few anglers out. Only a few lakes open for boats, though one report of an ice angler catching a low 30” fish on tip-up. Season’s last day Nov 30th.
Unlike the southern and eastern parts of the state, the weather this weekend should only help our ice formation. A light dusting has put some “grip” back on the ice, but creepers still a must, as well as a spud bar for checking ice thickness. Most anglers reporting 5-6”, but there are areas that need watching. Be safe, carry a rope, get a float suit and take a friend.
Our 9th Annual Ice Fishing Extravaganza is this weekend, Nov 30th, Dec 1st & 2nd. Meet reps, pro staffer’s (Paul Delaney will be here), get great deals and a chance to win a Striker Floating Ice Jacket & Bibs.
11/19/18 @ 9:44 AM
MOON PHASE (86%)
With two of the past five nights reaching lows below zero and very little time with temps above freezing, areas of safe ice are increasing rapidly.
Some bays, those protected by the west winds of mid-week, are seeing ice thickness of 5+” already! Caution is still advisable as larger bodies of water have only just skimmed over entirely or are still showing some open spots.
There have been good reports of Walleye action on tip-ups where anglers can get on ice. Smaller Perch have been abundant in the same shallows (5-9’) with a few better Perch taking baits meant for Walleyes.
Crappie anglers finding some very good action and size (11-13”+). Slabs cruising the bays in 5-8’. Small minnows and horizontal jigs tipped with Waxies producing.
With little snow in woods, access to some hard to reach lakes good for anglers willing to walk a ways. Forecast of highs not till weekend to break above freezing bodes well for getting some good solid ice set up.
Be sure during this early ice, to carry safety picks and rope. Take someone along and test all ice with a chisel before walking on…then continue to check as you go!
As landings icing up, focus is on gun deer and ice fishing, few anglers venturing out for final weeks of Musky season.
11/13/18 @ 8:22 AM
MOON PHASE (33%)
The cold has come to the Northwoods and winter’s icy grip is not far behind!
Temps in the teens have helped push lakes from a surface high of 40 degrees down to just about ready to get solid! The pond behind our shop froze up Friday (11/9) and typically that means 7-10 days till Lake Minocqua locks up. Some bays already skimming over.
Musky: Good-Fair – Not many brave (read:crazy) souls ventured out last week due to high winds, low temps and generally miserable conditions! What few anglers did try had best results on suckers as the bite was sluggish, with fish just “mouthing” suckers.
Little else to report as few anglers to report from. Rut still going on, so our early deer opener should go well. Four-six inches of snow on ground to improve visibility.
Watch our social media sites for ice reports as these night time temps in low teens will start freezing things up.
11/6/18 @ 2:15 PM
MOON PHASE (1%)
Following a too hot and wet September, then a cold, wet, windy October, the first three days of November were incredibly nice, weather wise! Nicer than any three days in October it seemed. Now back to reality!
Rain, snow and wind came crashing back down to the Northwoods, with temps not forecasted to reach above freezing till the deer opener (Nov 17th).
Lake surface temps, up in the mid 40’s, will certainly start to fall again over the next two weeks. Not very many anglers out there, but…
Musky: Good – Lack of wind required using trolling motors to move suckers till the weekend. Still good action on suckers, slow moving glide & jerk bait or rubber baits.
Crappie: Good – Not numbers but big slabs this week to 15 ½” over drowned wood of 14-18’. Medium and even large fatheads under slip-floats best.
Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Big Smallies! Most of 18”+ with fish to 21 ½” stacking up along deep water transition areas. Larger minnows (suckers, chubs) best. Not many anglers targeting, but those that do – great fishing!
Walleye: Fair – Action slow. Fish at many depths, from 24-75’, but tough to convince to bite. Best on live minnows near wood in 18-24’. Deeper, mud flats use jigging Raps or Lindy rigs with larger suckers or chubs.
Cold for forecast means limited reports for next week also. Dropping water temps will get the hard water anglers excited. Keep eye on our social media for reports.