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Sun times displayed in .Last ice report: 2/26/24.

Displaying 20 to 29 of 2,715 posts
1/16/24 @ 12:29 PM
Kurt Justice
User since 5/12/04
Don’t look now, but winter is here!  Halfway through January and the cold and snow has finally arrived.  Here, up North, the snow wasn’t too much, 3-4” of light stuff.  The cold and windchill on the other hand is substantial.  Temps in the double digits below zero at night and wind chills of 20-30 below kept a lot of anglers off the ice by Saturday (1/13).   Prior to that, fishing was very good, especially Friday before the front hit.  Ice conditions are improving fairly rapidly with the sub-zero temps.  As much as this weekend hurt, it will only make things better for the remainder of January into February.
Crappie:  Very Good-Poor – Reports on Thurs/Fri (1/11-12) were hot!  Anglers could do no wrong working basin Crappies in 22-30’ of water 3-5’ off the bottom.  Small flashy spoons (Kastmasters, Flash Champs, Bull Spoons) as well as #3 Ultralight Rippin Raps, T-Rips and Tikka Flash lures, even not “scented up” with bait were being inhaled.  Once the storm hit, that bite, along with angler participation shut down.  There is still a portion of the Crappie population holding in 9-14’ weeds that are taking slow dropped plastics or grubs.
Northern Pike:  Very Good-Poor – As with the other fish, Pike had been active.  Weeds in 5-10’ were holding Pike, but even this bite shut down with the front.  As always, big shiners and suckers on tip-ups.
Walleye:  Very Good-Poor – Bite here started to slip mid-week, only to get a bump Friday morn (1/12) before really closing down.  Expect more fish to move out deeper as ice thickens and rely on typical off shore humps and even some down in mud basins to feed.  Suckers usually do better in these instances as well as jigging Raps.
Yellow Perch:  Good-Poor – Starting to show up more in catches as more anglers moving out over mud in 15-25’.  Wigglers on pimples, Kastmasters, Hallis and bull spoons.  Still some nice weed fish in 5-12’ taking tiny Bluegill shaped lures, K-Rips, T-Rips and Tikka Flash.  The bite also died, but should pick up this coming weekend.
Bluegill:  Good-Poor – Just like everything else on report, was good, then slammed shut.   Weed fish in 5-12’ on tear drop style jigs baited with waxies and mousses.  Some nice Gills being found over mud basins of 15-25’ on heavier tungsten jigs tipped with spikes or mousses.
Largemouth Bass:  Good-Poor – Once temps get much below 20 degrees LMB seem to bite less.  Very few anglers target anyways, but they are a fun mix to anyone jigging and tip-up fishing weeds. 
Getting reports of anglers finding 8-9” of ice as of early yesterday morning (1/15).  Not only that, but the bite was surprisingly good (Wife filled the bird feeders twice!)   So even though I doubted the mental capacity of those going out in that cold and wind, I don’t doubt that the fish bit as the barometer rose.  With more lows in single below zero temps and not cracking teens for high until Saturday, we should see plenty of 10-13” of ice (to be on the conservative side) by the weekend.
Upcoming Tournaments
Feb 10th – 22nd Annual Plum Lake Ice Fishing Tournament – Plum Lake
St. Croix Factory Tour
Tour The St Croix Rod Factory
1/15/24 @ 9:49 AM
Bowhunting Guy
User since 5/22/18
I checked a few central Oneida County lakes this weekend (200 acres and under). Contrary to the guide reports, ice was 3 to 4” at best with a lot of slush forming with the recent snow. No where near safe for ATV travel where I was, and difficult walking. The timing for this new snow was very poor, adding slush to the thin base. Be safe and check for yourself before you venture out anywhere. 
1/11/24 @ 3:53 PM
Jeff Bolander
Jeff Bolander
User since 8/25/13
Thursday 1/11/24

What a difference a couple of weeks can make.  We got a lot of ice her here folks and it's good clear ice.  Inches wise it could be anywhere from 5 to 10" reported.  Last week they were hitting golf balls out on the Willow Flowage from shore.  You can get some good distance under those conditions.  I was invited out but when they told me it was one hit per ball I told them I get enough of that in the summertime, so no...  But now the ice is good and the fish are coming from all over the place and under many conditions depending on the day and time of day.  We even have a little snow now to make the ice a little less greasy on top.  A few lakes have ATVs and Snowmobile travel right now and I'm sure there is a truck or two out there somewhere, also.  This vehicle travel will increase every day now.  The forecast shows ice making temps for as far out as we can see.

Let's just talk about the flowages today so we can get a little more detailed.  Appiy this info to any dark colored body of water.

All species are pretty active but not all day.  Same story as always, low light early and late are your best times but some can still be had during the middle of the cloudy days. Flashy baits are still king.  Flashy, meaning a little spoon is on the bait that flutters and flashes as the bait moves.  Flashy just sound better than fluttery.  Hammered jigs and spoons have the same effect.

Crappies are suspended about 4-6' off the bottom chasing jigged minnows and flashy jigs tipped with spikes or waxies.  Tip downs and Jaw-Jackers with crappie minnows or rosie reds are also working well.

Gills are prevalent in 12 to 14' of water mostly hanging near wood on the bottom.  Again, flashy jigs or spoons tipped with bugs including mousees, work well. Tip downs, rod-bouncers, Automatic Fisherman and Jaw-Jackers with minnow heads, bugs and beavertails or chena bait on a small jig or bare hook are also working well.

Walleyes are still in the 4 to 8' depths with the bigger ones during the day in the 12-16' depths.  Spread out with Jaw-Jackers, Automatic Fisherman and tip-ups to increase your chance of landing one.  Tip your (small) treble hook with shiners, chubs or suckers on rig with a flashy spoon for the best chance.

Northern are all of the above!  Most seem to be hanging of points 4 to 6' off the bottom.  The flashy stuff is crazy not to use here all year round.

Perch of course love the wigglers.  But as all of you know wigglers can get expensive as they don't last very long on the hook and it's rare to get more than one fish off a wiggler.  But all the bug setups for panfish listed above will work also.  Find the mud.  Small minnow on a bottom bouncing spoon work great, too.

Speaking of perch, if you have a tip-up or two frequently going off but not much line being taken out and no fish, it's probably a perch.  I always have a medium jigging pole with a spoon type bait tipped with a minnow head ready to jig down that hole right after I clear the line out.  This is a very successful tactic.

Again, as far as jigs and lures go, seems the best ones now are the ones with diamond sequences on the front (Jake's diamond jigs, Clam Epoxy Drop) or ones that have a small spoon attached (lethal cecil, gill-getters, tikka flash, pinhead minnows).

Enjoy the conditions while you can.  You know the northwoods.  It can change in a hurry.
We have a few musky suckers left right now for $1 each.

We are bumping up the February end of season sale to NOW.  Come on in the store to check it out.  We are adding new items every day to the specials list.  They are also on the website. While you're on the site make sure to sign up for our newsletters so you will be the first to know when we add more items.

Right now for live bait we have Jumbo Crawlers, Small crawlers, Panfish Worms, Wax worms, White, Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow, Pink & Multi-colored Spikes, Crappie Minnows, Regular Fatheads, XL Fatheads, Blacktails, Rosie Reds, Walleye Suckers, Northern bait, Medium and Large River Shiners and Golden Shiners, Wigglers and Mousees.

Our hours are:
Monday thru Thursday - 6am to 6pm
Friday - 6am to 7pm
Saturday & Sunday - 6am to 5pm

We have to continue to squelch a few rumors.  The shop is for sale.  Business is great but Linda and I are ready to ease into retirement.  WE ARE NOT GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!  If you have an interest in owning and operating the largest non-franchised bait shop in Wisconsin, call our Realtor, Eric Johnson, at 715-892-1234 or call Jeff at 715-892-2751.

Jeff Bolander, owner of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post
715-892-2751 cell

1/9/24 @ 12:11 PM
Kurt Justice
User since 5/12/04
Ice continues to build here in the Northwoods.   We have been fortunate to be just north of the heavy snow falling on the lower ¾’s of the state, this will keep the insulation off the lakes up here and allow more ice to build.
Walleye:  Very Good-Good – Low light level times best using shiners amongst cabbage flats of 8-12’ in the mornings.  Switch to outside weed edges (12-16’), off-shore humps of gravel/rock using suckers on tip-ups or jigging Raps, Rippin Raps, Z-Darters or Tikka Minnows towards and right after dusk.
Crappie:  Very Good-Good – Better reports from anglers fishing basins of 22-27’ using tip-downs baited with rosies or crappie minnows or jigging Kenders T-Rips, Kastmaster spoons or Clam Tikka Flash tipped with waxies.  For Crappies still holding in weeds (10-14’ Narrow leaf cabbage), Little Cecil spoons, Euro Tackle Z-Vibers, Kenders K-Rips and tip-down/minnow set ups all working well.
Northern Pike:  Very Good-Good – Lots of good action and some nice Pike in the 8-12’ of weeds.  Big shiners and suckers as per usual with fish to 34” reported this weekend.  A pair of anglers jigging Raps and Chubby Darters on thin wire leaders reported fun action working baits at weed tops in 8-10’.
Bluegill:  Good – While most reports were of good numbers, but lots of sorting for size, a few anglers did better by leaving the crowds behind.  Most action in 8-12’ weeds using #3 and #4 tungsten jigs tipped with waxies, spikes and the rare moussee.  Others finding BIG Gills (10-11”) over mud basins in 20-25’ of water using small tungsten jigs with hair, tipped with moussees.  Anglers targeting these big Gills using select harvest (and sneaky approaches) to maintain these populations of such special fish.
Yellow Perch:  Good – While not the numbers (or the effort), nice Perch (9-11”) in shallow weed flats of 6-9’ on jigs shaped like small Gills (Z-Vibes, K-Rips, T-Rips) tipped with waxies.  Also a few reports of Perch starting to show over mud (14-18’) on wigglers presented on Hali style spoons.
Largemouth Bass:  Good – Temps above 20 degrees seem to be best for Largemouth.  Some very nice fish to 20” caught this past week, mostly by anglers targeting Pike or panfish in 6-12’ weeds.
Smallmouth Bass:  Good – Rarely seen in the winter, but providing some added fun for anglers, especially those jigging for Walleyes over gravel/rock humps.  Fun on a jig rod.
With light snow and cold temps ice thickness is coming along nicely.  Most anglers reporting 6-8”+.  We are seeing more ATV, UTV and snowmobile use on the lakes.  Still use caution on the big lakes (Fence, Trout, Big Crawling Stone, Tomahawk) as these were still open just two weeks ago and are just now getting 2-4”’s of ice reports.
While snow is still a concern at this stage, forecast show temperature lows below zero and highs in the single digits for Sunday (1/14) thru Wed (1/12) that should put some nice finishing touches on our lakes and get us into the 12” plus range by the following weekend.
Upcoming Tournaments
Feb 10th – 22nd Annual Plum Lake Ice Fishing Tournament – Plum Lake
1/7/24 @ 5:17 PM
User since 8/11/09
One last report from last weekend. . .Fished Hansen and Townline Lakes. Hansen was a bust, but we found good gills and bass on Townline!

1/1/24 @ 11:46 AM
Kurt Justice
User since 5/12/04
We’re slowly sliding back into a “second” early ice season.  Despite warnings to the contrary, some anglers got out on the ice and continued to fish.  Things got dicey with shorelines pulling out 1-2’ from banks (some even further), some open water Musky fishing and water skiing was also witnessed (Trout Lake).   But as nights have gotten colder (and the days since 12/30) ice is firming up and slowly building.  It would be nice to get some sub-zero temps, but the forecast only shows teens for the first 12 days of 2024.
Walleye:  Good-Very Good – Most reports on tip-ups using suckers and shiners as anglers not willing to do as much hole jumping with jigging raps, rattlin raps and hyper glides.  Not that jigging hasn’t been working, it has for those willing to do, but the less walking on 3-4” of spongy ice the better.  Nice catches before dusk and pre-dawn, still most in 6-12’ weeds.
Northern Pike:  Good-Very Good – Nice catches using large suckers and river shiners.  Nothing out of the usual, live green weeds in 5-10’ best.   Nice fish to 36” reported this past week with the best, a 38” caught and released on Friday (12/29).
Crappies:  Good-Very Good – This species being found actively biting (except 12/28) in both weeds and in open basins.  The basins have not been as accessible due to thinner ice (2”) so most activity has been weed related.  Tip-downs with Crappie minnows or small rosies, as well as rocker style jigs with white, pink and yellow plastics.  Jigs with blades such as Lethal Cecils and Tikka Flash tipped with waxies also producing well!
Largemouth Bass:  Good-Very Good – Not typically targeted, but moving the needle in a big way!  Several reports of Bass in the 18-20”+ range caught and released by anglers using medium shiners on tip-ups, as well as those jigging spoons tipped with waxies or minnow heads.  The warm temps always seem to bring out the best in Largemouth activity, with no real “cold” days on the forecast, expect good action to continue.
Yellow Perch:  Good – Anglers looking for Gills finding Perch in 6-10’ weed flats taking #3 tungsten jigs tipped with spikes or waxies.  No jumbos being reported but nice eaters in the 8-9 ½” range.  Also picking some up on tip-downs baited with minnows for Crappies.
Bluegill:  Good – Once past Thursday’s high-pressure system, Gills once again biting well on small, dark jigs (black, red, green) tipped with red spikes or dark colored plastics.  While most attention is spent in weeds of 5-10’, a few anglers (where ice is thick enough) finding suspended Gills in 20-25’ basins.
Thankfully, no reports, that I’ve heard of locally, of people breaking through the ice. While things will be getting better from here on out for a while, caution is still advised.   Most ice reports have gone from 2-4” mid-week up to the 3-5” mark, some small lakes with 6”.  Can’t recommend vehicle travel of any kind.  Creepers are essential for safely walking and safety spikes and flotation suits or throw cushions still a must.  Looks like we will be getting our ice back, not quickly, but enough to have an ice fishing season.
Upcoming Tournaments
Jan 6th – 73rd Annual Rib Lake Area Ice Fishing Contest – Rib Lake
Jan 6th – 16th Annual NCO Club & AMVETS Post 724 Ice Fishing Tournament – Lake Nokomis
Feb 10th – 22nd Annual Plum Lake Ice Fishing Tournament – Plum Lake
12/30/23 @ 1:41 PM
User since 2/19/16
Set tip ups out in front of our place south of Minocqua.  Shoreline is weak. The rest of the lake seems questionable. 2-5" where i drilled but its soft, water bounces when walking and was cracking bad while drilling. Should probably stay off. Really not seeing many fisherman on area lakes. I'd stay home if you're thinking about trying it. Bite is slow anyways. Be safe.
12/28/23 @ 9:04 AM
Bowhunting Guy
User since 5/22/18
Looking at the bright side, with no fishable ice the fish get a much needed break from the piggery that’s gone on the last four years. 
12/26/23 @ 7:33 AM
Led Hed
User since 5/3/14
Went up to our cabin yesterday and the ice is really getting bad. We lost 3 inches of ice in the past few days and the ice that is left is really soft. This was before the rain and warm temps last night. I measured 5 inches but it is not good ice at all where we are. ​

12/23/23 @ 11:25 AM
User since 12/16/09
Has anyone heard if the ice is fishable on Burrows Lake ? We fished it in 2020 and wanted to try it again. It’s about 5 1/2 hr drive up there for us. Thanks ! 
Displaying 20 to 29 of 2,715 posts

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