Crappies are active during the evenings at North Twin and Balsam lakes in 16 to 20 feet. A few walleyes also can be had during low-light periods over 14 to 22 feet at North Twin, Balsam, and Big Round Lake. Pike seem to be biting on most lakes, but you will find bigger fish on the Apple River, Bear Trap Lake, and White Ash Lake. Area lakes now have about 8 inches of ice on them.
Lucky Baits, (715) 268-6231.
Anglers have been catching a lot of whitefish on jigging spoons right in front of the city, at Bay View Beach, and at Second Landing.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
Look for perch on Bone Lake in 20 to 25 feet, pike are an easy catch on most lakes in 10 to 12 feet, but panfish action remains slow. The south end of Shell Lake and Granite Lake are producing walleyes in 8 to 10 feet. You’ll find 6 to 10 inches of ice throughout the area.
Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
The protected bays, such as Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay and Sawyer Harbor, have fair to good ice cover with 5 to 10 inches. On the big bay, from Dykesville north past the Old Stone Quarry, the ice can and will move with the wind since it is not locked in yet. There have been anglers venturing out along the shorelines and catching whitefish. Perch fishing has been off to a strong start in the bays. Small jigs tipped with waxies, spikes or minnow heads are the key for perch.
Pike fishing has been fair in those same areas. Some of the best areas for pike are just not safe yet. Once the ice improves, try the Sturgeon Bay Flats, Potawatomi State Park, and Little Sturgeon all the way up the peninsula to Ephraim. Whitefish action can be classed as OK just because the deep water spots aren’t quite ready because of lack of ice. There are whitefish in shallow water, too, but most fishermen tend to go deeper because the whitefish are not as spooky there.
Walleye action has been a bit slower because of the lack of ice. There have been a few brave souls walking out and fishing some of the shoreline drop-offs with some success, but as of press time, you couldn’t get to those spots safely. The cold weather should change that.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
The condition of the lakes took a big turn into the “good” range, even with that rain in December. It knocked the snow down and got rid of that crust on most lakes. It is now easier to get around, and ATVs and snowmobiles are safe for use on the lakes. You will see shacks going out now after last week’s cold weather.
Walleye fishing is OK now, with all lakes producing fish, especially at dusk and after dark. Most anglers are setting tip-ups to intercept these fish as they come in. Use either suckers or shiners under these tip-ups. Move shallower after dark, as the fish are in the weeds feeding. On some of the deeper lakes, there have been reports of jigging for walleye, also.
Pike have doing well during the day. These guys are best fished in the weeds or on the weed edges using larger shiners. These fish are great fun to jig for with larger vertical jigs in the deep weeds – tip the jigs with small shiners.
Panfish action has been improving as anglers have been able to find the fish now that they can get around better. The holes on the Eagle River Chain have started to produce some crappies. Bluegills are hitting in the weeds on waxies. Perch are in the deeper weeds and will hit on anything small enough, sometimes hitting shiners set for walleyes, during the day and quit at dark.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Hit Nelson Lake for walleyes, pike, and panfish in 10 to 12 feet. Lac Courte Oreilles is giving up walleyes in 15 to 30 feet and perch in 10 to 15 feet. On other lakes, the walleye action is good and improving, with evening fishing providing the best opportunities for success, though some anglers report catches during afternoon hours. The Chippewa Flowage started giving up pike and crappies. Anglers are reporting 4 to 8 inches of ice on many lakes with a bit more on some shallow bodies of water. Pike fishing has been very good on most lakes. The crappie and bluegill action has been steadily improving as the ice thickens and anglers gain access to deeper water.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
Anglers have been catching white bass and yellow perch on Lake Poygan. Ice depths were running 8 to 11 inches, but anglers have not been driving vehicles out because of cracks.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
Anglers have been catching pike in the bays on Lake Mendota and there has been some perch action on the lake’s west side. Bluegills are biting on Monona Bay and “The Triangle.”
D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Bluegills: Very good to good. If the bite slows, use smaller jigs or jig flies with a single mousie or spike.
Pike: Very good to good. There has been a drop-off from earlier action, but anglers are still seeing a good number of flags and a few up to 36 inches.
Walleyes: Very good to fair. Action and size slowed as this species seemed more susceptible to recent east winds. Anglers were having some success towards dark. Use smaller suckers. The jigging action slowed as walleyes became less aggressive. Try shorter lifts and slow drops with Hyper Glides if action slows on Jigging Raps.
Crappies: Good to fair. The fish are there, according to the guys dropping cameras in the bays with 7 to 12 feet of green weeds. They’re just being fussy. On the flowages, a few nice crappies were caught on rosie reds over wood.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
Ice conditions in the area are still erratic. Use caution when venturing out on the ice. Lake Necedah has been producing bluegills near brush. Pike are active near the deep water drop-offs. Cottonville Lake has been producing a mixed bag of perch, bluegills and crappies, but you have to keep on the move. Lots of short walleyes are being caught on the Petenwell Flowage in 15 feet of water. The area in front of the Adams County Park on Castle Rock Lake is producing some legal walleyes in 8 to 11 feet of water. Some crappies are being caught in the brush near The Dirty Turtle. The Wisconsin River below Castle Rock dam has been producing some legal walleyes, with an occasional slot fish. Lake Mason anglers have been reporting good catches of largemouth bass near the stumps. Average bluegills and crappies are being caught on white and yellow plastics.
Petenwell Sports, (608) 564 7707.
Castle Rock Dam Bait Shop, (608) 339-2967.
SUPERIOR / DULUTH AREA
Fish Lake is kicking out crappies in 15 feet on glow jigs and minnows. The Duluth harbor on Lake Superior is giving up walleyes in 8 to 15 feet, while Boulder Lake is producing walleyes in 10 feet. With the exception of Duluth harbor, the inland lakes have at least 14 inches of ice.
Chalstrom’s Bait, (218) 726-0094.