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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 1/16/24

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


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