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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 1/30/24

What a month for mid-winter.  Typically, by the end of January, we would see 30-34” of ice and at least a foot or more of snow.  This year, as January winds down to its end, we are looking at 7-12” of ice (as little as 4-5” on Trout) and no real snow, just slush (1-4”).  Fishing, though typically tougher in mid-winter, seems to be holding its own.  Sure we’re seeing a drop-off in action, as is the norm, but the lack of snow cover and lack of ice thickness, allowing more light for remaining aquatic plants to produce oxygen, is helping some with activity.


Northern Pike:  Fair-Good – Pike action picked up as the week went on.  Nothing special here, big shiners and suckers attracting the biggest fish.


Crappie:  Fair-Good – May be due to the lack of ice, but there seems to continue to be a two “story” fishery.  Anglers fishing green, tall narrow leaf cabbage in 10-12’ slow dropping Lethal Cecils, Shrimpos and rockers tipped with waxies.  At the same time, a large portion of the Crappie population suspending over deeper basins in 22-30’ of water.  Clam Pinheads, Tikka Flash as well as #4 glow tungsten jigs tipped with waxies.  In both areas, tip-downs with small rosies or regular Crappie minnows doing well.


Yellow Perch:  Fair-Good – Perch seem to be concentrating together in deeper water.  Gold or glow Kastmasters, Pimples and Halis tipped with wigglers (when available) best over mud of 20-30’.  Shallower flats (12-18) seem to have smaller fish in most cases.  Anglers finding some Perch in broad leaf cabbage flats of 7-10’ using Bluegill shaped jigs tipped with waxies.


Largemouth Bass:  Fair-Good – Liking the warm weather, LMB showing up on tip-ups and jigging spoons in and along weed flats.


Bluegill:  Fair-Good – Gill catches vary.  Several days last week, Gills (and other species) were “present” but not biting except for small windows of time, usually just an hour before dusk.  Things improving as we seem to be moving away from full moon phase.


Walleye:  Poor-Good – With green weeds still present in depths of 8-12’ – good places to set up tip-ups with medium shiners just before dusk.  Humps sporting sandgrass or rock bringing fish in the evenings as well.


Overall fishing picking up from the lows of the previous week.  Not first ice good, but probably better than most end of January. 


Forecast have 14 straight days of temps above freezing (34-45 degrees) with all but two nights with temps below (23-27 degrees).  We won’t make ice during this time, but shouldn’t lose either.  The tops of most lakes have slush ranging from1-4”.  On some lakes the water has drained off.  Either way, water proof (rubber) boots, cleats, picks and floatation gear should be part of your “attire”.  With some luck and a little cold we can have a full February of ice fishing in the Northwoods.


Only five weekends remain of the inland gamefish season, so make the most of it!


Upcoming Tournaments

Feb 10th – 22nd Annual Plum Lake Ice Fishing Tournament – Plum Lake

Feb 17th – Lake Tomahawk Family Fisheree – Lake Tomahawk

Feb 24th – 3rd Annual Newbold Fire Dept Ice Fishing Tournament – Muskellunge Lake

Mar 2nd – KISS Annual High School Ice Fishing Tournament – Lake Minocqua


Kurt Justice

Kurt’s Island Sports Shop – Like us on Facebook



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