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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 1/9/24

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

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