Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 10/4/22
Surface temps did not fall as much as expected this past week. Hail storm and near freezing morning temps last week were offset by bright, warm sunny skies. Shallower lakes cool the fastest (but also warm up quicker) so surface readings ran from lows of 54 to average highs of 59-62 degrees. Starting Thursday (10/6) thru Saturday (10/8) lows in upper 20’s to lowest of 30’s with highs in 40’s to low 50’s will bring sharper drops.
Northern Pike: Very Good-Good – The four mornings of frost slowed early mornings, but by mid-mornings the feed has been on! Pike fattening up on young of year Perch roaming shallow weeds of 3-7’. Jig and minnow, shallow crankbaits in Perch patterns and 1/8 – 1/4 oz spinnerbaits working best.
Musky: Good-Fair – Not as active as we had hoped. Fish still shallow. Best on top-water bucktails and small jerks with tails. Some sucker action, but hard to keep suckers in shallow where fish are without getting weeded up. This should change with impending cold snap (did I say this last week??)
Walleye: Good-Fair – Deep gravel/rock fish in 28-34’ on 1/4 – 3/8 oz jig/chubs and working #9 Jigging Raps and 2.5 Shiver Minnows. Lost of motoring around to locate fish…and fish found did not always relate to fish bites. On shallow lakes and on Flowages, Walleyes up tight to shores chasing small Perch. Tough on bright days, but dusk and windward shores providing action.
Yellow Perch: Good-Fair - Bigger Perch (10-12”) cruising shallows picking up medium fatheads or 1/2 crawlers on 1/16 oz weedless jigs. Note: The smaller Perch mixed in are why predator fish are also shallow.
Crappie: Good-Fair – Weeds of 10-14’ best on lakes, while drowned wood on Flowages. Small to medium fatheads, as well as small feathered or plastic tailed jigs working well.
Smallmouth Bass: Good-Fair – Still the largest Smallies working shallow hitting top-water (Whopper Ploppers, Jitterbugs). Rock and gravel humps and down along slopes holding more, but less sizeable Smallies.
Largemouth Bass: Fair – Fewer reports though this past weekend lots of boaters (and some skiers) out for a last hurrah. Largemouth holding court along deep weeds as Musky remain shallow. Drop-shot and wacky worms prevailing!
Bluegill: Fair – Few reports as anglers turning to Musky, Walleye and Crappie.
Following this end of week cold snap (possible snow Friday AM) we will probably see a shift in fish movement as bait fish push out of the shallows and gamefish follow. If temps on the lakes drop below 53-55 degrees watch for signs of turn-over (roiled water, floating dead vegetation/leaves) and be prepared to head elsewhere. Lakes under 24’ max depth and Flowages with their moving, mixing water don’t have the turn-over issues. Larger lakes will take longer to turn, but with four days of under 60 degrees for highs and lows of 27–32 degrees change will come quick. Leaf color is not at max yet, but changing daily.