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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 12/14/21

Mid-December and still lots of questions about our ice conditions. Thanks to over 20” of snow through two snow falls at the beginning AND the end of last week, the little (3-6”) of ice we have on our small lakes and bays are under a lot of strain!

The first snow (12/5), about 9”, was light and mostly blew off the lakes. The second snow (12/10) added 12” of heavier snow. Warmth and wind have helped, but lakes are still messy. Some shorelines where snow piled up have deteriorating ice. Other areas, more wind swept with traffic to pack down and refreeze slush are better. No matter, still important to check ice conditions before traveling, spud bar, safety picks and rope are essentials at this time of year

Walleye: Very Good-Good – Bite depending as always on weather (pre-storm on Friday – excellent, post storm on Saturday – not so much!). Jigging rattling baits in 6-8’ of weeds towards dusk working extremely well as “early ice” Walleyes still aggressive. Shiners on tip-ups in same weeds working “cause you can’t be in two places at once”.

Northern Pike: Very Good-Good – Large baits on bladed wire rigs scoring some nice Pike in the 26-32” range this past week. Mid-mornings and mid-afternoon had been peak times. Could be earlier in a.m. as we hit warm spell mid-week.

Crappie: Good – Check tall weeds (green) in 6-10’. Work entire water column using light fluttering spoons (Lethal Cecils) to slow drop waxies, plastics or beaver tail until you find “the depth” they want to bite at. Don’t be surprised on warm days if Crappies are right under ice.

Bluegill: Good – Those targeting are finding Gills in shallow (3-6’) weeds. Soft bottomed bays are best using #10 tear drops tipped with waxies or red plastic tails.

Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Lots of small fish in shallows. Push out into 6-10’ weeds to find “eaters” on medium fatheads or Forage Minnow Spoons tipped with waxies.

Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair – Not a lot of attention, but some anglers targeting using medium shiners on tip-ups in 5-8’ of green weeds.

Wind, rain and a 40 hour stretch of above freezing temps with highs into mid-50’s could help the conditions. Hopefully, it’s a long enough stretch to melt down snow and slush and allow ice to build back up again with the following cold.

Most reports of solid, good ice are ranging 3-7” with edges of the lakes experiencing the worse of the slush depending if it’s the side (usually the east) the snow blew into.


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