top of page

Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 12/18/23

The continued mild December has stretched out this “early” ice bite.  By now we would expect 10-12+” of ice that would push much of the bite deeper, instead we seem to be holding in the 4-7” range.  The five days of below freezing prior to Thursday (12/14) firmed and maybe added an inch to the ice.  The weekend’s warmth and wind took back whatever we gained plus opened lakes such as Trout, Fence and Tomahawk.  Doesn’t’ look like any real cold until the 1st of the year.


This continued pattern of mild weather is playing havoc on anglers wanting to drive on the ice (though there is some ATV traffic on lakes of 6-8” of ice) and things don’t look good for snowmobilers.  If ice fishing is your thing, this should be a good time to come up and get on the ice, tourism traffic will be lighter than usual as chances of a “White” Christmas look pretty slim.


Walleye:  Very Good – Action peaked again by Saturday night (12/16) as Walleye activity increased and nice catches reported.  Jigging raps, spoons once again providing good bites on active fish, reports of Eyes moving up 3-4’ off bottom to hit artificials.  Tip-up with shiners (weeds) or suckers (wood, mud) producing nice, plump 15-19” “eaters” with some 20+” overs being released.  Nice job anglers, those are our future.


Crappies:  Very Good – Reports picked up nicely as anglers catching nice 10-13” fish from both weeds of 6-9’ and from basins in 20-25’.  Plastics or grubs on wobbling rocker style spoons, as well as tip-downs with Crappie minnows all producing.  Good reports still on the new Tikka Flash lures tipped with spikes.


Northern Pike:  Very Good – Flags flying for anglers using big shiners in 6-13’ of waters.  Nice fish into the lower 30” range reported.


Bluegill:  Good-Very Good – Following a couple days of reluctant bites, Gills turned on by weekend.  Mostly in 5-8’ weeds, nice Gills of 7-8 ½”.  Now is the time, before ice thickens, to find Gills active in the shallower bays.


Largemouth Bass:  Good-Very Good – Jigging “fry” shaped jigs and spoons loaded with waxies or minnow heads, tip-downs with fats or tip-ups with medium shiners producing good action for anglers on Largemouth, whether or not that’s their target.


Yellow Perch:  Good – Larger Perch (9-11+”) being caught roaming shallow cabbage of 5-8’.  Not schools, but small groups of 3-5 fish.  Medium fatheads, small shiners on tip-downs or tip-ups.  Fry shaped jigs (Forage Fry, Tikka Flash) loaded with waxies also scoring.


With ice reports still varying from 4-7” (with a few 8” reports from further north and bays on flowages) caution still advised.  Today’s snow (2-6” further north) probably won’t stay much past the weekend with highs in mid to upper-30’s, but should shield the ice from losing thickness.  High wind blowing bulk of snow off ice, use caution on windward shorelines where snow drifts could hide and insulate poor ice.


Upcoming Tournaments

Jan 6th – 73rd Annual Rib Lake Area Ice Fishing Contest – Rib Lake

Jan 6th – 16th Annual NCO Club & AMVETS Post 724 Ice Fishing Tournament – Lake Nokomis

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


bottom of page