top of page

Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 2/13/24

Once again there was much concern in regards to the Northwoods ice conditions following last weeks temps that cracked the 50 degree mark on Thursday (2/8).  It definitely is correct to be worried as pressure cracks (Willow, Rainbow Flowages) and open water areas (North Trout, Squirrel) and areas of thin ice (South Trout – 4-5”).  On the other hand, we’ve had below freezing temps since Friday (2/9) and the sounds of “making” ice can be heard at night and mornings.


Ice thickness has been measured on many area lakes at 6-10” with 7 ½ - 8 ½ being the most common.  No matter where you go, always check, especially along shorelines by walking out and drilling first.  Usually (but not always) the shoreline ice has been thinner than ice out towards the middle.


Northern Pike:  Very Good – Lots of action on tip-ups baited with large shiners and suckers in depths from as little as 4’ out to 14’ where weeds are found.  Good numbers and some very nice fish in the 30-36” range this past week.  Let some of those big girls (30”+) go to grow and pass on those good genetics!


Crappie:  Very Good-Good – The bite slowed on Sunday (2/11) and Monday (2/12) a bit.  Action could still be found in 11-13” weeds but Crappies held tight to bottom those mornings.  Coaxing bites with tungsten jigs (5’s & 6’s due to wind) tipped with plastics (pink, yellow, white) best.  Basin fish (20-34’) moving rather quickly, most being caught 4-6’ off bottom using “blingy” type jigs and spoons to lure fish up to bite, followed up by a more subdued tungsten jig to deliver a subtle piece of plastic or grub to seal the deal.  Lots of reports of good action with some 14-15” slabs to brag about.


Bluegill:  Good-Very Good (size) – As with Crappies, anglers finding weed relating fish in 6-10’ using tungsten jigs to deliver waxies, spikes and plastics (red, motor oil, black and purple) to hold their lines down in the wind.  Nice catches with enough 7 ½ - 8 ½“ ers for a meal or two.  Others plying open water Gills in 20-34’ finding large Gills (8-11”, yes, I saw the pics) suspending 4-8’ off bottom taking large size 6mm tungsten jigs to offer spikes and dark plastics!


Yellow Perch:  Good – Lots of action Perch, seemingly all over weed flats (4-10’) adjoining mud flats (12-18’) but you really need to sort through for the keepers (8-11”).  Off shore over sandgrass humps (18-22’) or mud bottoms (20-30’) using Halis, Pimples and Kastmasters to get wigglers down has been most effective for better average eaters.


Walleye:  Good-Fair – Conditions over the weekend slowed from what was a good week during the warm spell.  Jigging with Raps, Tikka Minnows and Slender spoons in 9-12’ along weed edges at dusk.  Tip-ups with suckers best from 4:30 PM through 6:30 PM, then another bite about 10:00 PM.


Largemouth Bass:  Good-Fair – Lots of reports earlier in the week, quieted down by windy weekend.  Medium shiners in cabbage of 8-12’.  Jigging with Bluegill shaped lures (Forage Minnows, Chubby Darters, K-Rips) also picking up fish for the rod & reel gang


Bullheads:  Poor – What happened to our Bullhead reports?  Someone isn’t trying hard enough to score…or they are staying tight lipped so as not to see a rush on these tasty mid-winter treats!


Forecast, forecast, forecast…

What do they know?  If we can believe it, we may see at least 15 straight nights of sub-freezing temps (some in teens to single digits).  Only a few afternoons above freezing in that span.  We hear the lakes making ice, as I wrote at the start of this report.  If you had asked at the beginning of February, I would have said I doubt we will have ice by the end of the month, but now it looks like things will improve on into March.  Still not enough for trucks or large UTV’s as of now, but easy access and good travel by foot (bring creepers), ATV and snowdogs.


Just three weekends left to Wisconsin inland lakes gamefish, so get yourself and your tip-ups out on the ice.


Upcoming Events

Feb 17th – Lake Tomahawk Family Fisheree – Lake Tomahawk

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

Feb 24th – Winter free fishing contest – Any Lake – Sponsored by County Line Station

Feb 24th – Kids Ice Fishing Day – Lake Minocqua – Sponsored by Northwoods Chapter of Muskies, Inc

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


bottom of page