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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 2/19/24

Unfortunately, a cold and windy holiday (President’s Day) weekend greeted anglers who had the time off.  Lows in the single digits with winds in the upper teens to upper 20’s made things feel worse.  Lots of anglers still gave it their best (considering we are not accustomed to such “brutally” cold weather this winter).  Action overall dipped, still some fish being caught, just a bit slower and harder to do over the past week.


Crappie:  Good-Fair – Weed bite (8-13’) tougher as ability to move about in wind and detect light bites a chore.  Crappies held tight to bottom, use tungsten jigs to get bait to hold – plastics in pink, yellow, silver or waxies best.  Deadstick inside shacks with Crappie minnows picking up some fish.  Basin Crappies over 22-32’ responding to Kastmasters, Tikka Flashes and #5 or #6 mm tungsten in glow tipped with waxies.  Fish on the move, with wind it was reported to sit and wait for them to return rather than chase.  Use a flashy spoon to draw attention, then have second rod ready with a subtle offering if fish seem spooky.


Northern Pike:  Good-Fair – A noticeable slow down from the past few weeks.  Mornings not as good as afternoons (watch for moonrise times, thanks Shelly)!  Not much for signs of heavy feeding but that will come.  Some nice fish of 31-34” this weekend with most on large shiners and suckers on tip-ups.


Bluegill:  Good-Fair – Surprisingly better Gills in deep water (28-34’) with a number of fish in the 9-10+” range (measured w/ photos).  Heavy tungsten jigs (4,5 & 6 mm) to get down baited with red spikes or red, motor oil or black plastic.  Weed Bluegills tougher to pin point.  Should improve with warm up, but over the weekend tighter lipped.  Taking jigs tipped with waxies, the smallest you could fish with in the wind.


Yellow Perch:  Good-Fair – Mud, deeper sandgrass Perch in 18-30’.  Wigglers on #2 Pimples, Halis or Z-Rips.  Best very early AM or late afternoon.  Some reports of Perch relating to sandgrass flats in 16-22’ being caught on jigs tipped with small minnows.  Still some nicer Perch in weeds taking waxies on small sunfish shaped jigs (T-Rips, Tikka Flash).  Anglers haunted by “ghost” flags reporting bigger Perch (10-12”) on smaller shiners on their tip-ups.


Walleye:  Fair – Despite some nicer fish reported (up to 27”) this weekend, bite for the most part (some exceptions) from 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM.  Suckers along the deepest weed edges (8-12’) and over humps supporting sandgrass or rock.  Little jigging action (cold?).


Largemouth Bass:  Fair-Poor – Cold likely culprit for reduced reports.  Watch for spike mid-week as temps climb into 40’s.  Medium golden shiners best.


Bullheads:  Poor – Second weekend without a Bullhead report – step it up people!


With cold and little snow on ice, conditions getting better as most reports have 8-15” of ice on most lakes.  Caution still advised especially on spots on the Rainbow and Willow Flowages as well as North Trout and an incident that raises some concern on White Sand Lake on the Lac Du Flambeau Reservation.


Now to the guessing portion of our report…If we can believe the forecast (pause for laughter to subside) we will only have one night in the next 15 above freezing (good for making or not losing ice).  Fourteen of the next 15 days our highs will be above freezing (2/21 to 48 degrees), not great, but not enough to get worried.  But seven of those 15 days will be above 40 degrees.  With that said, we should still have safe, fishable ice as the last two weeks of the Inland gamefish season ends at Midnight, March 3rd.  Shanty’s (North of Hwy 64) off by March 17th.


Upcoming Events

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

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


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