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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 2/21/22

Dangerous road conditions, wind, some snow (more on its way) put ice fishing on a back seat I most peoples’ minds as just getting to the Northwoods was a questionable task. Even the one “nice” day (Sunday 2/20) was windy, off-setting the warmer temps of upper 30’s we’ve been longing for.

Now travel on lakes is becoming more iffy as snow depth limits the use of ATV’s without tracks and smaller SUV’s.

There was a bright side to those that did get out on the ice, an uptick in the fishing.

Northern Pike: Good – Anglers using large shiners reported good action from Pike in the 25-34” range in weed beds of 6-12’. Frozen smelt has also been effective as signs of heavy feeding going on with comments of how “fat the Pike have been” is common. On some lakes, shallow weedy types, watch for signs of low oxygen. Shiners and suckers dying quickly need to be raised higher in the water column to keep in areas of better oxygen levels. Don’t worry, the Pike will be there also. One foot increments are all you need till you get better life.

Yellow Perch: Good – Basin fishing for the most part, Halis, Pimples tipped with spikes and wigglers to get down quickly. Mud bottoms of 18-18’. Watch for fish 2-4’ off bottom cruising through.

Crappie: Good – Best action over basins as well. Crappies taking glow tungsten jigs (#4mm) tipped with waxies as well as Crappie minnows on tip-downs when wind allows. Fish suspending 2-8’ off bottom will also take tungsten jigs with hair (VMC Fly Jig, Bullfly Jig) tipped with spike or waxie.

Largemouth Bass: Good – Mid-morning through mid-afternoon best. Good results on tip-ups with medium shiners and jigging #3 jigging Raps with a small minnow head off middle hook. Reports of Bass to 18” this weekend!

Bluegill: Good-Fair – Wind hurts the Bluegill angler, makes hole hopping tough! Some decent Gills for the anglers using tungsten (to fight the wind) tipped with mousses or waxies. Plastics tough to use under windy conditions.

Walleye: Fair – Finally an upgrade! Anglers reported some decent (some actually good) bites an hour prior to dark and the hour just after. 12-16’ breaks leading up to weeds. Most reports on suckers, yet one group scored on big shiners left over from Pike fishing to catch slot fish of 20-24”. Good sign of things to come.

Two weekends left of the gamefish season on our lakes here. Walleye, Pike and Bass open through the 6th of March. Slush and snow becoming an issue as is ice thickness on some lakes (as in too much, almost time for extensions in places). More cold nights (sub-zero) with highs in upper teens/low 20’s won’t alleviate snow/slush issues this week. But fish activity appeared to pick up and should unless too much snow shuts down light penetration and closes shallower fishing down for a while. Hopefully not.


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