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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 2/7/23

The arctic blast from last week and crazy winds of last Thursday were actually a blessing to ice anglers. The wind took a lot of top snow off ice and slush dried up very well on most lakes and ice thickness has increased!

Checking ice and travel conditions throughout parts of the Lakeland area saw much improved travel conditions. ATV/UTV travel, untracked, was good. Measurements of 17-19” of ice must be taken with a grain of sale. Some lakes showed good ice while others were “layered” with some having two layers of “gray” crumbly ice over 12-14” of good solid ice.

Yellow Perch: Good – Lots of activity over mud in 22-35’. #’s high, but size need sorting. Fast dropping Hali jigs tipped with wigglers or spikes. Larger Perch found cruising weed flats of 6-10’. Hungry for meat, these Perch more likely to take medium fatheads or rattle spoons with waxies.

Bluegill: Good – Responding well to warm up. Gills being caught using #3 Fiskas tipped with waxies or plastic tails in white, red, purple and motor oil. Fishing weeds and edges of 8-12’.

Crappie: Good – Two locations. Mixed in with Gills in 10-12’ taking small minnows below tip-downs or slow dropping Lethal Cecils or Shrimpos tipped with waxies. Also being caught suspended 4-8’ off the bottom over deep basins of 24-38’. Small glow rattle spoons tipped with waxies or tip-downs baited with small crappie minnows or rosies!

Northern Pike: Fair-Good – Some pick-ups along weed edges of 6-14’. Bite slower than it had been. Check tip-ups often, lifting then dropping bait to get shiners and suckers to move around and help entice strikes.

Walleye: Poor-Fair – Windows of activity seem small. First light and dusk. Smaller baits better as Walleyes in negative feeding moods not as likely to go big. Subtle and smaller. Weed edges at dawn as Walleyes moving out of shallows from night hunts taking smaller suckers.

Largemouth Bass: Poor-Fair – Though usually good at responding to warm ups like the past couple days, not a lot of reports. Small shiners meant for Walleyes scored a few over the weekend.

I’d really like to say the lakes are safe for truck travel, yet I’m still cautious (and haven’t paid off my truck yet). The gray ice (frozen slush) on top is what bothers me. While it seems like plenty of ice, caution still advised. Some bays with heavy traffic are seeing truck travel as these areas have had the snow and slush packed down and ice thickness is better than on untraveled lakes. Use caution. Forecast for highs in the 30’s with a chance of snow Thursday afternoon will add 1-2” on top, but should still be good for travel.

Upcoming Ice Fishing Tournaments

Feb 11th – Plum Lake Ice Fishing Tournament

Feb 18th – Lake Tomahawk Family Fisheree

Feb 18th – Mercer Lions Club Jamboree

Feb 25th – Northwoods Chapter of Muskies Inc. – Kids Ice Fishing Day


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