Minocqua Area Fishing Report

A very unusual warm early April has most of our lakes completely ice free. The few exceptions being the largest lakes, Fence and Trout. But with air temps hitting 80 degrees on Monday (4/5) that won’t last long.


It’s rare to see such an early ice out with open water and such nice weather. Anglers are out checking on Crappie spots, Perch spots and getting the kinks out of their equipment.


Crappie: Good-Very Good – Anglers finding Crappies filtering through standing weeds in 6-8’ of water. Spooking easily, so long cast required with small floats and minnows or tiny hair jigs. While still a long way off from spawning, some anglers reporting Crappies moving close into shallow brush. Most likely to soak up warmth that helps with their egg production later.


Yellow Perch: Good – Below dams that are open to fishing (The Rainbow Dam closes April 10th as a sanctuary until May 1st). Jig and medium fats or pieces of crawlers, lindy rigs or floats in the eddies work.


Bluegill: Poor – Just no reports as of now. Most interest in Crappies and Perch.


With ice off so early and so much warm weather, expect almost all Walleye spawning to be finished by May 1st. A good post spawn bite should occur, but lots can happen here in the Northwoods between now and then.


Catch & Release Bass IS open.


Panfish (Crappie, Bluegill, Yellow Perch) IS open.


NO Walleye fishing is open up here with the exception of the research Lake Escanaba with its one over 28” regulation.


The closed season is to give some species a break from harvest and pursuit. Please be aware and respect these rules. Rules like these and bag limits are meant to ensure opportunities for the future, so everyone can enjoy for years to come.