Minocqua Area Fishing Report

With the poplar and dogwood trees blooming, it’s a sure sign of Crappie time! Surface temps are rising quickly on lakes as warm weather with lots of sunshine is adding energy to the shallows! Oddly, not all bodies of water are seeing a rush of life to the shallows. Certain species on some lakes have held out in deeper water (Walleyes in mud flats), but this should change soon.


Crappies: Very Good – In to spawn, anglers are finding bedding fish in 1-4’ of water depending on water clarity and available backing or cover. Following a weekend of high pressure, some areas are picked over, move around to less obvious spots, but keep movement down and cast long not to spook fish.


Northern Pike: Very Good – Live bait and artificial lures all producing well as Pike active in new weed growth. Swim baits a good choice as anglers can “count down” to different depths, retrieve speed and vary action (straight, hop, etc.)


Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Catch and Release only as season not open ‘til June 19th. But action good with big fish in the 19-21” range being caught in shallows (anglers reporting bedding Smallies already) using X-Raps, Husky Jerks or going soft with plastic craws or Ned worms.


Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Cruising shallows taking offerings meant for other species (Crappie, Smallmouth). Black, brown hair jigs, Ned worms, Wacky worms all good choices. Some anglers working spinner baits over 3-5’ mud/muck bottom areas also doing well.


Walleye: Fair-Good – Surprisingly, not a lot of hot shallow bites. Bright, cloudless days could be affecting, but a few days fish turned on in shallow weeds at times. Jigging leeches, fatheads, dace on 1/16 oz weedless Jacks or Invasion jigs. In some bodies of water Walleyes remaining over mud flats feeding on Mayfly larvae. In these areas small to medium leeches best.


Bluegills: Good – Lots of fish roaming shallows, mostly smaller fish. Worms, thunder bugs, poppers behind clear floats. Not a very targeted species right now with focus on Crappies.


Yellow Perch: Good – Little attention, but a few anglers targeting Perch in wood scoring nice catches on medium fatheads, half crawlers or thunder bugs.


I’ve been seeing Smallies bedding already, Musky paired up in shallows and suckers also working beds at the same time the Crappies are spawning. Not totally unusual, but as early in the month and so condensed at the same time is. Weed growth seems behind, but improving with all the recent sun and warmth. Weekend should be good, yet forecast says wet - but that can change.