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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 4/29/24

On the cusp of the 2024 opener!  First opener in three seasons we haven’t been concerned with ice out.  For the most part Walleye spawning is done.  Water temps are averaging 43-46 degrees.  Cool nights (in the 30’s) has kept the warmer days from heating up too quickly.  We have received some rain, not as much as we need but enough to bring lake and Flowage levels up.


Walleye anglers for the opener should for the most part be targeting post spawn Walleyes.  This is a time where your temperature gauge on your electronics becomes very important.  Differences in 1-2 degrees surface temp, from one side of a lake to another, can make all the difference in fish activity.  Wind will push the warmest water (at the surface) across lakes lowering the temperature or the lee side while raising the temperature on the windward side and having a distinct effect on fish activity at this time of year.


Look for any newly emerging green weeds in 2-8’ of water.  This is where insects and minnows will be that draws these hungry post spawn Walleyes in to feed.  A light weight 1/32-1/16 oz jig tipped with a lively fathead minnow, dace, chub or even leech as the water warms into the low 50’s will work great.  Slip-bobbers rig with the same live baits as well as shallow running stick baits in the 3-4” length such as floating Rapalas, Storm Jr Thundersticks and Smithwick Rattlin Rouges are also a great choice.  Just Work these shallow running baits just over the new weed tops.


Northern Pike should also be actively feeding as it’s also the post spawn period for them.  The earlier mentioned stick baits as well as 3-4” swimbaits or a good ol’ jig and chub on a wire leader is always a good choice.


Yellow Perch will also be post spawn.  Typically, the larger Perch will be scattered throughout green weeds.  They really love dragonfly larvae, but will eat minnows, leeches and crawlers just as well.


Crappies have mostly been holding out in 6-8’ of water unless warm sunny days pull them into the 1-2’ shallows.  Tiny tubes, hair jigs or small minnows have been working best.  Any wood in the water will help collect some heat and draw them in a little better.


Bluegills have been seen sunning themselves on warm days in the shallows.


Largemouth Bass are working dark mud bottomed areas for the most part, though I did get a report of big LMB holding up on shallow rocks, fish to 20”, where water was warmer.


Smallmouth Bass anglers finding Smallies on rock/gravel breaks using Ned rigs and hair jigs.


Overall, water temp will be key.  Forecast for rain/clouds should extend the bite on opening day.  Warmer weather on Sunday should bode well for all species as waters start to warm up again.


Walleye Fishing on the Minocqua Chain

As of Friday, April 26th, the Lac Du Flambeau band of Chippewa’s exercised their right to spear the Lake Tomahawk/Minocqua Chain.


So all hook and line anglers understand, there is a process to go through for the DNR to be able to open the catch and keep season for non-tribal harvest.  The chain WILL NOT BE OPEN at the start of Walleye opener May 4th.


The DNR is working on getting a special meeting with the Natural Resource Board (NRB) to work out details to open the season.  Once this meeting is scheduled, make sure to have your comments heard as to what you’d like to see done (i.e. open season, remain catch & release etc)


Please respect the rules and refrain from keeping Walleyes from the chain until the season opens!


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