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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 7/12/22

Fifty-two fishing reports a year (give or take) gets repetitive. Well, this week’s report starts out with, as the boys from Monty Python’s Flying Circus would say…” Now for something completely different.”

Dogfish, Bowfin (up here in the North), Mudfish or Swamp Trout (down South), a hard fighting, never say quit fish that are native to our waters and despite being listed as “rough fish” are really just a natural part of the aquatic diversity of our lakes. Despite accusations from anglers that they “eat fish”, well actually sometimes, but mostly 70-75% of the time, they eat crayfish. Loons, on the other hand, (except when feeding insects to their young) always eat fish. Pont being? Bowfin are fun to catch, are good for the lake’s ecosystem, so just let ‘em go (unless you’re going to eat one.)!

Dogfish: Very Good – Nobody is targeting, but Dogfish are biting. Most on jig and bait (crawler, leech or minnow combos). Relating to thick weeds and drowned wood. Use pliers to dehook – sharp teeth!

Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Outside coontail edges of 12-16’. Ned rigs hard to beat. Second choice drop-shotting in similar areas. Some good evening top-water action on Whopper Ploppers, Pop-R’s

Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Work shallow running cranks that run at weed top level (3-5’ below surface). Square Bills, Shallow Shad Raps and Lipless Cranks all good choices. Once action slows, Wacky Worming and Ned Rigs top bets.

Bluegill: Good – Action on live bait (leeches, worms, small minnows) and tiny plastic-bodied jigs. Evenings providing good popper action for fly fishing anglers.

Yellow Perch: Good – Probing pockets in cabbage using medium leeches or small crawlers (beavertails).

Northern Pike: Good – Pike action best over cabbage flats in 7-12’ using spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. Cloud and wind help improve action.

Crappie: Fair-Good – Weed tops in 8-14’ using Gapen Freshwater Shrimp and 1/16 oz Beetle spins. Tiny jigs and Mini-Mites suspended below small floats when windy working well. On Flowages seek suspended Crappies over drowned wood along river channel edges using medium fatheads below slip floats.

Walleye: Fair (but improving) – Rocks and gravel getting more attention as weeds thicken and, surprisingly, algea blooms on some smaller lakes showing up already. Leeches and crawlers first and second choices, though redtails working along deeper (18-24’) gravel humps.

Musky: Fair-Poor – Not a lot of reports, though some smaller (28-36”) fish being caught by fly anglers and those using smaller bucktails

Overall fishing conditions improving, or should I say settling into their summer patterns. Most surface temps in the mid-70’s


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