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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 5/21/24

Fishing has picked up as we move into the later part of May.  For some species, the season seems to have charged ahead of schedule.  Water temps range from 54 degrees on larger lakes to 65 degrees on smaller lakes and the dark water of Flowages.  Overall averages about 58-62 degrees.  With the Memorial holiday weekend and the Musky opener coming up, expect lots of anglers to be out enjoying the good fishing!


Crappie:  Excellent – Lots of reports from anglers finding staging, bedding and post spawn Crappies depending on the size and average surface temperature of the lakes.  Small plastics such as tubes and Mini-mites fished below floats or without, small grub/spinner combos (beetle spins, Charlie Bees) and the good ol’ Crappie minnow and bobber.  Nice catches reported with lots of fish in the 10-12”+ range with slabs up to 15” being caught.  Good to see some anglers not pushing the bedded fish and releasing those big slabs.


Smallmouth Bass:  Very Good-Excellent – Reports of fish bedding on certain lakes already!  Lots of action on staging fish in 8-14’ using swimbaits (Keitech Swing Impact, Berkley Ripple Shads), Wacky worms, Ned rigs, tubes and jerkbaits.  Nice fish of 18-20” reported this past weekend.  Catch and Release only on Smallies. 


Bluegill:  Very Good – Not bedding as some would think (temps need to get higher) but good numbers of nice fish in the shallow weeds of 4-8’.  Tiny tubes, Mini-mites, small leeches and leaf worms.  Nice fish in the 7 ½-9” range with some honest 10”+ to make things very interesting.


Largemouth Bass:  Very Good – LMB roaming shallows, target using swimbaits, jerkbaits, Carolina rigs with sweet beavers or creature baits.  Or do like Ryan Deitz, 16 yrs old from Wisconsin Rapids using a wacky worm in 5’ of water to catch the biggest Largemouth I’ve seen in a longtime up here, 23”- 6 ½#’s!


Walleye:  Very Good-Good – Working tall cabbage in 8-12’ using 1/16 oz weedless jigs tipped with Dace, fatheads or large leeches.  Slip-bobbers also effective, especially towards dusk along the edges of these weed beds.  Casting Rattlin Rouges over 10-14’ edges/breaks has been scoring nice catches for anglers working large lakes where temps run in the mid-50’s still.


Northern Pike:  Very Good-Good – Casting swimbaits of 4-5”, Mepps #3’s : #4’s, chatterbaits and even Daredevils working over green cabbage beds.  Big minnows (chubs, suckers) on a jig or under floats with a wide gap hook and wire leader also effective.  Some nice fish in the upper 20” to low 30” range this week.  Action and size very good.


Yellow Perch:  Not as many people targeting, but nice catches in shallow weeds.  Fish of 8-10”+ from 5-8’ weeds taking medium fatheads and leeches.


Musky have been active in shallows, chasing hooked Bass and Crappies.  Should be a good opener to use shallow twitchbaits, smaller bucktails and swimbaits.


Following some rain midweek through Friday, looks like a good fisherman weekend for the holiday. 


Mosquitoes are starting to show, not bad on the water, but better cover up at the landings.


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