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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 5/7/24

The 2024 Inland Gamefish Opener is in the books.  Nice weather, compared to most openers, greeted early morning anglers the first day until the skies opened up late morning.  Water temps of 46 degrees (large, deep lakes) to 52 degrees (smaller lakes and flowages) greeted open morning anglers.  The urge to go shallow from past experiences (or reading this fishing post) did NOT pan out for most of us.  Yet, Walleyes were caught and a LOT of anglers were out on the water!


Walleye:  Good – With most bodies of water in the “post spawn” time frame for Walleye, it was expected they would have the feed bag on in the shallows, gorging on young Perch and minnows.  While some reports of success on smaller Walleyes in tight, better catches came from somewhat deeper water, many in 12-15’.  Many of these fish were full of Mayfly larvae rooted out of the mud.  Air temps fell overnight into Sunday, crept up, fell again into Monday then surged with the sunshine to reach into upper 50’s.  Activity in the shallower water picked up, not fast and furious, but a show of what’s to come.  Live bait in the form of large fatheads, Dace minnows, leeches (and even wigglers on a slip-float) a few anglers found Walleyes hitting #6 Flicker Shads and #6 Shad Raps over 10-15’ flats next to breaks.  On larger, cooler lakes, Lindy rigging chubs or suckers (3-5”) in 18-25’ off known spawning habitat worked best.


Northern Pike:  Good – Not a lot targeted on purpose, but plenty of incidental catches on minnow/chub and jig presentations.  Big River Shiners under a float good at this time of year.  As focus spreads from Walleye, we will get more reports.


Crappie:  Fair-Good – Very temperature oriented, warm afternoon best.  Hanging in 6-10’ weeds, yet moving into shallows at the warmest parts of the day to soak up some sun.


Largemouth Bass:  Fair - Not much attention, but like Crappies and Gills, moving up tight during warm spells.  Wacky worms, jig and creature and swim jigs around shoreline cover.


Yellow Perch:  Fair - Few nice Perch (8-10”) picked up by shallow water Walleye anglers.  Action should improve as these fish spawned after Walleye and should be getting hungry.


Smallmouth Bass:  Fair - Not being targeted.  Still catch and release only until June.


Bluegill:  Poor-Fair - No reports


While the opener wasn’t as action packed as some others, there is still a very good post spawn bite building.


In other news…Due to an emergency rule meeting with the Natural Resource Board and Department of Natural Resources last Thursday (5/2) and lightning-fast signing from the Governor’s office, the Lake Tomahawk/Lake Minocqua Chain is open as of this writing (5/7) for hook and line angling for Walleye.  Bag limit of 1 (18-22”) on the Chain per day.


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