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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 9/5/23

As summer winds down, temps felt more mid-summer like with highs by Monday (9/4) hitting upper 90’s. Surface water temps surged up, cracking 80 degrees+ on many lakes. That’s quite a jump up from the upper 60’s of mid-week last. We actually had air temp lows in upper 30’s then! With a new front coming in 9/6 and forecasted highs not to crack 60 degrees until Friday after that, angler expectations are all over the board. We’ve seen some species biting better while others seem to have “moved out”.


Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – September is a time where it seems to be two separate locations to find Smallies. Numbers wise and some big fish are relating to gravel/rock humps. Look for these areas in 16-28’, drop-shotting 3” Wacky Worms, minnow imitations and craw imitations. Football jigs with smaller Sweet Beavers and other creature baits also effective. There also seems to be a small population of big Smallies that prefer to work the inside weed lines, mixed in with September Muskies, that love to attack top-water baits such as Whopper Ploppers, Buzzbaits and Topper Stoppers. These fish always are 18”+ fish, big tough guys who don’t mind hanging with the Skis.


Bluegill: Very Good – Actively working over weeds and around docks (perfect timing for Labor Day family fishing.) Nothing special, just worms. waxies or Mini-mites. Some larger Gills being caught around deeper weeds of 10-14’. Some even taking small minnows meant for Crappies.


Yellow Perch: Very Good-Good – Drowned wood and cabbage patches! Perch feeding on small crayfish and insects utilizing these areas taking beavertails, 1/2 crawlers and medium fatheads on light jigs or slip-floats in 6-10’.


Walleye: Good-Fair – Action improving! Despite heat bites building on gravel humps of 15-28’ (depending on lake) jigging/dragging 1/8 oz jigs tipped with crawlers, large fats or medium redtails. Jigging Shiver Minnows and Raps also producing.


Largemouth Bass: Fair-Good – Some of the action has slowed (could be with Musky controlling shallow weeds). Probing deeper weeds with Ned rigs, Ned craws, tubes and Wacky Worms producing. Still some good top-water evening action on frogs, buzzbaits on shallower lakes.


Musky: Fair-Good – With heat, most anglers laid off targeting due to the stress it would put these fish through. Early mornings using fast moving bucktails, top-water lures best. Those that did report fishing noticed action died off when temps started to rise mid-morning. Should improve with cooler weather by weekend.


Northern Pike: Fair – Not loving the heat this weekend. Should see a uptick in action as water cools by week’s end. Some reaction hits on chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, but best on live bait during heat.


Crappie: Fair? – Lots of anglers searching, but not much for lake action. Deep weeds best, but hard to locate. Some Flowage fish found near wood. Medium fatheads under slip-floats best.


The drastic change in temps from Monday (9/4) through Wednesday should make for a bit of a slow down on Thursday. Though the lower water temps shouldn’t be a big issue for anglers targeting Musky, Walleye, Smallies, Crappies, and Pike.

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