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Minocqua Area Report – 2015

  • reverend
    Participant
    Rhinelander, WI
    Posts: 1115
    #1586273

    I finally got on ice! After scouting Thursday and Friday looking for ice, I finally got out on some fishable ice Saturday. The father-in-law was visiting, so he and I spent a chilly day Saturday chasing pike and pannies. Of course, the weather that finally gave us a little ice also gave us some nasty high pressure cold front conditions to deal with. Lots of neutral fish, lots of lookers. Tip-ups kept us occupied in between random wandering perch and by the end of the day we scratched out a few perch and a couple 30″ pike for the oil. The much anticipated evening walleye bite never really came on…we zipped on ‘eyes that day.

    ICE: What we have in this area ranges from good to non-existent. I was fishing 4″-5″, but this was ice that had survived the warmth and rain and healed with the cold temps. Similarly, bays and coves that managed to hold on through the warmth had fishable ice. Most other lakes had only recently frozen or were in the process-if not still open. I can’t over stress caution here. With the snow flurries we’ve gotten all the ice looks the same and much of it wasn’t usable. Flowages like the one I was on have risen as much as 4ft or more and refrozen around the edges. In some places(like the area I was) you have to negotiate a few feet of new, thin ice to get to good ice but in other areas of the same body it’s more like 30’ or more before you hit solid ice. Many, many places are still currently a no-go even though they look just like the last place you saw guys standing on. Even lakes that held ice typically didn’t hold it completely, so many have good ice right next to a thin crust of new. If you’re not from the area, or haven’t been able to scout and keep an eye on the ice forming, exercise extreme caution. Spud bars are a must, as well as picks; I didn’t wear one but I highly recommend a life jacket and a buddy until this stuff firms up. Our forecast will let us keep making ice, but slowly at best for a bit yet. There is some fishable ice to be found, just be darn aware of the conditions if you go. If it seems sketchy, it probably is-at least for awhile yet. Be safe out there! waytogo
    @Icefanatic-message me for details.
    -Rev

    bigpike
    Participant
    Posts: 6255
    #1586293

    Thanks Rev. Hit Phillips area lake today. 3″ of nice ice. Hitting Solberg on Tuesday. 8 today including this 9.5″ gil. Saw guys fishing the “crappie hole” in town on Sunday. I don’t know if I am brave enough for that.

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    bigpike
    Participant
    Posts: 6255
    #1586297

    Reverand are we gonna get that ice for the Nokomis trip this season?

    reverend
    Participant
    Rhinelander, WI
    Posts: 1115
    #1586305

    Reverand are we gonna get that ice for the Nokomis trip this season?

    Don’t know, Nokomis was still wide open as of Saturday-I’m sure it’ll get there. Plenty of other places nearby there that hold fish though! waytogo

    bigpike
    Participant
    Posts: 6255
    #1586347

    Amen. I want to get back to a lake I fished last year early ice for perch a little north of Nokomis. Non stop action, lots of sorting. Fun fun fun… smash First ice on some of these lakes might be first week of January

    reverend
    Participant
    Rhinelander, WI
    Posts: 1115
    #1586519

    Count me in! I’m off until the 4th, not completely free but still should have some time open. We should get out.

    bigpike
    Participant
    Posts: 6255
    #1586557

    The action is heating up around here Reverand. You might need to road trip.

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    bigpike
    Participant
    Posts: 6255
    #1586562

    A little chunck of gulp…yum

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    1. 20151222_082128.jpg

    chuck100
    Participant
    Platteville,Wi.
    Posts: 1652
    #1586636

    Bigpike a buddy has a place northeast of you.We were thinking of coming up new years wknd.Would appreciate if you could keep up ice conditions.His place is on the pike-round lake chain.We will drive to any fishable ice.We got nothing here in the southwest corner.

    bigpike
    Participant
    Posts: 6255
    #1586638

    Ice is firming up nicely. Stay in protected bays and known safe spots. Move out from there. We have snow since last Thursday. Ice is way better now than last week but precautions are still in order. I am moving out in calculated steps.

    icefanatic11
    Participant
    Birnamwood, WI
    Posts: 554
    #1586672

    Got to make the trek up to the “top of the world today” that’s what Lac Vieux Desert is called in our family. I know LVD may be out of the “minocqua area but some may appreciate the report. Turned out to be a giant waste of time, I drilled over 150 holes on the day throughout the entire indian village shore, used the camera in every single hole and found only a few small bluegills to bite. 5 to six inches in the bay there but the “horns” or channel out to the bigger water was still open. Talked to a few fellas who were the other side of the lake and that was equally as bad over there. Sounds like I should have made the stop in the Phillips area on my way up, at least someone is having some luck, man this year has been frustrating.

    Moving on, checked a smaller lake to the East of Land O’ Lakes which I fish for gills under the ice and that was still open as well, steamed my way over to Minocqua and Big Arb. Nobody in Mielke bay today, still mostly open on Big Arb. Schoolhouse was open as well Minocqua. Stacks bay ended up having about 3 inches of decent ice so I spent the remainder of the afternoon there, never caught a gill over 7, all went back to fight on another day, did seem some guys with some girthy, healthy pike on the ice. Finally wrapped up the day driving by my ole stomping grounds: Pelican Lake. Walked out about 30 feet on the west side just to drill a hole and check the ice and found about an inch and a half to two inches, the ice cracked as I was drilling, looks like many dark areas out there as well! This weather has been awful and tomorrow does not look good for us, more rain and wind. At any rate be patient and if anyone is finding solid ice in areas where fish seem to be worth chasing let me know, most of my home lakes have been exhausted with no fish or no ice. Hoping I can get back out on Saturday after the holidays. Speaking of which, have a happy holidays and more importantly tight lines everyone, glad to see an increase in activity on here!

    Cody

    reverend
    Participant
    Rhinelander, WI
    Posts: 1115
    #1586762

    Bigpike a buddy has a place northeast of you.We were thinking of coming up new years wknd.Would appreciate if you could keep up ice conditions.His place is on the pike-round lake chain.We will drive to any fishable ice.We got nothing here in the southwest corner.


    @Chuck100
    :I’m out of town till Sunday, but once I’m back I’ll be off for a week or so and scouting. The chain you mention should be ok by then, I’m fishing lakes very near that area. We’ll keep you posted.

    reverend
    Participant
    Rhinelander, WI
    Posts: 1115
    #1586768

    The action is heating up around here Reverand. You might need to road trip.

    I am road tripping today…except in the wrong direction! I’ll look you up when I get back Sunday; deal?

    Thanks for the report Icefanatic!

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1587648

    So I just got back up north and am looking at some of the places that I would normally look at this time… I had a friend on one of the lakes on “J” east of Woodruff on 3″-4″ tonight… Was thinking about checking a couple of smaller lakes NW of town later tomorrow, but had an issue with the truck which I hope to get taken care of tomorrow, also have one other item, then other than trying to get the dog out for a bit of exercise (grouse) would like to try to be on ice somewhere… I also have another friend who said that he was on LSG and that they might be driving wheelers on Lost… I am still walking until I am sure that where I am going has 6″ and that might be interesting after the storm gets done with us Mon./Tues.

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1587740

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 12-21-15:

    These reports are hard to write when given the conditions we have here. Just enough (3-5”) ice to get out on in some areas, while most lakes remain open. Our one chance of real ice making cold (6 degrees on 12-19) was mixed with just enough wind to keep new ice from forming. Places that did have ice made more, but most lakes don’t have safe ice. Typically I don’t like to name lakes on these reports. My thinking is to give information to help anglers know what is working and what to look for. The rest is up to them to apply that info to the lakes of their choice. Unfortunately there are not a lot of choices right now, so I’m naming lakes where fishable ice can be located and is being used.

    Stacks Bay- Lake Minocqua: 4-5” of ice. Good pike, bass, bluegills and crappies (walleyes must be released.) Nice gills to 8 ½”, crappies to 12”, pike to 32”, and bass to 15”.

    Big Arbor Vitae: South Bay up to Milky Bay. (Open water beyond) 3-5” walleyes at dusk, crappies, gills, sunfish, perch.

    Little Arb: Blue Island Bay via snowmobile trail from parking lot. Crappies, gills, few pike, perch, walleye. Sweeney Lake: Numbers of small pike, crappies, perch, gills.

    Rainbow Flowage: Bay off boat landing by Hwy J (Snowmobile Bridge) and over Swamp Creek. Nice crappies, perch. Walleyes more under (15”) than over. A few nice pike to 30”.

    Pickerel: West end from boat landing by Hwy J. Up to 7” in some places, most 3-5” avg. Pike, crappies, gills, bass.

    Buckskin: Open water across from landing by nearest island. Ice fishable up on North end. Crappies, gills, numbers pike, some perch.

    Big Lake (Hwy k west of Boulder Junction): Papoose Bay, enter at State Campground. Crappies, walleyes.

    Alder Lake: South end Manitowish Chain: Good ice of 4-6”, walleyes, perch, crappies. A few lakes typically good(but not right now for safe ice) – Carrol, Madeline, Squirrel, Bearskin.

    Please use caution no matter where you go. Temps may hit 40 degrees with rain Wednesday. Take flotation, rope, spikes and a friend wherever you go. Fishing has been good, but no fish is worth unnecessary risks. Colder weather forecasted for Jan 30th and beyond. Keep eye on our website for updates.

    Thanks, Kurt
    Kurt’s Island Sports Shop

    Mark

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