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Minocqua Area Report – 2016

  • mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1626737

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-28-16:

    The weather didn’t follow the forecast exactly. Some rain, lots of wind, but overall, fishing remained good.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good. Lots of numbers on a variety of lures and baits (makes them all the more fun to fish for). For plastics, YumDingers and Yamamoto Senkos fished wacky style and staple. Spinner baits by Boonie, Booyah and Northland working over weed tops, as are Chatterbaits. When the wind allows, the lakes mid 70° surface temps are prime for top-water frogs and walk the dog style Zara Spooks. Big Leeches and Crawlers on a 1/16 oz. weedless jig- always a good back up.

    Northern Pike: Very Good-Good. Bladed bats such as Boonies and Chatters are a great choice. Swim baits in the 3 ½ – 4” range as well as stick baits such as Husky Jerks and Rattle Rouges worked over weed tops. Lots of interest in 5-6” chubs and suckers for pike bait this past week.

    Bluegills: Very Good-Good. With most spawns over, next available cover, (mainly weeds, some wood) holding lots of willing bluegills. Small leeches, worm, waxies, and even small crappie minnows are doing well. Tiny tubes, Gulp crickets, mini-mite (red, purple tops) and wet flies. With flat evenings- poppers on the top are a blast.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good-Good. Shadow Raps and Shads in the A.M. shallow. Move out deep to drop-shot off shore humps of 18-20’ using JackALL cross tail shads, Gulp 2 ½ minnows and ½ killer crawlers as well as 3” YumDingers and 3” Senkos.

    Walleyes: Good. Best very early or late, or during high winds (how fun!). Winds bring action shallow using 1/16 oz. slo-poke jigs tipped with small redtails or ½ crawlers. Lipless cranks worked over 3-6’ weeds in wind also effective. Deeper weed edges, off-shore humps later mornings/brighter conditions- 1/8-1/4 oz. jig with X-Large leeches. After dark – lighted slip-floats with big leeches; also casting Rattlin Rouges, and X-Raps.

    Perch: Good. Up in 7-10’ weeds using ½ crawlers and medium fats on slip-floats. Anglers using frozen soft-shelled crayfish scoring over sand grass flats of 14-22’.

    Crappies: Good. Finding crappies taking small 1-1 ½ tubes, Gapen Freshwater Shrimp and small 1” twister tails through top 1/3 of standing cabbage.

    Musky: Fair-Good. Best bet has been evenings on top-water baits such as Pace Makers, Tally Wackers and Whopper Ploppers.

    Despite not being able to trust the weather people, fishing overall has been good. Traffic on the water has been lighter than usual, giving more room for those to show up here to try new places.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1627647

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-28-16:

    Nice days, but, cold mornings have been the past week’s biggest drawback. Morning temps in the 40’s dropping surface temps on some lakes back into the 60’s. Afternoons and evening have been the best times to fish overall.

    Largemouth Bass: Good–Very good. Even this species has been affected by the cold nights. Getting down into the weeds, using heavy jigs with Sweet Beavers, Wacky worming with added weight or just a big leech on a heavy weedless jig has been needed for morning bass anglers. As waters warming, fish are becoming more active during the day. Try pre-rigged plastic worms over weed tops. By warm evenings, top-water action on plastic frogs picking up.

    Bluegills: Good-Very Good. As with the largemouth fishing has been best during afternoons/evenings. Poppers during evenings on top! Small leeches, worms, mini-mite jigs and 1” tubes tipped with waxies in 6-10’ weeds.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good. Off-shore humps, some sand grass flats. Drop-shotting Berkley Gulp minnows (2 ½”), Jackall Crosstaill shads/clone fry, Yum Craws as well as big leeches or soft shells best. Tube jigs working when smallies found shallower along 12-16’ weed lines.

    Perch: Fair-Good. Try In cabbage of 5-9’ using ½ crawlers, medium leeches or medium fatheads. Work sand grass flats of 18-26’ using frozen soft shells on Lindy style rigs or slip-float rigs.

    Pike: Fair-Good. Cold mornings have even hampered this bite. Clear skies and little winds has not helped. Soaking live chubs/suckers of 4-6” best when bite slows. Swimbaits (4”) worked over weeds, slower retrieved blade baits (Boonies, Chatterbaits) picking up fish later in the day. Comet minnows (#4), Daredevles also a good choice over 6-10’ weed beds.

    Crappies: Fair. Live bait best with cooler temps. Small/medium fatheads in tall cabbage of 8-12’ fished 1-2’ down from weed tops.

    Musky: Fair. Weed related fish tough to come by, especially early in the day. Ripping plastic baits over 20-28’ sand grass and spending more time later in the day best.

    Walleye: Fair. Cold mornings is hurting early risers. Evenings, after dark has been best this past week. Work outside weed lines of 14-18’ using crawlers, redtails and XL leeches. Try deep humps topping at 22-26’ Lindy rigging crawlers. After dark, move up into 8-14’ weeds using lighted slip-floats to suspend XL leeches.

    If we can believe the forecast, night-time temps should improve. Daytime highs into the 80’s should bring water temps solidly into the 70’s improving the bites all across the board….believe it as we see it, been fooled before.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1628802

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-11-16:

    Things quieted down traffic wise after the big 4th weekend. Cool mornings haven’t helped the early risers this past week. Late morning through evenings have been best as waters warm back up. Temps forecasted for the 80‘s for the first part of the week. It should bring water temps up. Hopefully action to follow.

    Largemouth Bass: Very good. Dominating many weedbeds of 7-12’. Anglers using spinnerbaits (Boonies), Chatterbaits and lipless cranks scoring active hits. Using swim jigs or 1/8 oz jig/twister combos as well as large leeches accounting for a lot of daytime bass. Topwater action good in the evenings, frogs, Jitterbugs, prop baits.

    Crappies: Very good. Crappies actively taking 1/32 oz jigs tipped with small to medium fatheads, Gapen Freshwater Shrimp, mini-mites and pinkies fished 1-2’ into the tops of cabbage weeds in 6-12’. Small spinners (#0 and #1) and Rooster tails also producing. A 1/32 oz to 1/16 oz jig tipped with a 1-2” twister tail also good search bait.

    Perch: Good. On windy days nice perch of 9-12” being caught on 1/16 oz jigs tipped with small chubs, ½ crawlers in windward blown weeds of 3-6’. With less wind or clear water lakes, target sandrass flats of 18-26’ using frozen soft shells, ½ crawlers or Lindy style rigs.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very good. Shallow morning bites are off due to the cold. Concentrate on off-shore humps or coontail edges using tube jigs or drop-shotting Jackall split tails.

    Bluegills: Very good. Small baits, worms, waxies on small jigs. Small plastic tubes, twisters and mini-mite jigs. Most action in 6-10’ weeds. Some reports on deep clear lakes have fish suspending 6-8’ down along 18’ coontail edges.

    Walleye: Fair-Good. Bite improving some. Best towards evening. Big XL leeches on lighted slip-bobbers over off-shore humps. Daytime flowage bites shallow on windy days, taking crawlers and chubs.

    Pike: Fair to good. Lack of action as of late. Best on live bait (chubs/suckers). Some action twitching Shadow Raps and X-Raps over weeds.

    Musky: Fair. Best reports from fishing deeper water – 20-28’ using rubber baits. Some evening top water action.

    Weather means everything to us anglers and the very uncertain up and down temps, wind direction throwing certain mid-summer patterns for a loop.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1629755

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-18-16:

    Mid-Summer has not been typical. Morning temps in the 40’s put the early bite off. Heat coming in this week should light a fire under a few species as was noted by the afternoon and evening anglers as of late.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good. Good numbers and big fish. Several cracking 21” this weekend, moving the interest in these battlers. Deep humps of 18-28’ holding smallies, from the looks of what they are regurgitating, feeding heavy on crayfish. Drop-shotting JackALL cover craws, Yum Christy Craws as well as 3-4” wacky/dropshot worms from Yum, Jackall and Chompers. Skirted grubs (Chompers and Yamamoto) on ¼ – 3/8 oz. football jigs are also effective. If all else fails- a big leech or crawler is hard to resist for these fish.

    Northern Pike: Very Good. Actively chasing again. Chatterbaits, Boonie Baits, Booyah spinnerbaits as well as 4” swimbaits and 4” twistertails on a 1/8 oz. jig scoring well. Lots of mid 20” fish with enough 29-32”ers to make it interesting. Casting a jig/chub on a 9” wine leader is a good bet. Weedless spoons such as Johnson Silver Minnows on Northland Jaw Breakers also working.

    Crappies: Good. Work weeds of 8-14’ of water. Crappies holding in top 2; of the weeds taking small minnows below floats as well as small 1-2” Mr. Twisters on 1/32 – 1/16 oz. jigs. In the flowages, search out deep wood (14-18’) using medium fatheads.

    Bluegills: Good. Better towards afternoon/evening as water warms. Work weeds of 7-12’. Worms, small leeches, mini-mite jigs tipped with waxies.

    Largemouth Bass: Good. Mornings slow, evenings are best on top-water frogs, buzz baits. During the day, work weed pockets with 4” and 5” wacky worms. Clouds bring bass up to weed tops taking spinnerbaits, 3 ½ swimbaits.

    Walleyes: Fair-Good. Play the wind. Windward shallows pre-front providing nice catches on redtailed chubs. Sun forcing bite deep on off-shore humps on crawlers, X-large leeches using 1/8- ¼ oz. jigs or Lindy rigs.

    Yellow Perch: Fair-Good. Was better the previous week. This species seems to respond to warm weather. ½ crawlers, soft shells, medium fats in 4-8’ weeds or out over 22’ sand grass on the big clear lakes.

    Musky: Fair. While reports just so-so, this week’s forecast for heat (possible 90’s) could bring on the top-water bite we’ve been missing.

    The upcoming heat wave should help spike some activity for smallies (humps), largemouth and muskies (evenings, top-water) yellow perch and off shore humps for walleye. Early mornings and evenings are best, as the heat will also bring out the pleasure boaters and jet skiers!

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1631055

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-24-16:

    A good week of true summer has helped bolster the success of anglers in the Lakeland area for those willing to fish early and late.

    Temps in the upper 80’s brought the surface temps into the upper 70’s, even on the bigger lakes. Warm water means higher metabolism for fish, the shallows (during low light conditions) filled up with schools of small perch for all kinds of predator fish to hunt.

    Walleyes: Very Good. Moved into weedy flats following the perch; hitting well on X-Large leeches, crawlers and redtailed chubs. Some anglers reporting nice catches on #5 and #6 Shad Raps in Yellow Perch, Silver and Purpledescent. Early and late are the key, wind and clouds help, too much sun and the bite stops till dusk. After dark with lighted slip-floats and big leeches!

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good. Responding well to the heat. Overcast on early mornings- work just outside weed points with X-Raps, Husky Jerks, as well as crawlers or leeches. Late morning through late afternoon head out to off shore humps of 18-28’. Drop shot 2 ½ “Jackall split tails, 2 ½” Gulp Minnows, 3” Wacky worms.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good. Cashing in on the influx of minnows in the weeds (8′-12′). From the looks of what both Largemouth and Smallmouth have been spitting up, 2” perch and 1-1 ½ mimic shiners are being gobbled up. Spinnerbaits (Boonies, Booyahs), #3 Mepps Comets, pre-rigged plastic worms (The Worm) and Chatterbaits. Come evening Buzz Baits and top water frogs have been HOT in the slop. Great time to fish surface with Jitterbugs, Hula Poppers, Torpedos, Spooks and Pompadours.

    Northern Pike: Very Good. By the weekend, great reports of anglers working Boonie Baits in weedy bays of 6-9’ towards evening are catching pike of 28-32”. Johnson Silver Minnows dressed with pork skirts or plastic twister tails, 3-4” swimbaits, chatterbaits and stick baits (X-Raps) worked quickly and erratically, eliciting strike!

    Bluegills: Very Good. Morning till late afternoons- work outside weed edges of coontail in 12-18’ for nice gills on small leeches, pieces of crawlers. Towards dusk switch to poppers on dry flies on surface.

    Crappies: Good-Very Good. Deep wood on flowages using medium fatheads. On lakes- target narrow leaf cabbage in 10-14’ of water, fish the top two feet of the weeds using Gapen freshwater shrimp, mini-mites, 1-2” twistertails.

    Yellow Perch: Good-Very Good. Good #’s in weeds of 6-12’ using medium fats, ½ crawlers. Big perch out over sandgrass of 18-26’ using ½ crawlers or softshells.

    Musky: Good. Heat has fish up and moving in bays, chasing big bladed bucktails and spinnerbaits as well as topwater towards and after dusk.

    Heat in our area almost always is followed by storms. Keep an eye on the forecast and target pre-front conditions for the hottest bite.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1631969

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 8-2-16:

    While not as warm as the previous week, the continued warm weather meant some stable patterns and fairly consistent fishing. A few high sky days meant the best times were early or late, but, overall the bite has remained good.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very good. Off-shore humps remain best. Rock and gravel of 18-28’. Drop-shotting rubber craw imitations, 2 ½” Gulp minnows. The outside weed edges have also produced well for anglers tossing tubes and wacky worms.

    Largemouth Bass: Very good. Top water action in the evenings on plastic frogs, Jitterbugs, Hula Poppers and weedless spoons. During mid-day work spinnerbaits and chatter baits as well as pre-rigged plastic worms over cabbage beds of 8-12’. Early mornings twitch baits are drawing fish up.

    Walleye: Good-Very good. Must fish prime times to get best bites. Mid mornings to mid afternoons not so good. Crawlers and leeches are most effective for walleyes up in shallow weeds during low light periods. Redtail chubs doing well also as fish are feeding heavily on small perch. A few reports of casting #6 Shad Raps and Flicker Shads at dawn and dusk.

    Bluegills: Good-Very good. Actively taking poppers towards dusk around emergent vegetation (Lily pads, etc.). During the day 6-10’ cabbage on most lakes though deeper lakes seeing best fish suspending off coontail edges in 12-18’.

    Pike: Good. Fish bladed baits (#4 Mepps, Boonie Baits or Chatter baits) as well as 4” swim baits over heavy cover.

    Perch: Good. Drowned wood (tree stumps or cribs) best as these fish love to pick crayfish off these areas. Half crawlers, medium leeches, medium fatheads best.

    Crappies: Good. Fish tops of tall, narrow leaf cabbage. Small minnows and jigs or 1-2” twister tails.

    Musky: Fair-Good. Surprisingly best action on recent outing on 7” twitch baits. Though typically bucktails this time of year. Throw top water early and late in the day.

    Surface temps have cracked 80 degrees on many lakes due to lots of sun. Mid days have been a bit slower on high pressure days. Best to chase bluegills and Largemouth during those times.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1632968

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 8-7-16:

    A mix of cooler weather and some high pressure systems took the edge off the hot bite for several species this past week. Still, for anglers willing to fish early and late in the day, good catches are still being reported.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good. Maybe it’s due to sheer numbers, but the green bass just don’t seem to slow down. Wacky worming has been HOT! This extremely simple method of pitching a center hooked plastic worm into 6-10’ cabbage has made amateur anglers feel like professionals. Pre-rigged plastic worms, spinnerbaits such as Boonie baits, as well as weedless spoons and swimbaits have all been producing.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good. Outside weed edges and off-shore gravel humps. Outside weed edges, 10-14’ use tube jigs or count down lipless cranks. On off-shore humps – drop-shot 2 ½ gulp minnows, Jackall pintails or 3” Senkos. Plastic craws by Yum and Jackall are also effective. Skirted grubs on heavy jigs to work the tops of 18-28’ humps are producing nice smallies to 20”.

    Northern Pike: Good. Casting blade baits over weed tops (Boonies, Chatter, Jaw Breakers, Johnson Silver Minnows) as well as jigging chubs and suckers producing well for anglers targeting pike in 7-12’ weeds.

    Walleye: Good. Slower than earlier due to high pressure days. Still good for early risers using jig/crawlers-leech combos in 7-12 cabbage. Off-shore humps also holding walleyes taking big leeches.

    Bluegill: Good. Cool weather affected the hot bite some. Small leeches and worms are best. With mid-week heat, go back to top water poppers.

    Musky: Good-fair. A better bite up in the weeds. Twitch baits (7” cranes, shallow raiders) are a good choice as has been large bladed bucktails. A 50 ½ reported early last week, most action from upper 30” to mid 40” fish.

    Yellow Perch: Good-fair. Cool weather slowed bit a bit. ½ crawlers and medium fatheads are working around cribs, submerged timber and also heavy cabbage of 4-8’.

    Crappies: Good-fair. Best over deep wood on flowages (12-16’) with medium fatheads.

    A mid-week warm up (temps in 80’s) should improve fishing. Cool weather moving in by Thursday/Friday could slow things again. Even so, overall fishing has and should continue to be good – maybe just not as fast as the previous two weeks.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1634300

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 8-15-16:

    Usually by mid-August, we will see a night or two cold enough to start just a few sugar maples turning – hasn’t happened yet. Still warm, although cooling down a bit. Surface temps averaging 75° on most lakes.

    The heat has unfortunately brought about a cisco kill on the Minocqua Chain, as the thermocline deepens and these fragile, cool water fish have a tough time coping with the lower oxygen levels. Could be happening on other lakes, but this one is the only one we’ve heard of.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good. Despite a few days of unusual wind (N.E) and some high pressure, largemouths continue to provide the fastest action in the Lakeland area. Wacky worming is far tops. Carolina rigging 4” and 7” Power worms as well as Beavers and Yum Ultimate Craws also providing good catches. A few of the warmer evenings are giving up good top-water frog action also.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good-Good. Outside weed edges of 12-16’ producing nice smallies (15-18”) on lipless cranks counted down as well as skirted grubs on 1/8 – ¼ oz. jigs. Tube jigs also working along these edges. Off-shore humps of 22’-28’ anglers are drop-shotting 2 ½“Gulp minnows and small craws scoring well.

    Northern Pike: Good. Spinnerbaits (Boonies, Booyah and Chatterbaits) over heavy weed flats. Weedless spoons such as Johnson Silver Minnows and Northland Jawbreakers also working. Chubs, suckers always a good backup.

    Bluegills: Good. Best on warmer days. Mini mites, tiny tubes tipped with waxies. Use small leeches on 1/50 oz. jig heads under small floats.

    Musky: Good-Fair. More fish being seen (and caught) of late. Bucktails and Spinnerbaits as well as twitch baits in 7-10’ weeds. Top-water is also bringing up fish. Most reports this week are of 34-38” fish.

    Yellow Perch: Fair. Best on warmer days. Medium fatheads, medium leeches.

    Crappie: Fair. Best at dusk and after dark on medium fats and lighted slip-bobbers.

    Surface temps should remain stable this week, rising on sunny days. The typical August cool down doesn’t show any signs of coming soon.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1635091

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 8-21-16:

    Lots of rain to end the week, kept most anglers off the water. Things had slowed for certain, though enough action overall to keep anglers’ attention.

    Largemouth Bass: Good. The most consistent action all summer, yet a bit slower this past week. Wacky worming in 7-12’ weeds is best, warm up by mid-week should bring top-water back into play, frogs, Jitterbugs, buzzbaits. Twitching stick baits over weed tops produced well for local anglers this past week.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good. Outside weed edges of coontail in 14-18’ using skirted grubs Carolina rigged. Countdown lipless cranks over sandgrass flats of 16-22’. Gravel humps topping at 22-26’, 2 ½ “minnows, leeches.

    Northern Pike: Good. Best on double-bladed Boonie Baits as well as Chatterbaits over 6-10’ weeds. Live baiting with chubs and suckers are working well.

    Bluegill: Good. Fewer, but nicer gills are working cabbage flats. Seem to be more gills as predator fish leaving some of these areas. Small leeches are best and Mini mites – red, purple.

    Musky: Fair-Good. Best on bucktails, twitchbaits. Top-water is producing early and late. Many anglers are choosing to soak smaller suckers (8-10”) despite surface temps in upper 70’s to low 80’s.

    Yellow Perch: Fair. Not a lot of reports. Mostly anglers are fishing other species (Walleyes, deep crappies), and catching a few nice perch- ½ crawlers are best.

    Crappies: Fair. Anglers are targeting crappies, finding few fish in typical August haunts. Doing best in tall, curly, leaf cabbage at 10-14’. Small minnows are best.

    Walleye: Fair-Poor. This could be a time of transition on some lakes. Despite warm temps, this species will tend to migrate to deep gravel on certain lakes. Shallow weed bite has slowed, after dark is best on lighted slip-bobbers and leeches or casting deep running minnow baits along outside weed edges.

    Despite a short term cool off for Sunday/Monday, mid-week looks to hit low 80’s again, delaying early fall patterns from happening. More rain means flowages continue to be full as well as lakes.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1636544

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 8-29-16:

    A combination of weather and time helped to pull the fishing up a bit by weeks end. With some shallow weeds showing signs of dying back (despite surface temps averaging 70-72), a shift to deeper weeds has been the focus for fish and anglers alike. Those deeper weeds of 13-16’ are holding a lot of species (Walleye, LMB, SMG and gills) that were missing from catches earlier in the week.

    Largemouth Bass: Very good. Got to move out a little deeper than a couple of weeks ago. Best action along 13-16’ coontail edges using Wacky style worms as well as Carolina rigging creature baits/skirted grubs. Fast working deep diving jerk baits (dive 8-12’) scored LMB, SMB and walleyes from one angler’s report.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good. Also utilizing deep coontail edges (14-16’), sandgrass flats (18-26’) and off-shore humps topping at 22-28’. Tubes and Wacky worms on weed edges, skirted grubs and drop-shotting 2-3” Gulp minnows and Jackall pin tails over grass and gravel.

    Bluegills: Good. Moving away from dying plants. Work coontail edges of 12-16’ using small leeches, worms or 1” plastic tails for suspending gills.

    Northern: Good. Casting spinnerbaits (Boonies, Booyah) over green cabbage where available. Otherwise work 5-6” chubs and suckers along outside weed edges.

    Musky: Good. Bucktail and twitch bait action good. Big spinnerbaits worked over weed flats then allowed to “fall” just past weed edge drawing fish out. A few reports of musky on live suckers, seems early and warm, but, verified reports.

    Walleye: Fair-Good. Rebounding a bit as anglers finding walleyes along deep weed edges taking leeches, crawlers and redtails. After dark, lighted slip-bobbers with large leeches best.

    Perch: Fair-Good. Best on ½ crawlers on jig. Sandgrass flats on clear, deep lakes. Next to drowned wood on Flowages or darker water.

    Crappie: Fair. Tough find. Some anglers fishing base of coontail edges catching some slabs (11-13”) on medium fatheads. Few other reports.

    Finally see a sugar Maple with a little color here and there. Not any real cold nights, but, definitely cooler. Water temps buoyed by warm days. Lots of water thanks to even more rain. Lakes are full and Flowages even more so, unusual for late August.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1638599

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-6-16:

    Following a sunny, but a bit windy Labor Day Weekend, storms on Tuesday and Wednesday may change the coming weekend’s outlook as we get into the September fishing.

    Water temps remain unseasonably warm, most lakes from small to large reading about 71-72 degrees surface temperature. The shallow weed die off of a couple weeks ago seems to have ended, with more reports of fish using the shallows once again.

    Largemouth Bass: Very good. Back up in the weeds of 5-10’. Anglers casting spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and shallow cranks reporting good action. Along deeper weed lines, ripping twitch baits (deep X-raps, Husky Jerks, Scatter Rap DHJ) catching aggressive bass. Follow up with Sweet Beavers, Mighty Craws or Wacky worms to pick off the less enthusiastic fish.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very good. Scattered about deep structure (gravel humps, sandgrass, wood) in depths of 15-30’. Skirted grubs on football jigs as well as Carolina rigged scoring nice fish of 18-20”. Counting down lipless cranks over sandgrass flats of 16-20’ also working. Jig or Lindy rigging crawlers, leeches (getting tough to find) also good.

    Musky: Good. Action starting to move back up a bit shallower. Big spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and top-water baits good. Sun over the weekend didn’t help very much, but, windward sides of lake producing.

    Bluegill: Good. Another species that has moved to some degree back in the shallows (probably luring in the predators). While still finding schools suspended deep on large lakes, mid-sized (1,000 acres and less) lakes are seeing good action on small leeches and worms in 5-8’.

    Pike: Good-Fair. Most catches on live bait over the weekend. Some incidental catches on spinnerbaits by bass anglers.

    Walleye: Fair. Scattered reports for the most part. A few lakes producing over gravel in 18-26’ on large fats on 1/8 – ¼ oz jigs. Also after dark on lighted slip-bobbers with large leeches.

    Perch: Fair. Few reports. ½ crawlers on 1/16oz jig or medium leech under slip-bobber in weeds of 8-12’.

    Crappies: Fair. Few reports, likely due to high winds where most crappie fishing done at this time.

    A light cool down (highs in 60’s) expected after stormy mid-week. Weekend weather looks good. Flowages unusually high for September due to so much rain. If water temps start to drop a little should improve walleye and crappie fishing.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1639779

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-12-16:

    A week of on and off rain, wind and electrical storms made for spotty fishing reports. The cooler weather forecasted last week didn’t come until Sunday (9/11), finally dropping some surface temps below the 70’s after weeks of hanging in the 72 degree range.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good-Good. With some action returning up in the shallows on spinnerbaits (Boonies), shallow cranks (Bandit) and twitch baits (X-Raps, Shallow Raps) scoring well as are buzz baits. Plastics in the form of Wacky worms (Yamamoto, Yum) as well as plunging Sweet Beavers and Creature baits in slightly deeper weeds of 8-12’.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good. Best on deep humps drop-shotting Jackall pin-tails and Gulp Alive 2 ½” minnows. Football jigs with skirted grubs also working.

    Bluegills: Good-Very good. They are moving back into 5-8’ weeds. Small leeches, worms, Berkley Power Nymphs.

    Musky: Good. Best up over 5-10’ weeds on big spinner baits (Boonie, Bucher Slop Master) topwater (Pacemakers, Whopper Ploppers and Top Raiders) and large bladed bucktails. Suckers (9-10”) are also working well for being this early in the season. Turtle Flambeau Flowage reports good action on Boonie Baits up shallow.

    Pike: Good-Fair. Best on blade baits (Boonie, Chatters) and twitch baits (Husky Jerks, Rattlin Rouges) or meat (suckers, chubs) on a jig with wire leader. Good follow up after working swim baits over flats.

    Walleye: Fair-Good. Action improving some on lakes. Deep bites over gravel/mud transitions in 18-26’ using 1/8-1/4 oz jigs with ½ crawlers or large fatheads. On flowages, redtail chubs on Jack’s weedless jigs in 5-7’ of heavy cover best. Also anglers using Jigging Raps scoring over 18-26’ gravel.

    Perch: Fair. Best on warmer days up in weeds of 4-8’ taking ½ crawlers or medium fatheads.

    Crappie: Fair-poor. Few reports as of this past week.

    With water levels unseasonably high and warm, some patterns for September are off (walleye, crappie). With cooler temps in the future, hopefully action on our favorite fall fish (Musky, Walleye, Crappie) will improve.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1640962

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-20-16:

    By most reports, this September has not been a typical September. Very high water and above average surface temps could be the culprit. What is usually a great month for walleye, crappie, bass and the start of the musky fall bite has fallen well short of expectations. Still 10 days to go, but, without a major change in weather or a draw down on the flowages, things look to remain fairly tough.

    Bluegills: Fair-Good. Not often listed this high in September. Bluegills being found in 7-10’ weeds. Anglers using leeches, waxies, worms, tubes.

    Pike: Fair-Good. Spinnerbaits best late mornings over 6-10’ weeds. When action slows try jig and chub combo.

    Musky: Fair-Good. Fish starting to relate back to structure. Fish can be found on deep weed edges in 10-20’. Best tactics have been casting large rubber baits (Alien Eel). Depth Raiders with a jerk/pause retrieve have also produced. Anglers starting to use smaller suckers.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair. Deep humps best. Drop-shoting pin-minnows, plastic craws or jig/skirted grubs best.

    Walleye: Fair. Better earlier in the week. When bites going, deed gravel/mud transitions using 1/4oz jigs or Lindy Rigs to fish Redtail chubs or ½ crawlers. Bites extremely light. Be patient and pay attention to any extra weight.

    Perch: Fair. A few reports of anglers catching nice perch on crawlers or medium fatheads in 8-12’ weeds.

    Largemouth Bass: Fair. Some reports of smaller fish in weeds, but, seemed to have fallen off the map.

    Crappies: Fair. Flowage bites haven’t been great. A few fish near drowned wood.

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news with a not so great report, but, hopefully as we get out from under full moon and high pressure, we will see a little more drop in surface temperature. That will help us salvage fishing the last 10 days in September and have a great October.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1642038

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-27-16:

    Cooler weather in bringing things more into a fall-like pattern here in the Northwoods. Water temps moving down into the mid 60’s has helped spur on some activity from some of our favorite fall fish.

    Walleye: Good-Very Good. Action best over rock/gravel humps in 20-28’ of water. Traditional jig/minnow or crawler methods working well. Lindy rigging chubs accounting for better fish on the larger lakes. Jigging Raps over rocks producing well. On some flowage water and smaller lakes, walleyes in shallows taking small redtails or large fatheads on weedless jigs.

    Musky: Good. Cooler water getting fish amped up! Top water and bladed baits (Bucktails and spinnerbaits) still producing best. Outside weed edges of 8-12’ on most lakes. Some deep suspended fish hitting rubber and big twitch baits. Sucker action picking up.

    Crappies: Good. Best tight to drowned timber in 15-18’. Medium fatheads on slip-floats. Also small thumper jigs worked vertical over same wood.

    Northern: Good. Liking the cooler water. Chasing spinner baits and 3 ½” swimbaits. Twitch baits such as X-raps, Husky Jerks and Rattlin’ Rouges over green weeds also working. Live bait (chubs/suckers) always a good choice.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good. Best over gravel humps. Feeding on sculpin, so a “sculpin” type match (skirted grub) a good choice. Some action shallower, outside weed edges of 8-14’ using Shadow Raps and X-Raps.

    Largemouth Bass: Good. Some reports from anglers probing weeds with Sweet Beavers. Wacky worming and jig/plastic combos also working. Colorado bladed single spinnerbaits also a good choice.

    Bluegills: Good. Returning to remaining green weeds. Also being found with crappies in drowned wood.

    Perch: Best on Flowages in 4-6’ weeds on medium fatheads or ½ crawlers.

    With temps only peaking in the 60’s until the weekend, expecting continued better bites. The next two weeks will be prime time for musky/sucker action.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1643163

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-03-16:

    It’s beginning to look a lot like FALL! Morning temps in the 40’s, highs in the 60’s. Most lake’s surface temps in the 59-63 degree range. If you can fish early or late and stay out of the no cloud little wind days, fishing has picked up.

    Walleye: Good-Very Good. Best over deep gravel humps along gravel/mud transition zones in 18-34’. Jigging Raps hot and produce the best “hard” hits. Jig and minnow/crawler as well as Lindy rigging chubs also working well. On Flowages (Willow, Turtle) drowned wood using slip-floats or weedless jigs to present large fatheads or ½ crawlers best.

    Musky: Good-Very Good. High skies shut mid-day fishing down, but, mornings, evenings and cloudy times very good. Top water has proved to be best choice personally (Pacemakers, Whopper Ploppers and Top Raiders) and should continue till lakes turn over (around 53-55 degrees). The sucker bite is ramping up. Rigs with spinner attractant best. Most action along and over shoreline weed beds.

    Pike: Good-Very Good. Active on Mepps #4 and #5 Aglias and Comet Minnows worked over weeds of 6-12’. Try spinnerbaits or chatter baits for a more weedless approach (Boonies, Booyahs). Jig and chubs/suckers of 5-6’ also good….as always.

    Crappies: Good. Not as good as usual, but, still good. Work drowned timber in 15-18’ using medium fatheads. Also picking up some slabs over mud/gravel transition areas jigging #5 Jigging Raps or medium fats on 1/8oz jigs.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good. Try over off-shore gravel humps topping at 22-28’. Drop-shotting 3” worms, 2 ½-3” plastic minnows/craws.

    Largemouth Bass: Good. Scattered reports. Some in shallow “slop” on top-water frogs, buzzbaits, Jitterbugs. Others out on flats of 8-12’ on shallow cranks and Boonie Baits while still other bites on deeper weed edges (12-16’) on Wacky worms and deeper running twitch baits.

    Perch: Fair-Good. Best on flowages around deep wood. Half crawlers on medium fatheads for big perch up to 12”.

    Bluegills: Fair. Despite beautiful weather, few anglers targeting these fish. Nice bulls on flowages in deep wood (15-18’), mostly by anglers targeting crappies.

    We are coming up on what is generally considered the best 2 weeks of the musky season. A great time with top-water and spinnerbait action and the sucker bite is getting hot!

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1644342

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-10-16:

    Finally the look and feel of fall is here. Trees peaked, cold nights, temperate days. It’s musky time!

    Musky: Good-Very good. Could be better if not for some high sky days. Water temps have fallen and the sucker bite is on! Surface temps for the weekend were between 55-61 degrees. That has pretty much done in the top-water action, but, amped up the meat bite. Suckers on spinner/quick set rigs (Smity’s) have been best. Action not consistent all day, probably due to weather, but, good windows of 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours with multiple fish. Guide Greg Bohn guided a client to a 52”, 40# beast this week (released).

    Crappies: Good-very good. Best on flowages. Trollers finding slabs 11’ down using Flicker Shads. Traditional drifting methods also work using slip-floats and medium fatheads.

    Walleyes: Fair-good. Spotty at times, high barometer days tough. Nice fish using redtails along gravel humps of 22-38’. Also on drowned wood on flowages.

    Pike: Fair-Good. Best on chubs/suckers on weedless jigs in weeds. A few big pike of 32-36” caught this week.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair. Very few fish but, those reported have been big including smallies to 20+”. Drop shotting has worked best with reluctant biters taking smaller plastics and live chubs.

    Perch: Fair. Some good catches around drowned wood in 15’ of water. Medium fats best. Drag bait on 1/16 to 1 18 oz. weedless Jack’s or Slo-fall jigs. Half crawlers also worth a shot. Nice perch of 9-12” being reported.

    With water temps approaching 55 degrees, keep an eye out for turn-over. Nice daytime temps will keep it at bay, but, those 30 degree nights are tough.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1645448

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-17-16:

    Fall fishing is in full swing now that last week’s cold nights helped to put the turnover behind us for the most part. You may see surface temps top out in the mid 50’s or higher early in the week due to a couple of warm days, but, that won’t recreate a turnover as sub-surface temps will remain in the low 50’s now.

    Musky: Very good. Until Sunday, wind and weather helped to trip the “trigger” of muskies throughout the Lakeland area. Suckers have been the “hot” bait on the menu. Windy days drifting bladed quick-set rigs (Smity) using 12-16” suckers best. Jerk baits (Suicks), gliders (Smity Jerks) and Twitch baits have been scoring well. Moderate retrieves with small pauses working best.

    Walleye: Very good…with a catch! Walleyes are feeding well, but, are very tentative. Patience is the key to “feeding” redtailed chubs up in heavy green weeds. Slow dragging on 1/16 oz. weedless Jack’s jigs or Northland Weed Weasels best. Deeper lakes best using Lindy style rigs, 1/4oz. jigs or Jigging Raps (#5, #7, #9). Good catches of nice eaters with plenty of “slot” fish to go around.

    Crappies: Very good. On lakes, anglers finding crappies suspended 9-11’ down being caught by trollers using Flicker Shads, Shad Raps and Jr. Thundersticks.

    Bluegills: Very good. Surprising since few anglers target gills at this time of year. The consensus is 10’ green cabbage. Worms, leeches or waxies. Nice gills of 8-10”.

    Northern Pike: Very good. Pike taking jig and chub rigs with regularity. Some on “jig” swimbaits.

    Perch: Good. A few flowage anglers plying deep wood and shallow weeds picking up decent catches of perch on medium fatheads.

    Bass: No reports.

    This post turn-over period shouldn’t leave us too soon. Great fall temps (cool/cold morning followed by warm afternoons) should spread this “season” out a bit.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1647348

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-24-16:

    Anglers faced a variety of weather changes last week, from very high to extremely low barometer readings, lots of sun, to fog so thick it lasted into the afternoon on one day. The weather affected the really good fishing anglers had been experiencing the previous week.

    Musky: Good. A few tough days due to weather, but, still some good reports of anglers boating nice fish on suckers. Glide baits, jerks and twitch baits also producing. Fish being found at all types of depth, from as little as 5 feet to depths of 26-32’ along breaks of the larger lakes.

    Crappies: Good. Action slower than previous week. Best reports on lakes in 10-14’ weeds. Medium fatheads producing big slabs of 12-14”, though most fish in the 10-12” range.

    Largemouth: Good. After not being on the chart last week (no reports), good action in green weeds of 8-12’ using Senkos and Yum dingers wacky style.

    Pike: Good. Shallow weeds using jig/chub combos. Lots of smaller fish in 4-6’ with a few 28-32” to keep things interesting.

    Walleyes: Good-Fair. Being more susceptible to weather/barometer extremes, this bite got spotty. Reports of walleyes deep (28-41’) using redtails on big lakes, with only small windows of action common.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair. A few brutes (to 21’) caught by anglers jigging chubs in shallow weed flats.

    Perch: Fair. Bite slowed this week. Still some anglers scoring using leaf worms.

    Water temps held due to warm, sunny afternoons, despite nights/early mornings in the 30’s. Most lakes 50-55 degrees. With forecasted temps to barely reach 50 degrees and lows in the low 30’s (and a cold rain by mid week) expect surface temps to drop into the upper 40’s)

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1648582

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-31-16:

    With the end of October, interest in fishing drops off. Anglers are still in pursuit of Musky. Some walleyes and a few crappie/perch fisherman can also be found. With water temps a bit above average (reports of 47-53 degrees) there is still plenty of time to get out and pursue your favorite fish.

    Musky: Very good. By far the most action has been on suckers. Lots of multi fish days this past week. Still worth working gliders, jerks and twitch baits as well as slow moving jointed and plastics.

    Walleye: Good-Fair. Deep water vertical fishing best on larger lakes. Probe 22-45’ depths using redtail chubs and black chubs or suckers. On smaller lakes and flowages, stick to smaller minnows and slowly drag through weed growth in 5-7’.

    Crappies and Perch: Fair. Few reports. Most from anglers slip-bobbering drowned wood in 14-18’. Medium fatheads best choice.

    While some low 30 degree mornings cooled lake temps, average highs this week in low 50’s should keep lakes at fairly consistent temperatures.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1650271

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 11-07-16:

    This incredibly mild November has given way for anglers to take advantage of increased opportunities out on the water. Surface temps of 47-53 degrees are being reported throughout the Lakeland area. Anglers finding good fishing for many species this weekend that typically by now they’ve given up on.

    Musky: Very good. Continued good reports coming in as anglers just can’t help but take advantage of the beautiful weather. Lots of good sucker action reports with one of our guides (George Metrich) steering a client to a 51 ½” monster this past weekend (released).

    Walleye: Good. Not a lot of traffic, but, good reports from anglers Lindy rigging chubs and suckers along transition gravel/mud bottoms of 22-45’ depending on the depth/size of the lake. Also, anglers trolling deep diving cranks scoring nice walleyes to 28” this past weekend.

    Northern: Good. Few targeting this species, but, some nice pike being caught (30+”) by musky anglers.

    Crappie: Good. Where green weeds can be found, some nice catches in water as shallow as 6-8’ using crappie minnows under small floats. The beautiful, calm weekend helped put anglers back out on the pan fish bite.

    Perch: Good. Lakes with green weeds, flowages in deep wood and staging below dams has kept anglers happy with nice catches of perch in the 8-10” range with a few jumbos mixed in.

    The forecast for the coming week doesn’t seem to be all that bad. Highs not likely to hit 60 degrees again, but, a few nights into the 30’s should keep lake temps stable.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1650876

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 11-14-16:

    As October seems to have slid into the second week of November, anglers are finding good reason to get the boats out for “one last shot” at landing a musky or putting some last minute fish in the freezer. A few 20 degree mornings have helped push surface temps into the upper 40’s all throughout the Lakeland area. Some ice on a few bog ponds was also reported by muskrat trappers.

    Musky: Good. While the action has slowed for some, reports have other anglers still getting three to four bites a day, mostly on suckers. Location seems dependent on type of lake as anglers finding fish in shallow weeds of 6-7’ outside weed lines on mid-large lakes of 12-18’ and some fish in 20-30’ suspending at transition areas where Cisco and Whitefish would be staging.

    Walleyes: Good. More attention than would usually be found as anglers taking advantage of the warm weather spending more time on the water. Redtail chubs, blacktail chubs and 3-5” suckers in depths of 18-26’. Nice fish up to 28” this past week.

    Crappies and Perch: Good. Still best in green weeds of 6-10’. Small minnows or mini-mites tipped with waxies best.

    Whitefish: Good to very good. Staging outside nighttime spawning shoals. Jig Swedish Pimples tipped with waxies for best results.

    Weather may not be as nice this coming weekend (Wisconsin Gun Deer Opener) but opportunities will still be there for those who bag their buck early.

    Deer activity has been high as the rut has been in full swing.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1652729

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 11-22-16:

    Is there ice? Yes. Is it safe? No. Four nights of temps in the teens, with the last two very calm has forced water temps into the close to freezing ranges. Some small ponds, edges of shallow lakes and bays of flowages have locked up. The pond behind our shop froze yesterday (11/21) which typically means that Minocqua will follow in 7-10 days. Forecast of night temps in the 20’s with high of mid 30’s means we should see some fishable ice as early as next week.

    Musky: Good. The weekend was rough with high, cold winds relegating the few hardy souls to trolling. That proved successful for one particular crew who boated an ugly 47” on Saturday evening. Calmer temps allowing for more casting now, suckers overall still best. Musky season ends November 30.

    Walleyes: Good. Few participants over the weekend due to wind. Prior and since, good below dams and along windward shores towards dusk on chubs, suckers and large fatheads.

    Waiting to get some lake temps, but overall cold weather putting us in good conditions for early December ice fishing.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1658709

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 12-20-16:

    We didn’t get all the snow forecasted for our area over the weekend. The forecast called for 6-10 inches, got more like 4-6 inches and it was cold and light. Night-time and morning temps in the negative teens have helped ice production. Most popular early ice fishing areas are supporting 6”, to as much as 9” of ice. Big lakes should still be traveled with caution.

    Walleye: Very Good. Evenings are best as anglers targeting shallow walleyes with tip-ups baited with medium shiners or jigging with Raps, Slap Raps and the new Hyper Glide. On flowages, bites good early mornings and late afternoons ‘til dusk.

    Northern Pike: Very Good. Tip-ups with bladed rigs and set with large shiners or suckers are best. Good #’s of fish plus a few low 30’s over the weekend.

    Bluegills: Good – Very Good. On some of the higher pressured lakes this is the time to target nicer fish as they get picked off early. Moussees are getting top nod, but spikes, waxies and plastics producing nice catches of 7-8 1/2” fish.

    Yellow Perch: Good-Very Good. Nice sized perch (10-12”) being caught in shallows of 4-6’. Waxies balled up on #8 Forage Spoons and medium fatheads below set bobbers producing best. Fish scattered, but roaming these shallow weed flats.

    Crappies: Good. There have been a few reports of anglers finding nice crappies of 10-12” in amongst their bluegills in 4-7’ of water. Flowage anglers doing better over channels using rosie reds. Weather and concern of ice conditions have been the biggest drawbacks to participation this week.

    Trail checking on Lake Minocqua yesterday showed ice of 5-6” across the midst of the lake. More sub-zero temps and no snow ‘til next Sunday should help add an inch or two by the weekend.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1660337

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 12-27-16:

    Rain on Christmas night with temps hovering in the low to mid 30’s have caused slush and water to stand on top of the 6-9” average ice depth on most of our area lakes. Following a cold spell, now lakes have a ½-3/4” layer of ice covering the water above the ice. Conditions are slippery, ice cleats are a must!

    Bluegills: Very good. Lots of action plus good size gills being caught as is typical of the first ice conditions. Moussees, spikes and waxies as wells as Northland Impulse mayfly and water fleas have been hot on small jigs. Northland and VMC jig fly tipped with single spikes are also a good bet.

    Pike: Very Good. Flags have been flying! Lots of good pike action on large shiners and suckers on tip-ups. Good numbers of pike caught as well as nice fish of 30-35” were reported over the weekend.

    Walleyes: Very good to good. Best action is towards and right after dusk. Walleye suckers on tip-ups are producing well. Anglers jigging #5 and #7 Jigging Rapalas, as well as the new Hyper Glides and Slab Raps have done very well, especially on walleyes above 20”. Slender spoons tipped with a minnow head in water of 7-10’ also proving deadly.

    Perch: Very good-good. While not out in their typical deep haunts yet. Perch that are roaming the 6-10’ weed flats and bars have been actively taking small to medium fathead minnows as well as Vingla spoons tipped with multiple waxies or spikes.

    Crappies: Good. Winds have made tip-down use near impossible, but, inside shacks or sheltered bays are producing good catches using crappie minnows below small floats. Slow dropping rocker jigs (#8, #10) tipped with Chena or plastics as well as Lethal Cecil style jigs tipped with Chena also effective in the 7-10’ weeds that bluegill anglers are targeting.

    The cold weather the rest of the week should firm up ice, improving snowmobile and ATV travel by week’s end. Conditions changing with multiple fronts moving through could put bites on and off, but, overall (even with high winds early in the week) fishing remains strong.

    Kurt
    Island Sportshop
    Minocqua, WI

    Mark

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