Use a social account for faster login or easy registration.

Minocqua Area Report – 2019

  • mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1822477

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 1-02-19:

    Been a great Christmas / New Year week for ice anglers. Access to lakes is excellent and the little snow (2-3”) we received last week got washed away by the following rain. A light snow after the rain put a little grip to the ice. Low night times temps in the single digits added a little thickness. Could be my age, but still can’t recommend driving trucks or cars till ice thickens to 14-16”, but with forecast the middle of this week of highs in single digits, That may not be far off.

    Walleye: Very Good > The past four days have reports of good action on tip-ups using suckers for bait. Jigging Slab Raps, jigging Raps, Flutter spoons and slender spoons have also been working as the fish have been aggressive in 12-18’ from
    3:30-7:00 pm and again pre-dawn till 8ish.

    Crappies: Very Good > Bite has been on as anglers utilizing tip-downs with small minnows reporting nice slabs of 11-13”. Slow dropping lethal Cecils tipped with waxies as well as #4 tungsten jigs with bright colored plastics working best.

    Northern Pike: Very Good > Flags popping from early morning on. Big shiners and suckers run along 8-14’ weed edges best.

    Yellow Perch: Good > In weedy flats use bulk on your jigs to try to keep the smaller perch off. Out over mud flats pimples and venam glow jigs tipped with spikes on wigglers.

    Largemouth Bass: Good > Medium shiners on tip-ups and jigs with waxies meant for crappies and gills.

    Bluegill: Good > Lots of “action” gills this week. Work a tungsten jigs (#3 or #4) with piece of red, purple or motor oil colored plastic tight to bottom to entice larger gills. Cabbage flats of 6-10’ best.

    After several spotty weekends of ice fishing, it was great to hear anglers having such good success. Despite a few reports of quads and snowmobiles going through in areas of questionable ice, overall has been mostly good, solid ice cover.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1824628

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 1-07-19:

    After Friday and Saturday’s spring-like temperatures, Mother Nature gave us a reality check Sunday night into Monday in the form of snow. The further east from Minocqua you go, they received the brunt of the storm. Rain… Monday morning should help pack down the snow on lakes making travel by ATV, snowmobile and foot still easy for this time of year. Though caution is still advised with ATV and snowmobiles in some areas around creeks and aerators. We still can’t recommend truck travel as most lakes reporting 8 to 12” of ice. This past week’s weather brought a lot of anglers out on the ice with many reports of excellent fishing.

    Walleye: Very Good – Tip-up action has been great, from 4 in the evening to 7 at night, and pre-dawn to around 8 in the morning. Suckers seem to be the minnow of choice rigged on a glow or red hook. Jigging has been successful as well, in the 12’ to 18’ depths. Jigging Raps, Hyper-Glides, Flutter Spoons have all been producing well.

    Northern: Very Good – These fish have been hungry and aggressive the past week. Try working tip-ups along the 8-14’ weed edges. Large shiners and suckers have been taking some good fish, with a few reports of 30”, to mid 30’s” fish being caught.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – Most of these fish are being reported taking shiners under tip-ups when fishing for Pike. Along with anglers targeting Gills and Crappies using small jigs and a grub.

    Crappies: Very Good – This past week’s weather has been great for tip-down fishing as holes wouldn’t freeze up on you. 11’ to 13’ of water has been the desired depths with a small fathead or rosie red. Jigging has been great too using slow dropping spoons tipped with a waxie or minnow head. Size #4 tungsten jigs tipped with a bright colored plastic has been taking a lot of fish too. Crappies have been biting well throughout the day, but 4 pm to 7 pm in the evening has been the hot bites.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Fish are coming over mud flats using jigging spoons like pimples, Venom Cores and Kastmasters tipped with spikes, wigglers or a minnow head. Fish are coming on weed flats as well, try using large baits to keep the little ones off.

    Bluegills: Good – Fishing for Gills has been good this week. A lot of fish being caught, but a lot of smaller Gills mixed in. Try using a small tungsten jig with a piece of plastic (red, motor oil or purple seem to be the hot colors), tight to the bottom to get the larger fish. Cabbage weeds in 6’ to 10’ of water is the best bet.

    Midweek looks to be cold with high in teens and single digits for lows. This should help firm up slushy areas left by the snow and rain. Get out, be safe and good luck fishing!

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1826878

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 1-15-19:

    While Snowmobilers and Skiers can’t be happy with the conditions in the Lakeland Area (not much for snow), anglers have everything to be happy about as local lakes are getting ice thick enough for truck travel.

    Lots of lakes reporting 13-16”+ thickness, coupled with lack of snow, access has been great.

    Bluegill: Very Good-Fair – Excellent reports late into week until southeast winds seemed to shut things off. Good catches in 7-12’ weeds using #3 ; #4 tungsten jigs (Fiskas, Skandias) in greens, yellows and oranges tipped with waxies, spikes or green yellow or red plastics (J:S, TJ’s). Better reports on size as anglers catching nice 7-8”+ Gills.

    Crappies: Very Good-Fair – Same type of reports, action slowed over weekend, most likely wind shift. Slow dropping Lethal Cecil spoons and small slender spoons tipped with waxies or plastics in white or silver. Tip-downs have been effective using small fatheads or rosies. Nice Crappies in the 10-13” range, best mid-mornings, again mid to late afternoons.

    Northern Pike: Very Good-Fair – Lots of flags flying according to reports. Big shiners, suckers on tip-ups in 8-14’. Fish have been active, so running baits 12-18” over weed tops has been very effective.

    Walleye: Very Good-Fair – Working humps and rises of 12-18’ using suckers on tip-ups, as well as jigging spoons (Flutter Spoons, Northland Rattle Spoons), tipped with a head of a medium to large fathead minnow. Nice catches before the weekend, including a reported 31”er on a tip-up!

    Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Lots of smaller Perch in 8-16’, but for larger Perch, fish deeper 16-28’+. Venom tungsten glow spoons, Halis and Pimples tipped with red spikes or wigglers. Tip downs with minnows also effective, though forecast for weekend (lows below 0 degrees) may limit tip-down success.

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair – Tip-ups with medium shiners in 7-12’ cabbage. Some action on jigging spoons with minnow heads.

    Midweek looks good to start, shift in wind, warmer temps, but dropping temps through weekend could make things tough. Being able to drive on most (but not all) lakes will help with access. Lack of mobility will be due to cold, but as ice builds, mobility will only get better.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1828607

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 1-22-19:

    If we had forgotten what winter Really feels like, it’s back! Sub zero temps, sometimes at 20 degrees below and more, has put a slow down to the activity of ice anglers.

    Fishing has taken a bit of a hit, but fish still being caught. Mobility, due to cold, not travel conditions, biggest draw back. The cold, coupled with the lack of snow, is actually making ice travel better as ice depths are increasing.

    Northern Pike: Fair-Good – Tip-up anglers have fared best using large shiners and suckers along outside weed edges of 10-16’. Not as many numbers, but some nice Pike in the low 30” range. Check holes often for freeze up and moving bait seems to help trigger hits.

    Bluegill: Fair-Good – Not the easiest, since cold keeping anglers from being outside shacks, but nice Gills (7-9”) with several anglers catching (and releasing) Gills of over 10”!!! #4 tungsten jigs (Fiskas, Skandia, 13 Fishing) tipped with spikes or plastics (J:S Ice Mites, Little Atom wedgees, 13 Sneaks) in red, purple, motor oil and blue have worked this weekend.

    Crappies: Fair-Good – Cold has made tip-down fishing near impossible (holes freeze too quick). Anglers finding Crappies suspended outside deep weeds or over mud flats taking minnows, small spoons (Demon Tongue, Slender spoons, Forage minnows) tipped with waxies. Small flutter spoon jigs, FJN, FJG and Lethal Cecils also effective.

    Yellow Perch: Fair-Good – Seek mud flats of 16′ – 28’. Anglers using tungsten Venom Glo jigs tipped with spikes (red) doing well when bouncing jig to “stir up” mud. Pimples, Halis, Rattle Spoons, Kastmasters – all with weight to get back down quickly. #5 tungsten jigs in glow colors also effective tipped with wigglers or a single red spike.

    Walleye: Poor-Fair – Mostly after dark. Anglers reporting using suckers on tip-ups or minnow heads on glow (Flash Bang, Glo Shot spoons) or something with a rattle (Kastmaster, Buckshot spoons) to entice bites. Walleyes seem to be less aggressive, so slow down and scale down if necessary.

    Largemouth Bass: Poor – Respond best on warmer days, don’t see much in forecast. Use small-medium shiners on tip-ups, forage minnow spoons w/ waxies.

    Ice thickness has increased to 20+” on many lakes. With little snow, travel excellent for trucks, SUVs and ATVs. While anglers may not want to fish outside a shack for long periods, on windless days conditions not bad.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1830707

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 1-29-19:

    It’s gotten plenty chilly outside. Most days not seeing temps above 0 degrees, and wind chills in the 30-50 degrees below keeping anglers off the ice (and who can blame them!).

    If there is a bright side to this (and you’ve got to look very hard) most of the heavy snow is south of the Northwoods. The lack of snow cover on the ice is allowing these super cold days (nights) of air temps of 25-32 degrees below zero to build more ice. Truck travel is improving all around. With ice thickness running 20-24” and building, this should help insure for some good ice into March.

    Crappies: Good-Very Good – Not in the shallows of 12’ or less, but out over deep water of 15-28’. Crappies being found 2-5’ off bottom. Minnows (small rosie red or Crappie size) on dead sticks or small floats (inside shacks, tip-downs don’t work well in these temps). Tungsten jigs tipped with spikes or even plastics (white, chartreuse, glow) working.

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Best bite deeper. Shallower water fish not eating it seems. Use Hali jigs to get spikes or wigglers to bottom in hurry. Bang the bottom to stir up mud. Chandiliers and Bombs also good for this method.

    Northern Pike: Fair-Poor – Some tip-up action, but tough to keep holes open without use of cover, be prepared to keep your catch under sub zero temps; eyes and fins freeze quickly. Don’t waste these fish.

    Walleye: Poor – A few being caught just before dark, but most anglers off ice before then. Suckers or large fatheads best.

    Bluegill: Poor – Most Gill anglers in shallows (less than 12’) seeing same thing – uninterested fish. Go extremely small, tiny 2.5 mm Fiska jigs and single spike or tiny plastic (J:S Icemite Jrs or Larvamites)

    Largemouth Bass: Poor – No reports

    This cold snap looks to be bottoming out this Wednesday (1/30). Back into teens come Friday, and low 30’s by Saturday. This should help angler’s attitudes, as well as the fishes. Access to lakes will be excellent for truck, ATV and snowmobile use.

    One word of caution: the ice below the HWY 51 bridge in Minocqua has an area of only 7-12” as of 1/26/19. Advise not to drive trucks under bridge – snowmobile and ATV are okay.

    Lots of derbys coming up in February
    Feb 2nd – United Way 14th Annual Ice Jamboree – Stacks Bay, Lake Minocqua
    Feb 2nd – 7th Annual Ice Derby Willow Haven Bar & Grill – Willow Flowage
    Feb 9th – 1st Annual KISS High School Ice Fishing Tournament
    (High School teams only) – Lake Minocqua
    Feb 9th – 17th Annual Plum Lake Ice Fishing Tournament – Plum Lake in Sayner
    Feb 16th – 3rd Annual Rob Lemmer Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament –
    Lake Katherine in Hazelhurst
    Feb 23rd – 6th Annual Carrol Lake Ice Fishing Tournament –
    Carrol Lake in Woodruff

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1833059

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 2-05-19:

    A very nice break in the weather came over the weekend, just in time for a couple local ice derbys and before anyone got too much cabin fever.

    With temps “soaring” into the 30’s Saturday (2/2) anglers headed out to the ice in force, seems the fish were glad to see the weather break also.

    Crappies: Very Good – Lots of great reports as above freezing temps made tip-downs very effective. Rosie red and small fatheads on #14 trebles on tip-downs fished 2-4’ off bottom, in some areas as shallow as 14’ to as deep as 28’. Lots of slabs topped off by reports of fish to 15” this weekend. Jigging small #2 Raps, ultralight Rippin Raps (#3), Venom Inferno spoons and #2 pimples all working as fish very aggressive.

    Yellow Perch: Very Good – Best over deeper mud in 18-28’ using Halis, Venom Inferno spoons, Pimples or Northland Buckshot spoons tipped with wigglers or red spikes. Tip-down anglers also reporting good success on rosie reds. Some anglers finding nicer sized Perch roaming 12-14’ depth just outside of weed edges, catching larger (11-12”+) Perch on tumbler spoons.

    Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Flags flying as Pike action picked up. Tip-ups with big shiners or suckers. Talk about town is hot dogs on quick-set rigs – verdict still out: Oscar Meyer or Ball Park! Nice fish reported into mid 30’s. Some anglers jigging #9 Raps reporting action.

    Bluegill: Good-Very Good – Fuzzy jigs (VMC, Tungsten Fly, Northland Tungsten, K:E Hackle jigs) tipped with waxie, spike or Beaver bait doing numbers. Aggressive fish not needing much coaxing, could change as weather cools, so keep those #3 tungstens handy.

    Walleye: Good – For early February not bad. Action for those jigging Leech spoons, Slender spoons and #5-#7 jigging Raps good. Most tip-up anglers finding suckers and large fatheads over shiners in deeper sandgrass flats. Move to shallower edges at dusk best action in 16-22’.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – Showing up on tip-ups with medium shiners. Action will slow with cold by weekend.

    Most lakes averaging 24’” of ice (21 to 26”), little snow as of this writing, but that could change mid-week. Access has been excellent, though ice/rain on Monday (2/4) put crust on snow making walking a little more difficult (and a lot more noisy)

    Just four weekends of the gamefish (Walleye, Pike, Bass) left, should see good ice well into March in our area, so plenty of time for panfish.

    Derbys
    Feb 9th – 1st Annual KISS High School Ice Fishing Tournament (Highschool teams only) – Lake Minocqua
    Feb 9th – 17th Annual Plum Lake Ice Fishing Tournament – Plum Lake in Sayner
    Feb 16th – 3rd Annual Rob Lemmer Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament – Lake Katherine in Hazelhurst
    Feb 23rd – 6th Annual Carrol Lake Ice Fishing Tournament – Carrol Lake in Woodruff
    Feb 23rd – 13th Annual Lake Tomahawk Family Fun Fisheree – Lake Tomahawk
    Feb 23rd – Annual Claus Kraetke Memorial Ice Fishing Jamboree – Donners Bay Resort – Turtle Flambeau Flowage

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1835136

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 2-11-19:

    Fishing in the Lakeland area got a little tougher after a week of snow and cold. Snow could have been worse, luckily it was light enough to blow off the lakes to some extent. The frozen crust from the earlier ice storm did protect some, but overall on the lakes it’s not bad.

    The cold (29 below 2/9) kept more anglers off the ice than the snow did.

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Huh? I’m constantly reporting how LMB’s never seem to get active during the ice season till temps get above 20 degrees. A group of high school students this weekend proved me wrong, as LMB’s were by far the most consistent fish caught during a recent ice tourney. Medium shiners on tip-ups did the trick, though some jigging did produce. Bass to 20” over the weekend

    Northern Pike: Fair – Good – Big shiners along 10-14’ weeks. Nice Pike including a fat 34” C&R during tourney.

    Bluegill: Fair – Cold and snow slowed anglers pursuing Gills, but some decent reports, from those willing to stick it out, using waxies on teardrops jigs in 8-10’ weeds.

    Perch: Fair – Anglers picking up some shallow weed fish in 8-12’ using small minnows or pimples loaded with waxies.

    Walleye: Fair – Best towards dusk on suckers on tip-ups.

    Crappies: Fair – After a hot bite last weekend during warm period, things have slowed. Anglers seeing Crappies, just tough to get to bite. Best downsizing with small plastics.

    Better temps, but chance for more snow could make travel tougher by truck. Snowmobiles and quads with tracks may be a requirement by next weekend. Will try to add update by mid-week.

    Derbys
    Feb 16th – 3rd Annual Rob Lemmer Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament – Lake
    Katherine in Hazelhurst
    Feb 23rd – 6th Annual Carrol Lake Ice Fishing Tournament – Carrol Lake
    in Woodruff
    Feb 23rd – 13th Annual Lake Tomahawk Family Fun Fisheree – Lake Tomahawk
    Feb 23rd – Annual Claus Kraetke Memorial Ice Fishing Jamboree
    Donners Bay Resort – Turtle Flambeau Flowage

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1838086

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 2-19-19:

    Quite the punch to the gut for us ice anglers! Following the polar vortex(s) that gave us enough ice for good truck travel, Mother Nature dumps 24” from two snow falls last week to plant a total of 35” for February alone! And this is as of 2/19 – forecast of additional 6” on 2/20, then possible 10” on 2/24.

    It’s messy out there folks.

    Hard to give very good reports when many anglers are spending more time digging than drilling. Slow would be most reports coming off ice. Though some anglers lucked on to some Northern Pike, Perch and Crappies. But overall, the weekend was spent searching for ice that wasn’t sloppy.

    Areas of high traffic from snowmobiles seemed packed down for use by foot, ATV with tracks or other snowmobiles. At some derbies, fish were caught, the traffic actually helping to flatten some areas for use.

    You can be sure Brad Schillinger and his crew at Custom Caretaking will have some roads plowed open for their Carrol Lake Tourney this Saturday, with proceeds going to Angel on My Shoulder.

    Big Arb, Stacks Bay have got useable ice.

    The problem isn’t the ice (22 – 28” averages) it’s the stuff on top.

    Temps Thursday – Saturday in mid-30’s will make it pleasant, but not any dryer. Make sure to wear knee boots and bring a shovel.

    Derbys
    Feb 23rd – 6th Annual Carrol Lake Ice Fishing Tournament – Carrol Lake in
    Woodruff
    Feb 23rd – 13th Annual Lake Tomahawk Family Fun Fisheree – Lake Tomahawk
    Feb 23rd – Annual Claus Kraetke Memorial Ice Fishing Jamboree –
    Donners Bay Resort – Turtle Flambeau Flowage
    Mar 9th – 1st Annual KISS High School Panfish Ice Tournament – Lake Minocqua

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1838926

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 2-26-19:

    With less than a week of the inland lake gamefish season left (closes at midnight, March 3rd), there is little for anglers to get excited about at this time.

    Record snows for the month of February in our area (50”+ so far in the Lakeland area) has caused a near shut down to anglers, as access has gone from bad to almost unattainable!

    Largemouth Bass and Perch reports have been decent for anglers that have gotten out, with tip-ups for Bass using shiners and anglers jigging spikes for Perch.

    A few areas of high traffic (without long walks) such as Schoolhouse Bay and Stacks Bay on Lake Minocqua, parts of Carroll Lake, and the southern end of Big Arbor Vitae had anglers getting out by foot or snowmobile. Anglers fishing Monday (2/25) did get some Crappies, Gills and Perch.

    This deep snow will likely hurt the shallower, weedy lakes. Keep an eye on your minnows. If fished close to bottom and dying quickly, raise your bait up higher in the water column for better oxygen levels. Fish will move up, sometimes to within a foot or two of the ice if necessary, to survive.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1840279

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 3-04-19:

    Gamefish seasons almost always seem to close rather quietly around here. Late ice anglers tend to gear up for panfish. But this may have been one of the quietest in a long time. The two feet plus of snow combined with the two feet of ice that is sandwiching, in some places, 8-10” of slush and water is making a work out of our sport!!! The hardy souls working their way onto the ice aren’t doing any hole hopping, typically the pattern for March ice fishing. Instead, its pick a spot, shovel, drill, fish and stay put!!!

    Bluegill: Good – Surprisingly!!! For these conditions anglers fishing the mid to larger lakes are catching some nice Gills to 8”+! Waxies, spikes and beaver bait on tear drops and #4 Tungsten jigs with brighter colors (chartreuse, orange) working best.

    Crappies: Fair – Most of the best Crappie fishing too hard to get to. Anglers working bays for Gills reporting some Crappie action early in AM and again towards dusk. Most days too cold for tip-downs (3/4/19 – 20 below) so jigging grubs best.

    Perch: Poor – Few anglers reporting Perch. Like Crappies, best areas too hard to reach.

    With temps warming up into low 30’s this weekend, and with snowmobilers and the few hardy anglers trudging around, hopefully some better access will emerge. We will need some long stretches of warm weather to knock this snow down… don’t put your jig poles away, ice will be here awhile.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1842254

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 3-11-19:

    Still with the Winter??!!

    Snow and bitter cold last week kept anglers off the ice. A reprieve on Fri-Sat (3/8-3/9) gave a window of opportunity, though some didn’t take on Saturday with threat of more snow.

    For those who ventured out (by foot, snowmobile or tracked UTV) fishing wasn’t half bad. Four teams of Highschool ice anglers found very good Bluegill and some Crappies. Other anglers reported similar success in areas they could get to.

    Bluegill: Good-Very Good – Despite mobility being so hard, anglers found Gills on the mid-sized to larger lakes taking waxies and spikes. Weeds of 7-10’ were key. Nice Gills of 7-9” over the weekend.

    Crappies: Good – Jigging with small spoons (Lethal Cecils, #2 pimples or #8 rockers tipped with waxies or beaver tail baits best. Minnows working, but putting out set of tip-downs tough.

    Perch: Fair – Anglers, for the most part, not getting to areas Perch holding (deep mud flats). Those that do, catching nice eaters of 8-10” on Hali jigs tipped with wigglers.

    Tough to predict what week will bring. Warm up mid-week (40’s for three days) should knock down some snow, but rain could make things messy.

    With two feet of ice still on lakes covered by two feet plus of snow, temps back in 20’s-30’s next weekend, our ice will remain for a while.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1844588

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 3-18-19:

    Finally, first decent ice fishing opportunity in weeks! Last weeks warm up knocked snow cover down to a level that made access doable. The cold nights since firmed up the top of the snow to a crust solid enough to walk on. Snowmobile, tracked ATV/UTV’s, walking, and even in some areas untracked UTV’s, are making it out there. Ice thickness ranging from 24-28” on average with some areas as low as 20” while others over 30”.

    Bluegill: Very Good – With better accessibility and more anglers out, catch rates have improved. Standard teardrops, VMC Waxy jigs, Demons and Spitzfires tipped with wax worms, beaver tail or plastics (red, maroon, purple) best. Depth of 8-10’ best.

    Crappies: Good – While most of the best bites are deeper (12-20’), where getting there is the battle, some migration up into 12-14’ standing weeds. Come dusk and early AM for bonus bites for Gill anglers. Slow dropping Lethal Cecils, Rockers tipped with white, yellow and pink plastics as well as strips of beavertail very good. Don’t be shy about fishing 3-4’ off bottom. Tip-downs using Crappie minnows or rosies good and only going to get better. As Crappies get more active with warm up small slender spoons, Vinglas and Z-vibes will also work tipped with a waxie or minnow head for flavor.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Same as Crappies, best fishing still relatively deep, but migration should pull fish in as weather warms. Best in 16-24’ using wigglers for bait. Hang a lively one on a Hali, Flash Champ, pimple (#2) or Kastmaster. Bang the bottom a few times to stir up the mud, then raise 2-3’ off bottom. Aggressive Perch will rise, sometimes 4-6’ off bottom to eat.

    Forecast looks nice, should give us two weeks of great pan fishing weather. Warm days to take snow down, cool to cold nights to firm things back up.

    Despite 2’ of ice, in some areas that ice is not great. Good for now, but as snow melt seeps through it will become porous (honeycombed), by the end of next week, start checking ahead for travel conditions. As of now fair, but getting better.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1845973

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 3-25-19:

    Warmer temperatures and easier travel (by foot) has brought more anglers out to do some late season ice fishing. Snow pack has gone down on lakes, with the exception of southern shores where the sun doesn’t hit the snow to melt it down as fast. There is still plenty of ice, reports vary from 20” to 25”+. Bring your ice creepers, it can be very slick in spots. There are areas where standing water and slush is present though. A few people are going out with ATV’s and snowmobiles, but we’re not recommending it, once you hit a slushy spot and get stuck, it’s very difficult to get your machine out.

    Bluegill: Very Good – Plenty of good reports of Gill catches this weekend. Anglers were finding them in the weeds from 7-12’. Waxies and spikes were working the best. For the bigger Gills, tip your jig with plastics to keep the smaller ones off the hook.

    Crappies: Good – Tip-downs tipped with minnows and jigging with small spoons are a good combination to finding and catching Crappies right now. Small pimples, rockers and Lethal Cecils are all producing well tipped with a minnow, minnow head or waxie. Best times are early morning and at dusk.

    Yellow Perch: Fair-Good – If one’s willing to walk a little bit, Perch are coming on mud flats 15-20’ of water for larger fish. Wigglers are really working well this time of year. Pound your jig in the mud to stir up the bottom to get the Perch’s attention.

    Warmer weather and a few rain showers are predicted for the week. We’ll be updating, or feel free to call, for changing ice conditions. We should still be ice fishing for a little while though.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1847664

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 4-01-19:

    Last week Thursday and Friday fishing started to get really good. Crappies turned on and anglers were doing very well. The weekends weather pattern with high winds and cold, though, slowed fishing down a bit. Though the forecast this week looks to get warmer and warmer which will turn the pan fishing on again. Ice conditions remain good. Bring your cleats though for some spots.

    Bluegill: Very Good > Small tungsten jigs with plastics tipped with a spike have been taking the bigger Gills as of late. Fish were found in the weedy areas from 6–12’

    Crappies: Good-Very Good > Anglers were finding fish in the 6-12’ mark with weeds. Tip downs tipped with small fatheads or rosies produced well. Jigging small spoons like Lethal Cecil’s or Flash Champs tipped with a grub, minnow or minnow head all produced well.

    Yellow Perch: Good-Very Good – Larger fish were coming off of deep mud flats. Wigglers seemed to produce the best for live bait, though grubs and minnows also produced a lot of fish. Remember to pound your jig in the mud to stir up the bottom to attract fish.

    Get out while you still can, rains forecasted the end of the week and temps pushing the 60 degree mark. We’ll keep everyone posted if ice conditions change, but as of now they are really good.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1850050

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 4-09-19:

    What ever happened to spring? We keep getting tempted with a few 50 degree days then, Wham!, cold and blizzards again. That’s right, they are predicting heavy snow and blizzard conditions for Wednesday night into Thursday – 10” +. Anglers that did go out the past few days caught fish, but did have to work for them a bit. Ice conditions are fairly okay as of now. Still 16 to 20” + of ice, though it’s getting to be that rotting texture of ice. Access is still good with the exception of a few lake’s north shorelines where it’s starting to get messy.

    Bluegill: Good-Very Good – Tungsten jigs with waxies or spikes are getting fish. To keep the smaller ones off, tip your jig with a plastic. I’ve been hearing that purple has been a good plastic color of late. Fish were found in weeds in that 6-12’ range. In some of the oxygen depleted lakes, fish are only a few feet under the ice.

    Crappies: Good – Minnows have been the key the past few days. Small jigging spoons like, flash champs, Demon Tounges, and Lethal Cecils are all producing. Tip-downs is another good choice to find fish and spread out a bit. A small #14 or #12 treble with a minnow will get you fish. Weeds and 6-14’ is the key.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Deep mud flats continue to be the hotspot for larger Perch. Wigglers are producing well, as are minnows and grubs. Hali jigs, pimples and Kastmasters are all working well.

    This next storm could make getting out a little more work. We’ll keep you posted to let everyone know how the ice will be of feel free to call the shop. The upcoming weekend looks to be nice.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1850950

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 4-15-19:

    Ice is still here (4/15)! Following last week’s storm (another 5” of snow), the melt down has slowed.

    Anglers still drilling 17-22” of ice. Crusty snow from the storm will be gone in a few days and the sun (or rain) can start working on what’s below. Meanwhile… the warming waters from below plus trapped water in the ice is making for soft, porous “punky” ice. Use caution at landings and old holes.

    Crappies: Very Good – Good > Bite not hot all the time, but when it is minnows on tip-downs have been aces. At other times, finessing with #8 rockers tipped with white, pink, yellow plastics helping anglers with some fine catches of 11-13” fish. 8-12’ standing weeds best.

    Yellow Perch: Very Good – Good > Working their way into shallows, fat, pre-spawn Perch, setting up among the weeds in 6-9’, have been feeding well on whatever anglers are offering (minnows, waxies, etc.). Use larger baits to target larger fish, be ready to sort.

    Bluegill: Good > Winds kept most Gill anglers from hole hopping, so participation was down. Nice catches using small dark jigs tipped with spikes or dark colored plastics.

    Forecast for 50’s mid-week followed by rain (1-3”?) means ice will deteriorate quickly. Nice weather for Saturday and Sunday may be the last chance for safe ice as the following week’s forecast is loaded with rain!

    Keep eye out for our ice updates on our Facebook page

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1852443

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 4-22-19:

    Ice still covers most of our lakes, but in most cases not shore to shore. Edges and accesses are pulling away, ice is very rotted after recent rain and Fri/Sat sun. Measured 21” on Lake Minocqua at noon 4/19. Not safe enough for remeasure today. Mid-week forecast for high 50’s to mid-60’s will eat up plenty of ice this week.

    Should see open water on many bodies for opener.

    Crappies: Good – Anglers fared better early and late in day. Reports of some true slabs of 13-15”. Big Arb’s south shore is the only remaining “fishable” ice as of this AM (4/22), but will go fast in these conditions.

    For the rest of the reports, rather quiet. A few anglers checking out streams for suckers to smoke.

    Pond behind shop about 40% open, but very dark ice. Typically, Lake Minocqua is ice free 7-10 days after pond.

    Note:
    Using Lake Minocqua as reference for other nearby lake ice out
    Walleye on chain will not be open this spring.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1854252

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 4-30-19:

    Opener is days away (May 4th) and anglers are chomping at the bit to get out on some soft water to fish Walleyes, Pike and Largemouth Bass. Can they, is still a question. Many lakes in the Northwoods still have ice but its pulling away and melting, just not fast enough to make us all comfortable.

    Lakes that are smaller, darker and have some sort of current are open completely. Larger bodies, and lakes with clear water are holding to its ice.

    Temps aren’t forecasted to warm up till Fri/Sat, but rain on Wed (5/1) will also help.

    There will be fishable lakes, even portions of the Flowages will be fishable. Anglers can expect to find pre-spawn, spawn and even some post-spawn action depending on the water they are on.

    Wild bait will be near impossible to find, but pond raised fatheads and suckers will work on jigs, as well as, casting shallow running stickbaits such as Rattlin Rouges and #9 Floating Rapalas.

    Keep and eye on our FaceBook page for further ice out developments.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1855117

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 5-07-19:

    Opener has come and gone. Not an overly memorable one, but better than last years and enough opportunities to give anglers a chance to get the boats and lines wet.

    Most focus is on Walleye for the opener, Northern Pike and Largemouth Bass are barely noticed. Conditions were good as far as timing – ice just out, Walleyes spawning or just finishing up – but opening day was a little too beautiful for most Walleye anglers.

    Walleye: Good – While some anglers reported hitting their spots just right, for many, opening day was a hot start, but spotty day once mid-morning arrived. Jig and minnow combos ruled the weekend, as most anglers plied the gravel/rock areas searching for spawning and post-spawn Walleyes. Some success from anglers casting shallow running stick baits and swim baits. A lot of the spawn took place quickly due to the late ice out. Overall, not an easy opener, but a successful one.

    Northern Pike: Fair – Reports got better by Sunday into Monday. Most action from the jig/minnow crowd.

    Largemouth Bass: Fair – Just a sprinkling of fish showing up in the shallow, dark bottomed bays.

    Crappies: Fair

    Yellow Perch: Fair

    Bluegill: Fair

    A hiccup mid-week as temps fall, but don’t expect things to be all bad. Walleyes recovering from spawn should be hungry soon, moving into shallows to feed. Don’t discount deeper mud though, stomachs of Walleyes caught in 14-17’ mud held wigglers (Mayfly larvae) and small leeches. Shallow fish and small Perch in their bellies.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1856723

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 5-14-19:

    Spring seems to be taking its own sweet time getting to the Northwoods. Sunday morning’s launch temperature was 26 degrees, water temps hovering in the upper 40’s to low 50’s. On a few lakes, ice was still floating about (Fence) with surface temps only 38 degrees! Luckily, we have a lot of different sized lakes and flowages to choose from up here, so while everything is not where we would like it to be (or someone predicted it would be), there are options.

    Walleye: Good – Usually fishing is better this time of year. The post spawn feeding binge is past due on most lakes. Been finding Walleyes holding in 14-20’ over mud, full of Mayfly larvae. Medium leeches under slip floats work well here. Small to mid-sized lakes seeing some weed action on jigs and minnows. The Rip N Rap craze from the Sturgeon Bay area has found its way here with anglers reporting good success on Walleye, up to 29”, working those baits in 10-14’ of water.

    Crappies: Good – Look for water in low 50’s or above to find staging Crappies in 5-7’ of water. Mini mites, small minnows and small leeches working. Big slabs to 14” this past week.

    Northern Pike: Good – Search out Broad Leaf Cabbage in 5-8’. Jig 3-5” chubs, large fats or shiners. Swim baits and Spinner baits with orange, yellow or green colors working on these fish as they are foraging on same size (and sometimes larger) yellow perch.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – Dark bottomed, weedy, warmer bays. Twitch baits and Swim baits the ticket. Bass jigs, lighter the better, with a 3” trailer (twister tail) also good.

    Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Some success for anglers using medium fatheads or leeches in weeds of 6-10’.

    Bluegill: Fair – Few reports. Warmer days ahead will increase participation.

    I’ve been predicting the Walleye bite will be get better, first time in my short memory I can recall being wrong! The Walleyes holding in deeper water tells me shallows need to warm a bit more for the bait fish to move in and Walleyes to follow. Should get that this weekend.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1858039

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 5-21-19:

    Saturday and Sunday’s rain and sleet put a kabosh on what looked like the start of a great weekend as of Friday. Temps creeping up, Crappies moved in…Walleyes starting to get active…then WHOOP…back to the drawing board.

    Thankfully, Monday’s return of sunny skies has lured Crappies back in by most reports. Walleyes are still a bit finicky. Anglers also seeing Muskies in the sunny shallows, Bass nearby.

    Crappies: Very Good-Excellent (if you discount the weekend) – Good reports of slabs being taken on staging in 5-7’ of water using MiniMites, Gapen Freshwater Shrimp or small fatheads below slip-floats. Check in tight to wood in 1 ½ – 3’ also as some Crappies have committed to the nesting process, even after the cold.

    Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Action on 4” Swim baits (360’s, Kietech), Spinner baits (Boonie, BooYah) and 4-5” Twitch baits (X-Raps, Husky Jerks) all working well in 5-8’ cabbage.

    Largemouth Bass: Fair-Good – Improving with warming water in shallow bays. Light 1/8 oz Bass jigs tipped with 3-4” grubs in dark colors over dark soft bottom bays. Twitching smaller Rattlin Rouges and Husky Jerks also effective.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair-Good (all catch & release up this way!) – Staging out in 8-14’. Anglers fishing finesse jigs with small imitation craws, Senkos (3”) or Ned rigs reporting some bruisers in the 17-19” range on Monday. Watch for this species to show up by the weekend if we can believe the forecast.

    Walleye: Fair – Just haven’t seen a hot bite as expected. Some anglers fishing #6 Rip ‘N Raps scoring some big post-spawn fish towards dusk. Fishing evenings has been best due to cold mornings (some in upper 20’s) but this should change with predicted warm up.

    Bluegill: Poor – Few reports, little effort. This too should improve with forecast for holiday weekend coming up.

    It’s tough to predict what the Musky opener will be like. Should be good. Anglers seeing fish cruising shallows. Leave the paired spawners alone, please! Otherwise, forecast looks good for Sat/Sun/Mon on water.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1859672

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 5-28-19:

    Memorial weekend has come and gone, rain bracketed the weekend, more Monday than on Friday, and a windy Saturday afternoon didn’t make for the easiest of fishing.

    Unfortunately, the cool temps continued for most of the weekend (Sunday afternoon was great) and the predicted “hot” Crappie action did not materialize for most. Water temps did crack into the 60’s on 5/26, but dipped again with Monday’s cool rain.

    Crappies: Good (but not good enough!) – With the exceptions of some smaller, shallower lakes where the Crappies have committed to their spawning areas and won’t leave, most lakes are seeing Crappies hanging out in 7-10’ tall cabbage as if waiting to move in. Sadly, many probably won’t, as they missed their “time”. Don’t be surprised to catch Crappies with eggs in July that were not laid, but are being absorbed. Anyway…did well on Gapen Fresh Water Shrimp below small slip floats fished 5-6’ down in 7-10’ cabbage. Minnows also working in same.

    Musky: Good – Anglers reported seeing and catching in shallows using small twitch baits (6” Cranes, Jakes), bucktails in the smaller sizes (Rizzo Tails, 500 series Bucher bucktails) and swim baits. Lots of sightings as Musky spawning occurring (Females followed by 1-2 males)

    Northern Pike: Good – Jigging chubs or suckers, as well as floating same under floats. Casting spinner baits, 4” twitch baits and 3½-5” swim baits above and through 6-10’ cabbage also working. Good #’s of mid 20” fish, tops a 36” C&R on Friday.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – Work shallow weedy areas of 4-8’. Wacky Worms, Ned Rigs, twitching #8 Husky Jerks.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good – Staging in 8-14’. Anglers using jig: creature, tubes and Ned Rigs finding pre-spawn Smallies to 20”. Water temps need to come up to see these fish come to shallows.

    Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Finding better Perch (8”+) working weeds of 6-9’. Fish not schooling, but working 1/32 oz jigs tipped with medium fats or medium leeches producing. Perch full of dragonfly larvae (thunderbugs), fish this bait where you can find it, on #8 thin wire long shank hooks under small floats. Perch love this bait and from what I’ve seen in fish house, are gorging on it…

    Bluegill: Fair – Maybe not warm enough, probably like with Crappies and Bass, cool water holding Gills out in deeper weeds. They love thunderbugs also, so try some or small leeches.

    Walleye: Fair – Bite has still been spotty. Deep wood 14-20’, on flowages. Weeds of 8-14’ using medium or large leeches on 1/16 oz weed less jigs.

    Not sure if it’s the volume of water (we are full), cool nights, amount of rain or general regression of my skills, but this May has been just so-so! Forecasted highs in 70’s may cure some of that this week, but after having my hopes and predictions dashed like a Browns fan (I’m not), I’m somewhat jaded about the next week.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1860835

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-04-19:

    Was a long, odd, cool May! Lots of patterns never seemed to set up just right. Spring peepers sang ‘til the end of the month. Tribal spearing lasted ‘til the Saturday of Memorial weekend. Water, though very plentiful, ran behind in temperature along with weed growth! Now it’s June, and despite a frost warning (6/2), things are setting up nicely.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Many found cruising the warm shallows. These fish have been actively taking shallow running cranks, light swim baits and small swimming jigs. 1/8 oz jig with a 3” twister tail in black or brown has been hot. Lots of low to upper teens in length.

    Bluegill: Very Good – Not spawning, but taking advantage of the warmer shallows to help with egg production. Small leeches, thunderbugs and leafworms. 1” twister tails on 1/64 oz jigs fished behind a small float for castability.

    Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Good reports of Pike taking large chubs under floats. (Another 36”/10#+ this week). Cast spinner baits, spoons in and over 8-12’ weeds.

    Crappie: Good – Mixed reports as some anglers found Crappies setting up to bed, while most found outside spawning areas. Small jigs with flash have helped anglers catch Crappies to 15” this weekend. If not in tight, work weeds of 5-12’. Depths vary by lake and surface temp.

    Musky: Good – Most action from mid-30” fish cruising shallows taken on smaller bucktails and 6” twitch baits. Large Bass swim jigs tipped with 5-6” tails also working.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good – Still staging, but look for this to change if weekend’s forecast push water temps into steady lower 60-degree mark. So far its been tube jigs, Ned rigs and creature baits in 8-15’. Some good reports on fish to 20” working jerk baits (X-Raps, Husky Jerks) along first major break.

    Walleye: Good – Action along weed edges of 10-15’ improving using leeches or fatheads on 1/16-1/8 oz weedless jigs. Slip floats with leeches also good.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Not a lot of people targeting. Still, nice Perch in 8-11” range being caught by anglers trying for other species. Bellies full of thunderbugs (dragon fly larvae).

    The forecasted warming trend should help solidify some of these bites. For some, such as Smallmouth and Walleye, action should pick up considerably.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1862182

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-11-19:

    What was building into a great week of fishing slowed by Sun/Mon as the area got hit with a couple cooler fronts. Overall though, fishing was very good, and should return again by week’s end.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good-Excellent – Season is ALL catch and release, but lots of great reports as Smallies are bedded up all over with lots of reports of 20””+ fish being caught on Chug Bugs, Creatures and Spooks

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – While not ready to bed, Largemouth are moving up into shallows to warm themselves and feed up in preparation for spawn. Jig and Creature combos, as well as, smaller swim baits are working well. Twitching shallow stick baits (Rattlin’ Rouges, X-Raps) also effective.

    Northern Pike: Good – Lots of smaller Pike in shallow weeds. Larger Pike requiring a bit more depth, 6-12’. Use chatter baits, spinner baits and swim baits.

    Musky: Good – Fish relatively shallow on smaller buck tails, twitch baits. Some surface action starting as water warms.

    Walleye: Good – A good weed bite finally starting to develop. Jig and minnow, crawler and leeches, in water as shallow as 3’ to as deep as 14’ depending on lake type and clarity. Casting shallow stick baits and 3” swim baits also working.

    Bluegill: Good – Staging in shallows. Tiny jigs tipped with waxies, or aberdeen hooks baited with thunderbugs under small floats best.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Feeding heavily on thunderbugs (dragon fly larvae), this could end soon as dragonflies are starting to hatch. Switch over to medium leeches, ½ crawler.

    Crappie: Good-Fair – Moved out over tall standing cabbage in 8-12’. Cast small spinners or beetle spins to locate, then come back with Crappie minnows

    Water temps climbed into low 70’s by Saturday (6/8) but fell back into mid-60’s by start of week. Forecast for highs in upper 60’s won’t change that much, but at least stability in temperature (if not weather overall) should help bring about consistent patterns.

    Want to help support the rebuilding of the Walleye population in the area lakes? The Walleyes for Tomorrow Dinner Fundraiser is set for next week, Thursday June 20th, at the Whitetail Inn in St. Germain. Great food, great door prizes and a great cause. Limited number of tickets for sale ($90.00 each). We have some here at the shop. Stop in or give us a call (715-356-4797) for more details.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1862957

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-18-19:

    Working with a below average June, as far as temperature is concerned, has actually helped some anglers (Walleye, Smallmouth, Pike), but slowed some others (Largemouth, Bluegill)

    Walleye: Excellent-Very Good – The water’s temps, holding in the low 60’s, seemed to have really helped the weed Walleye bite. Anglers working curly leaf cabbage in depth from 6-14’ catching limits of Walleyes using 1/16 oz weedless jigs tipped with leeches or crawlers.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Bedding nearly all finished, but larger lakes still seeing fish up shallow. Tube jigs hot choice to work these shallow fish. X-Raps, 3” swim baits also working well.

    Northern Pike: Very Good-Good – Swim baits, spinner baits, jointed stick baits have been the ticket. Many Pike being caught by Walleye anglers on jig and minnow combos as well.

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Cool temps have held Largemouth out of the shallows some. On warm afternoons, Bass moving into shallows searching out spawning areas. Creature baits, swim jigs and tubes working. Nice Largemouth in the upper teens to 20” reported this week.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Weedy flats of 5-8’. Small-medium leeches, thunder bugs, medium fatheads.

    Musky: Fair-Good – Best towards evening as water warms. 7” twitch baits, jointed shallow cranks best.

    Bluegill: Fair-Good – Bedding on some lakes, cool nights stretching out spawning process. Thunder bugs, small leeches best.

    Crappie: Fair-Good – Scattered throughout tall weed beds in 8-14’. Small minnows best.

    Stable temps this week should help fishing patterns develop. No drastic changes in water temps – slow rise into mid 60’s this week

    Thanks to you for all of your support, the Walleyes for Tomorrow Dinner Fundraiser is sold out. Should be a great time, see you Thursday.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1864081

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-25-19:

    Fishing slowed the past week, constantly changing weather, some bug hatches and the challenge of the moon!

    While fishing for some species fell off, others moved up the charts to keep anglers with open minds catching fish

    Northern Pike: Very Good – Best on spinner baits over weed flats of 6-10’. Anglers also scoring on chatter baits and 4” swim baits. Mepps #4’s and ¾ oz Daredevils working also. No monsters, but plenty of action.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good – Bedding done, most Smallies have moved out past first break. Tubes still best. Lots of action on fall. Jerk baits worked as suspending baits 5-6’ down over 8-14’ breaks. (X-raps, etc.)

    Bluegill: Good – Better in deeper weeds. Need some sun to get water into low 70’s to bring Gills back up to bed. Thunderbugs, small leeches best.

    Yellow Perch: Fair-Good – Scattered around cabbage flats of 6-10’. Medium leeches, thunderbugs, medium fats below small floats 8-12” off bottom.

    Musky: Fair – Best on smaller bucktails – 500 Series Bucher Tails, #5 Mepps, Rizzo Tails.

    Largemouth Bass: Fair – Oddly scattered. Should be bedding but cold nights have hampered on some lakes. Wacky Worms and jig/creature-craw combos best.

    Crappie: Fair-Poor – Tough find overall. Small minnows best bet.

    Walleye: Fair-Poor – Went from first to worst. Could be start of hatches (March Browns so far, Hex’s next), best on leeches or crawlers on smaller bodies of water.

    Just a mixed-up week. Thought stable weather would help, but weather that arrived not stable. Forecast of temps in 80’s rest of week into next, should push surface temps into 70’s, helping Largemouth and Bluegill anglers, as well as Musky Fishermen.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1865502

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-01-19:

    Summer time weather has arrived and with it, summer time water temps.

    With lakes all in the low to even high 70’s for surface temps, patterns are stabilizing for some good summer fishing!

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Action best on Ned rigs, jigs and creature and tubes. Deep weed edges of coontail in 14’ and shallower rock tops of 14-18’.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Wacky worming and using Sweet Beavers in cabbage flats of 8-12’. 3” swim baits and ¼ oz spinner baits also accounting for good action on cloudy/windy days.

    Bluegill: Very Good – Anglers able to find thunder bugs and smaller leeches are reporting great catches on inside weed edges. Fly anglers using wet flys and poppers also reporting good action on calm evenings.

    Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Spinner baits, chatter baits and shallow jerk baits over weed tops of 6-12’.

    Musky: Good – Top water action picking up with warming water. Whopper Ploppers, pacemakers, bucktails and spinner baits. Don’t be shy to fish shallow, 3-4’ in early am for best top water action.

    Walleye: Good-Fair – Action in windward weeds of 7-14’ using crawlers and X-large leeches. On larger lakes, deep rock humps, topping at 18-22’ with big leeches under slip-floats.

    Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Best over drowned wood, ½ crawlers, thunderbugs and leeches.

    Crappie: Fair – Not a lot of reports of late. Some nice slabs being caught, but not in numbers.

    With a near week of warm weather, look for some good, normal patterns to occur, giving anglers a better chance to pin-point their targeted species.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1866659

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-09-19:

    Good, stable summer weather has allowed for some typical summer patterns to develop. Late bug hatches are finishing up (some I thought were already done, sorry) along with high water and water temps are the norm for right now.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – A variety of techniques working as LMB appear to be all over. Early morning and evenings top-water action has been hot! Mid-mornings through late afternoons, jig and creature, wacky worms and Ned rigs can’t go wrong. Spinner baits and chatter baits for those who just have to keep casting. Numbers and size have been good.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Early AM cast twitch baits along inside weed edges. As sun moves up, Ned rigs and drop shot rigs along outside weed edges of 12-16’. Lipless cranks worked parallel along same edges, count down to proper depth, also effective.

    Bluegill: Very Good – Up along flats of 6-10’. Small jigs tipped with small leeches. Poppers towards evening, wet flys and nymphs during day. Bobbers and worms? Give it a try.

    Northern Pike: Very Good – Fan casting across cabbage flats of 6-10’ best using Boonie Baits (spinner baits) and 4” swim baits. Weedless spoons tipped with 4” Mr. Twister tails also hot!

    Yellow Perch: Good-Very Good – Along outside weed edges fish thunderbugs, medium leeches or ½ crawler. Same baits, but look for drowned wood on flowages.

    Musky: Good – Top-water action in full swing. Key times early and late, the more noise the better. Mid-morning through late afternoons work big spinner baits through and along big weed flats or along coontail edges leading to deep water.

    Crappie: Fair-Good – Not strong patterns, but good fish being caught in tall, narrow leaf cabage beds of 8-12’. Small Beetle spins, tiny jigs with tinsel (Gapen Freshwater Shrimp, Bunny Butt jigs) are working.
    Walleye: Fair – Bug hatches are winding down so anglers may have better success getting Walleyes to bite now. Weeds of 12-16’ using crawlers and X-large leeches.

    Water temps in upper 70’s, cresting 80’s in small lakes and flowages. Use care on releasing fish, and ice or well oxygenated wells on those you keep.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1868720

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-16-19:

    Big heat for the Northwoods this week. Temps forecasted in the high 80’s to low 90’s by weeks end. Water temps climbing and early/late trips best, as well as moving out into deeper water for better action.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Top-water evening action hot with Whopper Ploppers, Jitterbugs, Hula Poppers and plastic frogs providing the most fun towards the shallows. Mornings thru afternoons Wacky Worms have been a no brainer. 4” worms on 1/8 oz jigs along with similar swim baits also effective.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Work outside coontail edges and off shore gravel humps using drop-shot rigs with 3” pintail minnows, 3” Wacky worms or small 2 ½” craws. Ned rigs are also very effective in similar areas. Tubes and Carolina rigging creature baits along those 14-16’ coontail edges.

    Bluegill: Very Good – Work deep edges of cabbage or coontail using small leeches below slip-floats. Small minnows also work, keeping some of the smaller Gills off your hook.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Not a lot of Perch, but some nicer fish (9-11”) coming from just outside 14’ weed edges. ½ crawlers, medium leeches.

    Musky: Good – Evenings best. Top-water action on big, noisy baits such as Whopper Ploppers, Top Raiders and Pace Makers. Deep water action reported from anglers working big Grandma baits and large rubber baits over open water, search for signs of schools of Cisco, then count down baits to rip below schools of bait fish.

    Crappie: Good – Evenings best near tall cabbage beds of 12’ and boat houses near deep water. Small beetle spins and jigs with swim tails or curly tails best.

    Northern Pike: Good-Fair – Typically like a little cooler conditions. Cast spinner baits and chatter baits over cabbage flats or 8-12’.

    Walleye: Fair – Play the weather. Overcast or pre-front conditions best. Big leeches or whole crawlers over sandgrass flats, outside coontail or cabbage beds in 14-18’.

    A hot summer will be enjoyed by those who like the top-water action for Bass and Musky. Take care of the fish in these conditions, hot water stresses fish. Get ‘em in quickly and returned to the water as fast and safely as possible.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

    Mark

    P.S. Sorry for passing along this weeks report late, but a trip to Lac Seul was taken in the past week…

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1869063

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-23-19:

    Last week’s hot weather finally broke thanks to some storms. The heat helped some, while others on the water struggled to find certain species.

    Crappie: Very Good – Staging in the upper portions of tall cabbage. Small jigs (Bunny Butts, Gapen Freshwater Shrimp, VMC Boot Tails and Charlie Bees), small beetle spins or 1/32 oz jig tipped with small minnows. Work these upper portions of the weed beds, Crappies come up from below their prey most times.
    Note: Some anglers find Crappies to be “soft” in summer. Important to keep Crappies you intend to keep alive or on ice to help combat this in hot weather.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Loving the Wacky Worms! Great action in cabbage flats working Wacky Worms. Jig and creature, as well as Flukes, also working well. Top-water bite best at the end of the hot days. Whopper Ploppers, Pompadours, Torpedos and Pocket Frogs all working well for top-water/evening action, besides being the most fun way to catch Bass.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Working tubes, Ned rigs and drop-shots along coontail edges of 14-18’ best. Rock reefs topping at 18-26’, use heavier jig to work TRD worms or craws!

    Bluegill: Very Good – In and along cabbage flats and even some coontail beds. Gills being found suspending taking small leeches, worms, Crappie minnows and Mini-mite jigs tipped with waxies.

    Northern Pike: Fair-Good – Action improved with the cooling off this past weekend. Spinner baits, chatter baits and 4” swim baits. Jig and chub/sucker on wire leader good choice in 6-10’ cabbage.

    Yellow Perch: Good – ½ crawlers, medium leeches. Nice Perch of 8-10”+ along weed edges of 8-12’.

    Musky: Good-Fair – A little slower with cool down. Top-water baits, as well as #7 bucktails best. Big spinner baits such as CJ’s, Boonies and Bucher Slop Masters also moving fish.

    Walleye: Fair – Some good reports from larger lakes from anglers fishing early or late along outside weed edges using big leeches, crawlers or chubs on jigs or below slip-floats. A few fish being caught by anglers casting #6-#7 Shad Raps parallel to 12-14’ contain edges towards dusk.

    Surface temps still in mid-70’s, but morning temps in mid-50’s slowing early bite. Stable weather (forecasted) should help anglers figure out patterns.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
    Like us on FaceBook
    Minocqua, WI 54548

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 57 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.