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Minocqua Area Report – 2020

  • mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1957628

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-07-20:

    A reprieve from the heat helped cool the lakes a little, lake surface temps dropped from low to mid 80’s to the mid 70’s. Climbing again at this writing, but looks like it will cool again before a warm up this weekend.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Actively feeding in 8-12’ cabbage flats, anglers doing very well casting jig and creature, Wacky worms and Tokyo rigs into weeds. Morning and evening top-water action hot using Whopper Ploppers, Jitterbugs and Frogs. Nice sized Bass, up to 5#, being C&R this past weekend.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Drop shotting 3” Gulp Alive Minnows and 3” Senkos best along outside cabbage and coontail edges along adjacent sandgrass flats (though today 7/13, found Smallies tucked into cabbage beds of 7-8’).

    Bluegill: Very Good – Cast a small Mepps 00 to draw attention, then fish small leeches below floats in 6-8’ weeds. Poppers in the evenings, either on fly rods or using clear plastic floats on spinning equipment.

    Crappie: Good – Setting up in mid-summer pattern of holding in upper portion of tall, narrow leaf cabbage in 8-14’. Cast small 2” twisters, beetle spins or jigs with tinsel quivered through tops of plants.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Best around cribs and drowned wood. Use ½ crawlers or soft shell (frozen) crayfish. Some very nice fish in the 9-11” range being caught.

    Walleye: Good – Very dependent on conditions, but on cloudy/windy days or early mornings fish weeds of 8-14’ using crawlers or the largest leeches you can find. Evenings good for a return to weeds. Anglers fishing deep humps using jigging Raps finding too harmful with high water temps, can’t safely release these fish. Best to stop this technique until waters cool.

    Northern Pike: Good – Tickling the tops of weeds using chatter baits and spinner baits best. Cast weedless Jaw Breakers or Johnson Silver Minnows with a 4” Twister tails to try and stay weedless.

    Musky: Good/Fair – Many anglers opting to forego Musky fishing due to high surface water temps and stress on these big fish. Be careful, quick and think about the safety of these fish.

    SUPER SPECIAL BONUS REPORT:

    Last week it was Dogfish (Bowfin) that was hot! They are fun to catch, eat mostly crayfish and deserve to be released!

    This week – Bullheads. Flowages are giving up dandy bullheads on crawlers or minnows. Nothing wrong with these bottom dwellers, good fried and great smoked.

    The high water temps throughout the upper Midwest has caused a shortage of leeches. Trappers report leeches stopped coming to traps, supplies limited and prices rising rapidly. This is about a full month earlier than usual. If you find some, grab ‘em and take care to keep cool and wash regularly. Despite the rumors, it’s NOT illegal to use leeches, just hard to get.

    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
    #1958910

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-14-20:

    A reprieve from the heat helped cool the lakes a little, lake surface temps dropped from low to mid 80’s to the mid 70’s. Climbing again at this writing, but looks like it will cool again before a warm up this weekend.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Actively feeding in 8-12’ cabbage flats, anglers doing very well casting jig and creature, Wacky worms and Tokyo rigs into weeds. Morning and evening top-water action hot using Whopper Ploppers, Jitterbugs and Frogs. Nice sized Bass, up to 5#, being C&R this past weekend.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Drop shotting 3” Gulp Alive Minnows and 3” Senkos best along outside cabbage and coontail edges along adjacent sandgrass flats (though today 7/13, found Smallies tucked into cabbage beds of 7-8’).

    Bluegill: Very Good – Cast a small Mepps 00 to draw attention, then fish small leeches below floats in 6-8’ weeds. Poppers in the evenings, either on fly rods or using clear plastic floats on spinning equipment.

    Crappie: Good – Setting up in mid-summer pattern of holding in upper portion of tall, narrow leaf cabbage in 8-14’. Cast small 2” twisters, beetle spins or jigs with tinsel quivered through tops of plants.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Best around cribs and drowned wood. Use ½ crawlers or soft shell (frozen) crayfish. Some very nice fish in the 9-11” range being caught.

    Walleye: Good – Very dependent on conditions, but on cloudy/windy days or early mornings fish weeds of 8-14’ using crawlers or the largest leeches you can find. Evenings good for a return to weeds. Anglers fishing deep humps using jigging Raps finding to harmful with high water temps, can’t safely release these fish. Best to stop this technique until waters cool.

    Northern Pike: Good – Tickling the tops of weeds using chatter baits and spinner baits best. Cast weedless Jaw Breakers or Johnson Silver Minnows with a 4” Twister tails to try and stay weedless.

    Musky: Good/Fair – Many anglers opting to forego Musky fishing due to high surface water temps and stress on these big fish. Be careful, quick and think about the safety of these fish.

    SUPER SPECIAL BONUS REPORT:

    Last week it was Dogfish (Bowfin) that was hot! They are fun to catch, eat mostly crayfish and deserve to be released!

    This week – Bullheads. Flowages are giving up dandy bullheads on crawlers or minnows. Nothing wrong with these bottom dwellers, good fried and great smoked.

    The high water temps throughout the upper Midwest has caused a shortage of leeches. Trappers report leeches stopped coming to traps, supplies limited and prices rising rapidly. This is about a full month earlier than usual. If you find some, grab ‘em and take care to keep cool and wash regularly. Despite the rumors, it’s NOT illegal to use leeches, just hard to get.

    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
    #1958911

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-21-20:

    Couple of nasty storms brought in cooler weather and a drop in lake surface temps. Not enough for any drastic changes in fishing but far more comfortable for anglers and safer for fish being caught and released.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – The only bite that has really taken much of a hit has been the top-water bite, and that hasn’t been half bad. Favorite Bass techniques for weed fishing have all been working well with the typical Wacky Worming hard to beat. Lots of action and nice overall size.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Best action along outside weed edges of coontail in 14-18’. Ned Rigs tops, but drop-shotting just as effective.

    Bluegill: Good-Very Good – Setting up over cabbage beds in as little as 6’ to coontail in 18’. Draw ‘em in range using a small spinner, then set up small floats with Mini-Mites, small leeches or worms.

    Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – The cooler temps have helped improve the action. Working spinner baits, chatter baits across cabbage flats best. Smaller Musky glider baits also good.

    Musky: Good – Anglers reporting good action on fluted buck tails, soft tailed gliders. A few anglers still doing well on suckers, keep live bait down 10-12’ to help keep these suckers alive!

    Crappie: Good – Patterned up amongst the top of narrow leaf cabbage. Small beetle spins, 2” twister tails and 1/32 oz jigs with hair or tinsel producing slabs of 11-13”.

    Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Not a lot of people targeting. Those that have been noticed drop of action with cool down. Drifting Lindy rigs baited with ½ crawlers or soft shell crayfish over 16-20’ sandgrass best for larger fish (10-12”)

    Walleye: Fair-Good – Deep rock humps using redtails, full crawlers or the largest leeches available. Early AM jigging cabbage flats leading to deep water effective.

    The storms brought a reprieve to the hot surface temps, many of which are back into the mid-70’s after hitting highs into the mid-80’s. A little less pleasure boat traffic has put more anglers on the water.

    Leeches still a low supply, high demand bait. Typical for this bait to slow down to traps as water warms too much. Hopefully this week, with its cooler temps, will bring more into the traps.

    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
    #1961324

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-28-20:

    A week of very unstable weather for July. Cold mornings (low 50’s), small fronts and rain with lightning slowed fish activity. The weather and the bites were all inconsistent.

    Northern Pike: Good-Fair – Cooler temps seem to improve the bite at times, but, usually later in the mornings. Working Boonie Bait spinnerbaits over cabbage flats of 4-9’ worked best, but one really good morning would be followed by a couple not so good.

    Bluegill: Good-Fair – Scattered in depth from 2’-20’. Coontail edges of 14-18’ best, but don’t expect all nice Gills, as little Gills patrolling these areas ripping up crawlers and leeches meant for bigger game.

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair – Action slower than its been most of the summer. Some nice fish of 18″ – 20″, but not nearly the action. Heavy cabbage for some, but better along deep edges using Tokyo rigs or Carolina rigging craw imitations.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair – Deep coontail edges and over sandgrass flats. Drop-shotting 3” minnow or craw imitations.

    Musky: Fair – Bucktails best, the cooler mornings and unstable weather may have been the cause for less top-water action.

    Crappie: Fair – Not a lot of consistent reports this past week. Few fish here and there.

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Same as Crappies

    Walleye: Fair-Poor – A few nice fish, mainly along deep coontail edges on crawlers and leeches, very inconsistent.

    Water temps in the 72-75 degree range, looks like some very stable weather this week. May start to help pattern fish. The past week almost seemed like late August when waters cool (which they did) and weeds start to die back (which they didn’t). Slow down may have been after effect of such a hot late June/Early July.

    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
    #1962770

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 8-04-20:

    The previous week’s poor fishing looks good now! Cooling water temps due to night time lows below 50 degrees have lakes going through a major chill, many loosing 10 degrees or more of surface temps in the past couple days.

    Northern Pike: Fair – On windy or cloud covered days, Pike moving up to weed tops to take spinner baits, chatter baits or swim baits. On calm, clear days, anglers having to jig chubs or suckers into cabbage flats to entice bites.

    Bluegill: Fair – Active in shallows and deep coontail edges (a sign the larger predator fish are NOT present)! Small jigs tipped with plastics or small leeches best.

    Largemouth Bass: Fair-Poor – Fish not numerous, seems to be a bite here… a bite there. Signs of feeding on crayfish (look down mouth when unhooking-antenae peeking out) so there is a clue to lure choices.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair-Poor – Some nice fish, along coontail edges of 14-18’ as well as rock humps. Puking out small fish, so drop shotting 3” imitation minnows makes sense.

    Crappie: Fair-Poor – Have to find in right conditions. Cooler water seems to be pushing them down into thick weeds, not as aggressive.

    Musky: Fair-Poor – A few reports on smaller bucktails, for mid 30” fish. Anglers plying deeper water using rubber baits for larger, suspending fish.

    Walleye: Poor – Spotty bites dependent on cloud cover, wind. Leeches and crawlers best over eel grass on warmer days, cabbage on cooler and deep rocks where applicable.

    Yellow Perch: Poor – Not much of late. Small Perch on crawlers meant for Walleye.

    An overall cool week ahead, until weekend. Hopefully, rise in temps will bring back rise in fish activity.

    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
    #1963945

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 8-10-20:

    Some break in the slow fishing last week came in the form of a front bringing clouds and wind and NOT cool weather by the weekend. Fishing seemed to pick up, though not great, but better than previous couple weeks.

    Bluegill: Poor-Good – Improved as weather warmed. Active throughout. Weed related, be it cabbage of 6-10’ or on deeper, clearer lakes suspending outside coontail edges of 14-18’. Tiny tube jigs, Mini-mites, small leeches or worms below small floats. Even little #00 & #0 Mepps spinners working over cabbage tops.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair-Good – Action improved over deep rock humps. Drop shotting has been best bet using 3” Gulp Alive Minnows and small craw imitations. Jig and creature, as well as heavier Ned rigs, over 18-24’ rock bars also effective.

    Northern Pike: Fair-Good – Pick your days. Wind and cloud cover help immensely. Cast Boonie Bait spinner baits or chatter baits over tobacco cabbage flats, work at weed top level. On brighter, flat days, ply some weeds with a jig and chub or sucker combo.

    Musky: Fair-Good – Same as Pike, pick your days with wind or clouds to get fish to move up. Spinner baits, Bucktails and gliders with tails (Smity Jerks, Phantom Soft tails). Otherwise work deep with rubber baits along deep coontail edges or over open water.

    Largemouth Bass: Fair-Good – Action improved. Wacky worming cabbage beds effective. Evening top-water with small Whopper Ploppers or plastic frogs also good.

    Crappie: Fair – Scattered reports of fish in curly leaf cabbage tops on small tinsel jigs or 1-2” twister tails

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Most catches in weeds of 8-12’, ½ crawlers, medium fatheads. Also, drowned wood of 14-18’ on Flowages.

    Walleye: Fair – While some weed action here and there, deeper rocks seem to be preferred. The largest leeches available, crawlers or red-tailed chubs all scoring when you can locate hungry fish.

    With less of those cold mornings (as low as 47-49 degrees) the stable temps seem to be helping the bite. Warm weather should help mid-week. A cool down Friday, but more summer like temps to help smooth things out 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
    #1966049

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 8-17-20:

    These seem to be the dog days of August. Fishing just so-so. A good day here, followed by a tough couple days there.

    Bluegill: Good – Best outside coontail edges, suspended down 8-12’ over 16’. Tiny jigs, small leeches below small slip-floats best.

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair – Work wacky worms, Carolina rig creatures or sweet beavers in tall cabbage of 8-12’.

    Northern Pike: Good-Fair – Working spinner baits (Boonies, BooYah) and swim baits over cabbage flats. If no takers, slow down with a jig and chub.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair – Consistent action tough. Finding more along outside coontail edges than over rock humps. Drop-shotting 3” Gulp Alive minnows, 3” Wacky worms or dropping Ned rigs. Doing well on live chubs, mud minnows also along same areas.

    Musky: Fair – Action dependent on weather. Bucktails during day. Top-water early/late or during overcast/windy days.

    Crappie: Fair – Scattered reports of suspended fish along coontail edges. Overcast finding Crappies high in narrow leaf cabbage beds.

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Most reports related to drowned wood, ½ crawlers for bait.

    Walleye: Fair-Poor – Very weather dependent for weed bite. Some rock fish starting to show.

    With water temps pretty stable in the low 70 degree mark, seems the biggest detriment has been high pressure systems (though we’ve had our share of scattered storms/rain) and just a reluctance of fish to bite. Even when over top of fish, not been in a great feeding mood.

    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
    #1969992

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-01-20:

    Leading up to a late Labor Day weekend, a windy and wet weekend kept participation down on the water this past week. Good fishing was had by those finding the place and times.

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Look to thicker cabbage flats and work with jig/creature combos, Wacky Worms or Neko rigs. Swimming a 4” worm or swim bait also working when Bass “in the mood” to chase. Top-water action remains good on the warmer, calmer evenings.

    Bluegill: Good-Very Good – Where and when possible (due to wind and rain) nice Gills of 8-9” (with a few honest 10” ers) reported in weedy bays on Mini-mites, small jigs and even small crappie minnows. Best in the lee sides of lakes where sun warmed water a few extra degrees.

    Northern Pike: Good – Still best on spinner baits and chatter baits over cabbage beds of 6-10’. Live chubs or suckers on cooler mornings, snake through heavy weeds on weedless jigs and light wire leaders.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good – Most relating to coontail edges, though reed edges also pulling off some good action as well. Drop-shotting 3” minnow/worms, as well as Ned rigs. Also action on lipless cranks (Rattle Traps/Rattlin Raps) along same edges. Some rock bites, but not hot.

    Musky: Fair-Good – Most action past week in shallower water on bucktails, spinner baits and gliders with “tails”. Should see action pick up as waters start to slowly cool off.

    Crappie: Fair-Good – While not being found “bunched up”, some anglers finding fish in thick, narrow leaf cabbage of 8-12’. Slip-floats and small minnows best for neutral fish, but twitching small, tinsel tailed jigs through tops of same weeds fastest way to produce once fish on feed.

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Not a lot of reports. Most from anglers finding Perch in heavy cabbage picking off small crayfish, this is where ½ crawlers on orange or brown 1/32 oz jigs shine.

    Walleye: Fair – Mixed reports from deep wood, some on rock to #’s of small fish up in weed edges. Crawlers and redtails top choices, a few row trollers reporting fish starting to drop down in water column for those after suspended fish.

    Week’s forecast looks good for Friday and Saturday, clouds and light rain should mean good Sunday until evening. Drop in temps for Monday could be start of next stage into early fall, anglers can’t wait!!

    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
    #1972673

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-08-20:

    Cool weather and lots of wind made for a quieter than normal Labor Day weekend on the water. The wind was probably the biggest factor, making boat control and any type of finesse fishing difficult. Water temps, thanks to an unusually cool early September, have dropped this past week from low 70’s to low-mid 60’s.

    Musky: Good – Shallow water action tops as anglers surprised to find some fish in 2-3’ depths. Spoons, spinner baits and top-water baits working well. Fast moving gliders with tails, as well as 7” twitch baits. From here until turn-over, top-water a very good choice.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – With Musky moving into inside weeds, look out a bit deeper into beds to find fish. Jig and craw, Wacky worming and Texas Rigging 4-7” worms. On quieter nights/evenings, top-water action good.

    Northern Pike: Good – Reports best from anglers casting (due to wind making live bait presentations difficult). Spinner baits, swim baits and spoons getting best attention, cabbage beds of 7-12’.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good-Fair – Wind was biggest hindrance. Anglers finding some fish over rocks or along deep coontail edges. Reports of big fish (4#+) up in shallows hitting top-water (Whopper Ploppers)

    Walleye: Fair-Good – The deeper bite best on larger lakes where anglers working Shiver Minnows and Jigging Raps scoring along gravel humps of 18-25’. Also drifting crawler harness over mud flats effective outside weed edges in 13-20’.

    Crappie: Fair – Spotty reports, but large fish (12-14”) from weed beds of 8-12’. Wind a problem, 1/16 oz jigs to hold 2” twister tails down. Some deep wood fish (18-25’) but not any large numbers. This cool weather will probably start to concentrate.

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Not many reports, few targeting due to wind.

    Bluegill: Fair – Same as Perch.

    This early cool down should help spur Musky and Pike activity, as well as get the early fall patterns going for Walley and Crappies.

    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
    #1972675

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-15-20:

    Following what seemed like late October weather in early September, morning temps in the 30’s at launch time on several days, temps warming up mid-week, though mornings can still be downright cold.

    The yo-yoing temps have made for inconsistent fishing on many days with afternoons better than mornings as the difference between water and air temps shrink.

    Crappie: Good+ – Deep wood holding Crappies in Flowages. Slip-bobber medium fatheads for slabs of 12-14”. On natural lakes anglers finding Crappies along deep coontail edges of 14-18’, suspended 3-4’ off bottom, and around deep cribs of 18-28’.

    Bluegill: Good – Not for action but big Gills taking ½ crawlers beneath slip-floats in and around same areas as Crappies, deep!

    Northern Pike: Good – Casting swim baits, spinner baits and #4 Mepps Comets above cabbage. Also jig and chubs. Windy days providing best action.

    Musky: Good – Reports have been mostly of anglers using fast moving glide baits, twitch baits or bucktails. Some top-water. Suckers on bladed quick-set rigs as surface temps in low 60’s already.

    Walleye: Good-Fair – Deep lakes vertical fishing gravel/med transitions using Shiver minnows/Jigging Raps or ¼ oz jig w/ large fathead or ½ crawler. If trouble finding in this area, drift mud flats with Lindy rig and crawlers in 18-30’.

    Largemouth Bass: Fair – Weather has kept Bass anglers off water. Plunging weeds with heavy jigs and creature baits best to draw reluctant fish. Afternoon warmth improving fishing.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair – Same as above. Sandgrass flats giving up a few fish on drop-shot rigs, gravel humps of 20-28’ holding some Smallies feeding on crayfish and sculpin!

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Few reports, probably due to wind.

    Mid-September already and not a typical one, cool, wet and windy. Water temps down, water levels up from typical average this time of year.

    So Far Musky suckers look to be getting hard to get. Pond suckers due to past two winters in Minnesota, wild suckers due to high river levels. Cool down of lakes from nights in 30’s should get the Musky bite going this 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
    #1974694

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-15-20:

    Colder than usual morning temps (lows of 30-38 degrees) the past week and more wind, but offset by sun (through the haze) have lake surface temps hovering in the 58-62 degree range.

    Musky: Good-Very Good – With many lakes at pre-turn over, top-water action has been hot. Pick your time and weather, early-late-cloud (haze) and work shallow weeds (3-8’) with Flap tails, Hawg Wobblers, Creepers. Faster moving top-water tail baits also effective such as Whopper Ploppers and Top Raiders. Working jerks and glider above weeds also effective. With water temps averaging around 60 degrees, suckers producing very well also.

    Northern Pike: Good – Twitch baits, buck tails (#4:#5 MEPPS Comets, Wizards) and spinner baits. Pike like this cool weather. Jig or float and a chub a nice, relaxing way to spend a fall afternoon.

    Walleye: Good – Seems to be a lot of movement from day to day. Deep transitions of hard to mud using vertical jigging techniques (Shiver Minnows, Jigging Raps, 1/4-3/8 oz jigs and 1/2 crawler or large fats). On flowages, river channel edges using chubs or 3-4” suckers.

    Crappie: Good-Fair – Reports of Crappies not as bunched up yet, but big slabs in the 12-14” range being caught. Fish suspending 2-6’ off bottom along coontail edges or near sunken wood/cribs. Vertical jig a 1/16 oz jig with yellow, white or mylar body.

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair – Outside weed edges using jig and creature and Tokyo rigs. Wacky worms also working. Where Musky not as much as issue, work inside weeds with pre-rigged worms, spinner baits.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good-Fair – Deep humps, drop-shotting minnow imitations best. A few BIG Smallies hitting shallow top-water meant for Musky.

    Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Few anglers targeting in wind, best fishing has been for larger Perch in heavy cabbage on jig/minnow combo.

    Bluegill: Good-Fair – Few anglers due to wind. Big Gills coming from deep wood of cribs, pilings on 1/2 crawlers or beaver tails under slip-floats.

    Colors of fall coming in, cold mornings, but late morning through afternoons are beautiful. Fishing overall good, wind has been biggest drawback. Early sucker bite for Musky bodes well for the rest of this month and the next.

    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
    #1976446

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-15-20:

    As September comes to a close, with plenty of previews of October like weather, anglers’ sights move primarily to Musky, Walleye and Crappies. Cool, windy weather is not always the easiest to fish and we typically see Bass, Bluegill and Perch anglers participate less as the fall progresses.

    Musky: Very Good-Good – With surface temps holding in the low 60’s, Musky action remains very good in shallow water. Top-water lures, tailed gliders, twitch baits, spinner baits and jerk baits all producing. Big fish this week caught by some of our guided clients in the upper 40” range weighing in the upper 30# class! This bite should remain hot as temps, though cool, continue to not spike up or down much. Sucker (and Trout) bite also good on quick sets.

    Walleye: Good-Fair – Deep gravel humps and mud transition lines of 22-30’ using jig minnow, Lindy rig sucker combos or vertical jigging Raps and shiver minnows. On Flowages edges of river channels best in 14-20’ using small chubs on 1/16 – 1/8 oz weedless jigs to reduce snags in wood.

    Northern Pike: Good – As usual, weed based areas producing best with spinner baits and spoons. Musky anglers report being “bothered” by Pike using twitch baits and bucktails meant for “Skies”!

    Crappie: Good-Fair – Most reports from Flowages as wind making it hard to hold on the lakes. Even the Flowage bite not as “hot” as it should be. Medium fats over 12-18’ drowned wood. Some fish suspended 8-10’ down, but tough to get bite from.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – As mentioned earlier, not as much participation. Bass tucked into heavy weed cover, jig/creature combos, Wacky worming and Texas rigging best.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good-Fair – Most on off shore gravel/rock humps of 20-28’. Wind has been big hindrance. A few BIG Smallies on top-water meant for Muskies in shallows.

    Bluegill: Fair – Few reports. Best on Flowages where large Gills occasionally being caught by Crappie & Walleye anglers.

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Same as with Gills.

    With highs in the low 40’s to mid 50’s this week (lows in low to upper 30’s), water temps may slip a little, but we’ve been getting similar weather with little change.

    Should be a good October. Shortages on Musky Suckers and red-tailed chubs evident. Redtails almost none coming in, suckers limited and prices rising again due to low supply. Call ahead of your trip to check supplies at your favorite shops.

    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
    #1979090

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 9-29-20:

    As September comes to a close, with plenty of previews of October like weather, anglers’ sights move primarily to Musky, Walleye and Crappies. Cool, windy weather is not always the easiest to fish and we typically see Bass, Bluegill and Perch anglers participate less as the fall progresses.

    Musky: Very Good-Good – With surface temps holding in the low 60’s, Musky action remains very good in shallow water. Top-water lures, tailed gliders, twitch baits, spinner baits and jerk baits all producing. Big fish this week caught by some of our guided clients in the upper 40” range weighing in the upper 30# class! This bite should remain hot as temps, though cool, continue to not spike up or down much. Sucker (and Trout) bite also good on quick sets.

    Walleye: Good-Fair – Deep gravel humps and mud transition lines of 22-30’ using jig minnow, Lindy rig sucker combos or vertical jigging Raps and shiver minnows. On Flowages edges of river channels best in 14-20’ using small chubs on 1/16 – 1/8 oz weedless jigs to reduce snags in wood.

    Northern Pike: Good – As usual, weed based areas producing best with spinner baits and spoons. Musky anglers report being “bothered” by Pike using twitch baits and bucktails meant for “Skies”!

    Crappie: Good-Fair – Most reports from Flowages as wind making it hard to hold on the lakes. Even the Flowage bite not as “hot” as it should be. Medium fats over 12-18’ drowned wood. Some fish suspended 8-10’ down, but tough to get bite from.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – As mentioned earlier, not as much participation. Bass tucked into heavy weed cover, jig/creature combos, Wacky worming and Texas rigging best.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good-Fair – Most on off shore gravel/rock humps of 20-28’. Wind has been big hindrance. A few BIG Smallies on top-water meant for Muskies in shallows.

    Bluegill: Fair – Few reports. Best on Flowages where large Gills occasionally being caught by Crappie & Walleye anglers.

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Same as with Gills.

    With highs in the low 40’s to mid 50’s this week (lows in low to upper 30’s), water temps may slip a little, but we’ve been getting similar weather with little change.

    Should be a good October. Shortages on Musky Suckers and red-tailed chubs evident. Redtails almost none coming in, suckers limited and prices rising again due to low supply. Call ahead of your trip to check supplies at your favorite shops.

    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
    #1979093

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-06-20:

    More late October-like weather with wind, rain and SNOW, made for tougher conditions than most are used to for the first weekend of October. Water temps ranged from 52-57 degrees putting many lakes right in the midst of turn over. Despite the finger chilling wind, some nice reports, especially from the esox anglers, came in.

    Musky: Very Good-Fair – Things got tougher closer to the weekend. Prior to, nice reports of fish on top-water (Flap tails, Hawg wobblers), gliders (Smity & Phantom) and twitch baits such as Cranes and Bucher Shallow Raiders. Large swim baits also effective. Good sucker reports, as well as Musky hitting trout. Call ahead for quantities as suckers still limited in supply. Several fat fish from 46-48” C&R this past week from our guided clients.

    Northern Pike: Very Good-Fair – Most incidentals of Pike caught by Musky anglers on swim baits. Fish of 34-36” tops, but plenty of others in the 26-30” range.

    Walleye: Good-Fair – Turn over affecting these already finicky fish. Lakes off during turn over, Flowages best choice. Use jig and large fats or small chubs. Once turn over complete (usually 3 days or so) head deep on natural lakes, vertical fish humps and transition areas 18-30+’. Be careful bringing fish up in water deeper than 30’, not to harm those you can’t or don’t want to keep. Or don’t fish for these guys at this time.

    Crappie: Fair-Good – Action picking up as fish moving into somewhat tighter schools. Hard to fish in wind, but those being caught running thick in 11-13” range.

    Smallmouth/Largemouth Bass: Fair – Not many reports, though a fairly strong tournament out on the chain this past weekend, but tight lipped about their success. From the few reports from locals both species are surprisingly shallow requiring jigs to be worked slow in pockets, Wacky worming and weedless Ned rigging also effective.

    No reports on Bluegill or Perch

    A relief from the cold is in sight for this weekend, traditionally best time to hunt Musky and some deep-water Walleye.

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

    Mark

    P.S. Sorry guys for the reposting of these last two reports from Kurt!!! Been busier than a 3 armed paper hanger!!! Was actually shocked that I was two reports, almost 3 behind!!! Hoping to stay up-to-date better for these last couple of months.

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1980531

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-06-20:

    No two days the same as of late. Wind direction, wind speed, temperature jumps and plunges, clouds, sun… yet lots of lake surface temps hovering around 55 degrees. It’s definitely October and anglers have been busy targeting their favorite fish of the fall, Musky, Walleye and Crappies.

    Musky: Good-Very Good – It’s really varying from day to day and lake to lake. While suckers are the typical fare for October, glide baits (Smity Jerks:Phantoms), jerk baits (Suicks) and twitch baits (Cranes, Shallow Raiders) are out boating the live bait on some days. High winds making boat control tough. Most fish coming off weed lines of 6-10’. Some days of actions (3, 5, 6 or more fish per boat reported) or 1 large fish in the upper 40’s. Looks like a couple more weeks of good action in store!

    Walleye: Good-Fair – Wind and boat control being the largest hindrance. Vertical jigging Shiver Minnows and jigging Raps along deep rocks and transition areas of 24-34’. Jig or Lindy rig live chubs or suckers if fish are not aggressive enough for lures. Be careful bringing fish out of deep – SLOW ascent is key and responsible for safe release.

    Smallmouth Bass: Fair – Few reports, but a few anglers finding Smallies along transition zones of hard to soft bottoms in 18-28’.

    Northern Pike: Fair – Most caught by Musky anglers. Smaller twitch baits and glide baits best.

    Crappie: Good-Fair – Wind making drifts hard on some days. Deep wood best, but possible to score on suspended fish if you watch your locator closely. Schools suspending at 7-9’ down over 14-18’.

    Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Perch – No reports.

    Water temps holding fairly steady at 52-56 degrees due to fluctuating air temps (50-75 degrees past several days for highs). While some bait is tough to find (redtails, Walleye suckers), Musky suckers and farm raised Brook Trout have been available as of late for the Musky anglers.

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

    Mark

    Walleyestudent Andy Cox
    Participant
    Garrison MN-Mille Lacs
    Posts: 4484
    #1980546

    Mark,

    Thank you for continuing to post these reports.

    Although I’m not sure how many on this forum pay attention, a few hopefully?

    I haven’t paid much attention myself being far removed from that area now.

    I have renewed interest, though still quite a ways off we decided to switch things up for our annual family fishing vacation.

    Next June we have reserved a week at a beautiful cabin on the TFF.

    So looking forward to revisiting that spectacular area I used to call my second home. yay

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1980560

    Andy:

    Glad to hear!!! I know a few do like to read it. I got a inbox message from Jake47 regarding bait for this weekend, but I’ve been so busy that I missed being able to help him. Glad to hear you are coming north, you should try to set a date with Doc Sabec or Don Pemble for an early guide date to set up your week. If those two don’t have time, then Dale Anderson or Jeff Robl… FWIW, I’d go with any of the above, but Pemble would be my first choice as he’s the oldest of the batch.

    Mark

    Walleyestudent Andy Cox
    Participant
    Garrison MN-Mille Lacs
    Posts: 4484
    #1980576

    Andy:

    Glad to hear you are coming north

    Mark

    Well actually for me, from Garrison MN I’ll be going due east. smile

    My youngest daughter and family will be coming from Stoughton/Madison area.

    We’ll be staying on the very far north arm of the flowage, just south of Lake of the Falls…north of Trude Lake. I would expect we’d concentrate our efforts in that area. Looking at the map, it looks like the tip of an iceberg the way that flowage spreads out.

    It’s been far too long since I’ve last tossed out a Hawg Wobbler or my “secret weapon” Suick for muskie.

    I’m already counting down the days. grin

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1981896

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-19-20:

    Maybe due to the warm Octobers of a couple years ago, but this one sure seemed to turn cold quick. Air temps in the upper 20’s to low 30’s, wind, SNOW, can only mean one thing…It’s Musky Time! While the weather hasn’t been easy on those willing to venture out, some good things for those that have.

    Musky: Good-Very Good – With water temps dipping into upper 40’s on all but the largest lakes, the sucker bite has improved. Fishing suckers 10-18’ down in 16-22’ depth has been the key while casting shallower to draw fish up. Good, heavy fish in the 40-48” range with some good fish being caught on glide baits (Smity Jerks, Phantoms w/ tails) and Jerks (Suicks, Bobbies) and rubber (Medussa, Burbots). Best fish of the week, 48” on Suick, but most on suckers!

    Walleye: Good – Lots of searching. Some reports of anglers finding in green weeds of 6-10’, but overall depth is where the bulk of the action is from. Most anglers vertical fishing 22-38’ using Shiver Minnows, Jigging Raps and Hyper Rattles. Lindy rigging tail hooked redtails, black chubs and Walleye suckers also successful. Don’t be afraid to search shallower – a lesson learned Sunday after working 30-50’ transitions and holes only to find fish on 25’ bars!

    Smallmouth Bass: Good – While not many anglers targeting, very nice fish caught using Shiver Minnows over rock bars this past weekend targeting Walleyes.

    Not a lot of other reports to put out due to cold, snowy and windy weather. Assume good Crappie fishing still over deep wood on Flowages, jut tough to find weather to cooperate.

    With forecasted highs to only hit 44 degrees this week and lows in low 20’s, expect lakes to slowly continue to cool down. Once surface temps hit low 40’s, slower retrieves and presentations will be required. Yet good fishing still to be had.

    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
    #1984046

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-29-20:

    Mother Nature has pushed the pause button on fishing the Lakeland Area for a bit. Snow on the ground and ice on ponds and bays, cold and wind have kept all but the fool… I mean hardiest anglers off the water.

    Musky: Good – Live baiting has almost been the exclusive way to target Musky as casting has become frustrating with reels and rods freezing so quickly. Spool a reel up with heavy mono to extend your casting duration. A Mr. Heater in the boat couldn’t hurt, otherwise its been suckers and trout on slow trolls in 14-22’ of water from most reports.

    Walleye: Good – Few anglers out. While deep rock, transition areas best (28-40’), check out some shallower saddles between deep holes as fish move up to feed. Chubs and suckers on Lindy style rigs best.

    With water temps ranging (as of 10/24) from a high of 44 to a low of 39, along with bays of some lakes freezing up the past few days (pond behind shop has been locked up 2 days now) access will be limited on some lakes. A warm up next week should make for easier conditions to fish and softer water to fish on.

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

    Mark

    Walleyestudent Andy Cox
    Participant
    Garrison MN-Mille Lacs
    Posts: 4484
    #1984053

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 10-29-20:

    Mother Nature has pushed the pause button on fishing the Lakeland Area for a bit. Snow on the ground and ice on ponds and bays, cold and wind have kept all but the fool… I mean hardiest anglers off the water.

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

    Mark

    This part gave me a chuckle… lol

    Thank you again for continuing to post reports Mark.

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1984073

    Andy:

    The earliest I’ve ice fished up here was November 9th. It was one of the first years after I had moved up here in ’94. When that pond next to Kurt’s freezes or thaws, it generally signals a 10 day to 2 week period before everything else in the area starts to follow suit. Fortunately for the next two weeks warmup!!! That warmth will thaw the roads allowing for the budget to catch up for the plowing from the towns. they have been absolutely terrible since the early snow we’ve received. Alas too much postal work and sooooo glad that the election is just about over, what a waste of paper that scenario showed me!!! Enough for now…

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #1986868

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 11-10-20:

    Couple weeks ago, we looked to be heading into early ice up. Last weeks warm spell opened things back up on our lakes.

    Many sportsmen and women have put their boats away and set their sights (literally) on other ventures. (If I need to spell it out… hunting. Get it?) Still, for those who haven’t put their boats away, fishing has been good.

    Musky: Good-Very Good – Sucker bite continues to be best with some good reports from anglers casting larger glide baits (Smutly Dogs, Smity Jerks) and large swim baits! Large Cranes and 9-11” Grandmas also producing.

    Walleye: Good – Deep bites best using jig and minnow combos over gravel/mud transitions in 30-45’. Flowage fish relating to deeper wood.

    While a few anglers have found Smallies and Crappies while working for Walleyes, not much to report on.

    Whitefish have been hitting very well along deep breaks adjacent to shallow spawning locations, #5 pimples best.

    Deer sighting seem to be up this year from last year, with a few more larger bucks being reported. Far cry from the late 90’s early 2000’s, but hopefully an upswing.

    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
    #1994212

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 12-01-20:

    Following days of mid 40’s and wind, last night things laid down enough for many area lakes to skim back over! A few bays and shallow lakes have 1 ½ – 2 ½” as of 11/30. Should be expanding now, but not quickly.

    Night time, early morning and late afternoon temps look to be running high teens to upper twenties, with the periods of above freezing lasting not more than 4-6 hours each day, may be enough to melt snow cover on older ice and let a more solid freeze continue. Dry conditions in forecast should help.

    While not advocating everyone rush out and jump on the ice, a few anglers have had good success on Walleyes, Northern Pike and Yellow Perch where conditions have permitted. Be very careful, spud your way out, carry rope, flotation and spikes if traveling on ice.

    Call ahead to your local bait shops for updated info.

    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
    #1996360

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 12-08-20:

    Not as fast as we would like, but after the past couple ice seasons… we’ll TAKE IT!

    Ice coverage is building throughout the Lakeland area and anglers are heading out (by cleated foot only) to enjoy early ice fishing.

    Walleye: Good-Very Good – Favorite early ice target for many, late afternoon to dusk has been very good in the shallows (2-6’) using tip-ups baited with shiners. Jigging Raps and Shiver Minnows also effective for this aggressive, early bite. Pre-dawn through mid-morning also giving up good action anywhere green cabbage can be found.

    Crappies: Good-Very good – Most anglers targeting Crappies finding best bites early in AM and again mid-afternoon through dusk. Minnows producing, but jigging lures with flash such as Little Cecils also good tipped with waxies.

    Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Big minnows and even Hot Dogs on tip-ups producing. Using a tie-able wire leader and #5 Pimples dressed with minnow heads also putting fish on ice.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Moving through shallows in what seems to be loose schools taking smaller minnows and striking K-Rips tipped with waxies.

    Bluegill: Good – 4-8’ weeds. Tear dot jigs tipped with waxies, spikes or plastics all good.

    While some large lakes still have open water (Fence, Trout) most are locked up and slowly building ice. Nearly snowless, so creepers are essential. Also, use a spud bar to check ice, have a rope and/or float suit, go out with a friend. Reports of ice thickness in 2-6”+ range, but caution always required.

    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
    #1997995

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 12-15-20:

    The Northwoods may finally get the ice fishing conditions us anglers have been waiting for. Good ice making temperatures and little to no precipitation has produced some great early ice fishing!

    Walleye: Excellent-Very Good – Sure that the New Moon period is helping, but accessibility and for the most part great conditions have put lots of anglers and Walleyes on the ice! Shallow (2-8’) water with green weeds are seeing good bites on medium shiners and suckers with some anglers reporting bites starting at 2-3 PM, others out past mid-night still scoring. Aggressive Walleyes also being caught on Jiggin Raps, Rippin Raps and Shiver Minnows.

    Crappies: Very good – Lots of good reports from anglers using minnows on tip-downs. Also slow-dropping waxies on plastics on rocker jigs or Lethal Cecils! Depending on weather Crappies of 10-14” being caught tight to bottom all the way up to 2’ under ice in 7-12’.

    Northern Pike: Very Good – Popping flags in bays with good green weeds of 6-10’. Big lively bait in the form of shiners and suckers best.

    Bluegill: Very Good – Anglers presenting mousses and waxies on VMC tungsten fly jigs and Kenders Akua jig flares having good action. Reports with photos of fish over 10” (up to 11 ¼”) coming in!

    Yellow Perch: Good-Very Good – Anglers targeting fish in shallow weeds catching nice Perch on Northland Forage Minnow Spoons and small buckshot spoons loaded with waxies!

    Largemouth Bass: Good – Good reports from anglers using medium shiners on tip-ups or jigging Slender Spoons tipped with waxies or a minnow head.

    Conditions on the ice have really improved following two consecutive nights of lows below 0 degrees to single digits. Expect to find ice thickness of 8-9” on many lakes by the weekend.

    Reports of an ATV that broke ice on a smaller lake (no one hurt) means caution still required. Lack of snow means slippery conditions (ice skaters are loving this!). Be sure to wear creepers when venturing out, safety spikes, rope still important.

    With little to no precipitation in forecast we should have great ice barring any unforeseen weather through the new year.

    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
    #2002855

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 12-22-20:

    This may be payback for what Mother Nature threw at us last year, but whatever it is we will gladly take it! Thanks Ma!

    Ice conditions through out the Northwoods have gradually improved. A recent snow from last night (12/21) will stall ice production at these current temps but provide some traction when out on the ice. Ice not too thick (6-9+”) but enough for good foot travel and light penetration… and active fish.

    Walleye: Excellent > It’s a toss up between walleye and crappies for top billing, but due to flags and size from reports and typical difficulty – they get the #1 slot this week!!!

    Good catches continue to come in from anglers fishing shallow weed flats and bars from mid afternoon thru dark. Medium shiners, river shiners, walleye suckers and even large fatheads/rosies on tip-ups and tip-downs. Jigging raps, slab raps, rippin raps, micro pro v’s and Acme hyper R.I.P.’s also producing well as fish are continuing to actively feed during this extended early ice period. Good #’s of eaters and multiple reports of walleye in the 25 – 28” range being caught and released, Way To Go Anglers !!

    Crappies: Excellent > Most action taking place in 7-10’ narrow leaf cabbage by slow dropping plastics or waxies or setting up tip-downs with small minnows. Vary depth either technique as crappies have been found both high and low in weeds, moving up and down with varying light and barometric changes.

    Northern Pike: Excellent > Good flag action using large suckers and shiners. Anglers reporting very good #’s and size with several “silver” (spotless) pike and lots of musky (must be released immediately) being caught.

    Bluegill: Excellent > Very good. Bright jigs of orange, chartruese or yellow with waxies best. For targeting larger gills, work more subdued colors of red, brown or black tipped with moussee’s. If too many small gills, search deeper weed edges for larger fish.

    Yellow Perch: Good > Not getting the attention yet, probably due to being scattered about weed flats and less concentrated over mud as we will see later in season.

    Largemouth Bass: Good > Not being targeted currently, but some really nice bass with one family catching and releasing 4 bucketmouths of 19 – 21 1/2” over the weekend. While they caught some jigging, most on tip-ups with medium shiners.

    Following this Wednesday’s forecast for rain with a high of 38 degrees we won’t see above freezing temps for the next week, with lows of single digits to below zero for the next week plus. Ice will thicken and creepers will more than likely be needed once again.

    While questions of ice travel by use of snowmobile or ATV are frequently asked, we can’t say its totally safe! Some larger lakes have areas of only 3” and how ice thickens across and entire lake is a hard thing to judge. If forecast holds, we should see improved conditions through out the Christmas/New Year’s 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
    #2002865

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 12-29-20:

    2020 has been a kind year if you’re an ice angler!!!

    With little snow cover and most lakes averaging 8-12″ of ice, conditions are great for this prolonged early ice season. Fishing overall has been very good with the biggest issue being able just to find your own “piece of the ice”!

    Crappies: Excellent – Very Good > While not everyone is catching limits (not everyone ever does) great action and reports of LOTS of Crappie up to and just over 14″ being caught. Many anglers releasing these big slabs to reproduce or get caught again, taking the 10-12″‘s for eating! Tip-downs with rosies, emerald shiners and crappie minnows hot! Anglers also finding good bites on plastics fished slowly on a dropping flutter action. While most anglers fishing weeds of 9-12′, some already are spreading out over mud flats of 16-20′ finding fish on spoons.

    Walleye: Very Good > Nice fish being caught close to and just after dusk. A few good early morning bites. Jigging Rap Style baits good for action. Tip-ups always the norm and using suckers and shiners. Plenty of eating size fish reported with some big 26-31″ eyes. C&R this past week! Nite bite improving!

    Northern Pike: Very Good > Action good on big baits (shiners, suckers) and few on Hot dogs! Mid-morning through the afternoon. Even a few after dark surprisingly !

    Bluegill: Very Good > Best on moussees, waxies in heavy cabbage beds. Teardrops and shimpo jigs working well.

    Yellow Perch: Good > A few anglers finding fish roaming mud flats in 16-20’ mixed in with crappies. Fish of 9-12″ being caught using hali jigs tipped with waxies or spikes and tip-downs with rosies.

    Largemouth Bass: Good, Rarely targeted, but good #’s and size on medium shiners.

    Ice thickness ranging 8-12″ on average (though some larger lakes only have 5-7″) ATV and snowmobile travel good on many lakes. Can’t advise truck travel, but you’ll see them out there, sometimes in places they shouldn’t be.
    Please use caution!

    #minocquaarea #letsgofishing #fishingguide #fishingreport #minnkotaservice #stcroix #rapala #diawa #shimano #normark #minnkota #fenwick #13fishing #rangernets #costadelmar #lunkerhunt #yamamoto #yum #berkley #kalins #lindy #mepps #zman #booyah #booniebaits #invasionjigs #engelcoolers #frabill #smitybaits #interstatebattery #jigsgalore #cannondownriggerservice #mammothcoolers #huntingseason #muckboots #stormykromer #lacrosseboots #baffinboots #icefish

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

    Mark

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