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Minocqua Area Report – 2021

  • mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2004357

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 1-04-20:

    Very good conditions for ice anglers continue as the forecast in our area shows little to no precipitation. Lows at night in the upper teens to mid 20’s and highs hovering in the mid 20’s to barely 30. Fishing action fell off some, but was expected with full moon period bringing along some high pressure days and LOTS of people on the ice.

    Walleye: Very Good – Good > Action mostly coming at dusk and again for those staying out through the
    10 pm-midnight time. Weed edges of 8-12′ though still reports of fish as shallow as 6′ after dark. Tip-ups baited with 2 1/2″ – 4″ suckers, chubs or shiners for most anglers through jigging Slab Raps, Rippin Reps and Shad Raps also still producing. Of note, pick and drops could be small Walleye or Perch, sometimes better to go with a larger bait to deter the little guys.

    Crappies: Good > Still reports of some better than average slabs of 14″, but overall numbers, while still good, not what they were. Most still weed related in 8-12′, slow dropping plastics, waxies on beaver tail. Tip-downs with small minnows working as well here. Some anglers started to find suspended crappies over 15-20′ flats 3-10′ off bottom.

    Northern Pike: Good > As with other fish a bit of a slow down, but still good.Big suckers, shiners and even hot dogs (not sure what brand is best) working in 6-12′ cabbage. Nice fish to mid 30″ this past week.

    Bluegill: Good > Early and late in the day for better gills on sunny days. Moussee’s tops, but waxies and spikes working. Plastics tails on #3mm tungsten on windy days. lead jigs fine for calm days with slower drops.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Fair > Still not as much attention but more anglers starting to seek this species out. Weed related will feed on small minnows and Vingla spoons loaded with waxies. Out over the mud, use rattling kastmaster to present wiggler’s or red spikes.

    Largemouth Bass: Good > Small to medium shiners on tip-ups. for fun try jigging a #3 Swedish pimple tipped with a minnow head on a 13 fishing, micro magic man on a medium light jig rod in weed pockets of 6-10′

    Despite some very good conditions, ice averages 10-12″ on most lakes. I can’t recommend truck travel just yet. It’s being done, but with reports of three different trucks on three different lakes breaking through. I’ll leave my truck at the boat landing!
    ATV and UTV and snowmobile travel is good. Snow cover averaging two-three inches on lakes.

    #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

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2005535

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 1-12-20:

    Maybe it’s based on how great things have been, lots of anglers on the ice, lower than normal barometer or just an ice fishing hangover! Fishing slowed some this past weekend. Anglers reporting having to work a little harder for the fish they did catch, but catching has continued! With ice thickness on average of 11″ – 13” and only a couple inches of snow on ice, travel by foot, sno-mo or ATV excellent. Can’t recommend truck travel yet, even though it’s being done.

    Walleye: Good – Anglers working off shore humps jigging 13 Fishing Majic Mans, Hyper Rattles, Slab Raps and jigging Raps. Scoring fish during the early morning hours and dusk to just after period. Suckers on tip-downs best on these areas while those working 6-12’ weeds at dusk reporting better success on shiners.

    Crappies: Good – Weed anglers still finding Crappies in 10-12’ narrow leaf cabbage using Lethal Cecils and Rockers to present plastics and beavertail to fish. Crappie minnows on tip-downs still producing well both there and on mud basin fish in 14-22’ while working Venom Inferno jigs and sling blade jigs tipped with waxies.

    Bluegill: Good – Ice anglers getting good results using Clam Dingle Drop and Swirl Drop jigs tipped with mousees in 6-10’ cabbage pockets. Tungsten jig flys offered in a slow drop also a good way to tempt reluctant biters.

    Northern Pike: Good – Some very good-sized Pike reported this past weekend, fish to 39” on big shiners over weed tops of 6’ in 12′-16′ of water. Smaller Pike active in flats of 6-10’, river shiners and goldens best.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Have to search to find active fish. In weeds K-Rips and T-Rips tipped with waxies. Work bait aggressively to attract attention, then hold bait still once an audience arrives. Over mud flats Hali jigs, Kastmasters D-Chain tipped with wigglers or red spikes doing the trick. Tip-downs baited with small rosies or a large wiggler on a #16 treble upping the odds.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – Most anglers picking up Bass on tip-ups using medium shiners. Jigging a #3 pimple tipped with a minnow head also producing.

    Forecasted temps seem to be holding steady this week, the dreaded “Polar Vortex” to arrive on Sunday with lows in the low teens to highs in low 20’s (it is winter here) shouldn’t be as drastic as predicted. Some more cold to build another 2-3” of ice would make truck travel better. Overall, it’s been an incredible ice season so far.

    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
    #2008140

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 1-20-20:

    Following a very low-pressure system midweek that seemed to have shut down most daytime angling (after dark fishing was noticeably better), things improved by the weekend.

    Threats of snowstorms and polar vortex cold never really materialized in what has to be the mildest winter the Northwoods has ever experienced. Ice not building very much up through Jan. 18, but not losing either!

    Walleye: Poor/Good – Following the mid-week slump, flags started popping better for anglers using the standard tip-up baits. Jigging also improved as eyes got more aggressive. Jigging Raps, Clam Tikka Mino, and Shiner Minnows tipped with a minnow head scored well this past week on fish in the low to mid 20” range (slot fish!)

    Crappies: Poor/Good – Mid-week it was nighttime only for the most part – glow jigs tipped with waxies or small minnows. By the weekend, daytime angling improved for tip-down anglers using rosies!

    Northern Pike: Poor/Good – Fishing river shiners, goldens, and suckers in the 6′-12’ cabbage best. Action improved by weekend.

    Bluegill: Poor/Good – Small dark jigs tipped with mousses or waxies. Some larger gills found outside weeds over mud in 12-18’ mixed with crappies and perch.

    Yellow Perch: Poor/Good – While still nice, perch are mingled in with smaller fish in weeds (use small lake shiners or medium fats to keep the little ones at bay). Better average fish and fewer little ones plying the mud flats using tip-downs with crappie minnows or wigglers on fast dropping chained spoons!

    Largemouth Bass: Poor/Good – While medium shiners on tip-downs are good, some anglers are doing better on small Jigging Raps or Slender Spoons

    Despite reports of a truck breaking through on the Willow (the current is always a problem there) ice is getting somewhat better this week with lows in the single digits and little snow cover to help build more ice.

    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
    #2010544

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 1-26-20:

    Wintery weather! The type we’ve grown unaccustomed to this year. High wind, sub-zero temps and 5-6” of very light, fluffy snow slowed anglers this past week. The cold may have helped some anglers as reports of 14-16” of ice on many lakes has eased the worry of truck travel.

    Some of the mid-winter doldrums have hit, but overall, due to a very mild winter, conditions still very good for anglers.

    Crappies: Fair-Good – Anglers still finding some weed related fish in 8-12’ using tip-downs with minnows or dropping Lethal Cecils tipped with waxies. More basin fish being caught over mud flats of 16-24’. Tungsten jigs tipped with waxies, glow T-Rips and tip-downs baited with small rosies best.

    Walleye: Fair-Good – Anglers finding smaller windows of activity, pre-dawn, dusk and later. Jigging Chubby Dartors, 3/8 oz Z-Vibs, Tikka Minnows and Jigging Raps tipped with minnow heads on off shore humps at low light. Some tip-up action on suckers in same areas. Anglers in weeds reporting better results using golden shiners.

    Northern Pike: Fair-Good – Anglers reporting action on shiners, suckers, hot dogs and large frozen smelt. (Turns out some Pike won’t bite hot dogs that aren’t kosher… who knew? – haha)

    Bluegill: Fair-Good – Mid-mornings through mid-afternoons best. Small dark #3 tungsten jigs tipped with mousses or spikes. Most Gills weed related, yet anglers fishing Crappies over mud in 16-24’ picking up occasional fish.

    Yellow Perch: Fair-Good – Movement out over mud basin improves as Perch search for midge and mayfly larvae at this time. Clam Bomb Spoons, Pinhead Jigging Mino, Hali jigs and Pimples to deliver red spikes or wigglers best. Start in 16-18’, but depths as deep as 28-32’ holding Perch on some lakes.

    Largemouth Bass: Fair – A few reports of incidental catches on medium shiners and jigs meant for other species.

    Despite recent cold building ice, caution still advised. Check conditions, especially if you are first out on the lake.

    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
    #2011492

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 2-02-20:

    As we head into February, with just five weeks of the gamefish season left (closes at the end of the night, March 7th), conditions for ice fishing just keep improving. Not quite so much for the fishing, but that is somewhat expected for mid-winter.

    Crappies: Fair-Good – Some tough days on the usual spots – weed beds and Flowages, but anglers plying the deep mud flats of 22-30’ finding willing biters using #5 mm tungsten jigs in glow tipped with waxies or wigglers. Tip-downs with rosies also working. Keep close eye on locator for depths, many times Crappies cruising 3-8’+ off bottom.

    Northern Pike: Fair-Good – A few tougher days, probably due to full moon/high pressure. Some big fish were caught (and released!) including a whopping 42 1/2” er. Big shiners and suckers – nothing from the hotdog clan this week!

    Yellow Perch: Fair – As with the Crappie anglers, best bites over deep mud flats using wigglers as bait on Venom Core spoons, Clam Bombs and Hali jigs. Mud of 18-28’ has been best. Mid-morning through mid-afternoon.

    Bluegill: Fair – Best action in weeds, but best fish out over deep water. Mixing with Perch and Crappies. If you can find deep wood to hold some fish it will up your odds. Tungsten jigs in black, red, purples tipped with mousses or wigglers.

    Walleye: Poor-Fair – Best later in evening for short windows. Walleye suckers, lake shiners and river shiners best. Moon phase and high barometer biggest suspect for slowing down bite.

    Largemouth Bass: Poor – Very few reports.

    While we received a little snow this past week, not enough to hinder travel or ice production. Many lakes sporting 14-20” of ice (good truck travel) and with artic blast forecasted for weekend, should build more.

    This coming weekend looks rough but if things warm towards the end of the following week, with a new moon and Valentines, could be worth waiting to take your Sweety 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
    #2014295

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 2-09-20:

    Severe cold weather (temps negative mid-teens to negative mid 20’s) has all but shut down most ice fishing in our area. The few anglers who have ventured out (bravely/foolishly…you pick) have had very little success.

    With so few participants and such poor reports all we can really do is hunker down and wait for the cold to break, not worth risking frostbite or broken equipment.

    I’ll just rate everything as “Poor” for now. The one positive is this cold should be building more ice, giving us a longer season into March. With ice thickness last reported at 17-20”, expect lots more once you get back out there. Truck travel should be very good. Snow depth may require tracked ATV/UTV or snowmobiles over wheeled ATV/UTV.

    Deep basin bites for Crappie and Perch will improve as the thickening ice pushes fish out of the bays for a while.

    Looks like we don’t get much of a break until Sunday (2/14) then highs back into the 20’s and better fishing ahead.

    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
    #2016593

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 2-16-20:

    This has been a very long cold stretch, even by Northwoods standards! Nearly two weeks of sub-zero (-10 to -30 without wind chill factored in), is finally starting to break. Today’s (2/16) highs in teens, weekend in 20’s, low 30’s by early next week will allow anglers to bust out.

    Very few anglers have been fishing and those that have, have been struggling. A few reports of Walleyes on off shore humps taking suckers or large fatheads on tip-ups.

    The few decent (relative to condition) reports have been from anglers fishing deep water Crappies and Perch and mud flats in 22-30’ of water. Even for these anglers, 4-8 fish on a trip has been tops. Very slow presentations using as small of spoon or tungsten jigs to present red spikes or wigglers have proved best. When using Crappie minnows choose the smallest from your bucket.

    While the super cold has built ice thickness (truck travel not a concern anymore) there are many concerns of slush. Not for trucks, but snowmobiles and quad users reporting finding 6-7” of slush on some lakes making travel difficult.

    Ice thickness ranging 20” to over 30” depending on lake, snow and slush levels. Extensions are needed on some lakes.

    Game fish season ends when the clock strikes midnight on Sunday, March 7th! Three weekends left.

    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
    #2019867

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 2-23-21:

    Following two weeks of brutally cold weather, anglers are gearing back up to head onto the ice. With only two weekends left of the inland gamefish season, its nice to see some good weather and great ice to get out on!

    Northern Pike: Good-Very Good > Warm up has helped get tip-up anglers going, holes not freezing up so fast (not to mention fish pulled from the ice). Mid mornings to late afternoons on the big baits (shiners, suckers, frozen smelt). Reports of some nice, heavy fish caught this past weekend to 34”.

    Walleye: Good > As more anglers getting out, more reports. Fishing off shore humps using suckers (supplies of this bait getting low), river shiners or medium goldens. Large rosies and large fatheads using #12 trebles also good. Upswing in action as anglers using jigging Raps, Shiver Minnows, Hyper Rattles and Tikka Minos reporting better action. Working the 17-28’ depths seem best.

    Largemouth Bass: Good > Jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads in 7-12’ depths. Tip-ups with medium shiners.

    Bluegills: Good > Action has improved as weather turned and anglers moving about. Wind of late cause for use of tungsten jigs to hold baits (mousses, waxies, beaver tail) in place.

    Crappies: Good > Best over deep mud flats. Fish suspended 3-5’ off bottom taking waxies, small minnows on glowing jigs, spoons. Best action occurring 2 hours prior to and 1 hour after dusk.

    Yellow Perch: Good > Mud flats of 22-34’. Hali jigs, Clam Pinhead and Kastmaster chained spoons with wigglers (very tough to find) or red spikes best.

    Anglers targeting Ciscos and Whitefish having some success on pimples tipped with waxies.

    Temps in the 20’s – low 30’s this week will allow for comfort. Ice of 20-34” great for travel. Some slush, but not enough to slow down travel on most lakes.

    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
    #2019871

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 3-02-21:

    Warm temperatures, followed by 6 inches of wet, heavy snow that fell Sunday morning has made travel a bit difficult as of late. Warmer temperatures this week will contribute to even more slush on top of the ice. Still, there is well over 2 feet of ice beneath the slush. Stick to main paths or venture out on foot to avoid spending all day digging your vehicle out. With that being said, fishing is improving as we move into late ice season.

    Northern Pike: Good-Very Good > As the days warm up the fishing keeps getting better. Large golden shiners and large suckers are both still producing fish under tip-ups.

    Walleye: Good > Anglers are reporting good action in the low light hours of the day. The jigging bite has been heating up. Jigging Raps, Tikka Minos, and slender spoons all taking fish.

    Largemouth Bass: Good > Jigging the shallow weed breaks or tip-ups have been putting fish top side.

    Bluegills: Good-Very Good > Tungsten jigs tipped with waxies, spikes or mousees are all working.

    Crappies: Good-Very Good > Tip-down actions is getting better by the day. We are also getting fish jigging with Swedish Pimples, VMC Flash Champs, and tungsten jigs tipped with wedges.

    Yellow Perch: Good > Mud flats are still the hot bite. Hali jigs, Kastmasters, and small jigs tipped with red spikes or wigglers are working best.

    Just a reminder, game fish season is open thru Sunday, March 7th so get out there for the last week of it. Weather looks beautiful, just remember to bring rubber boots to avoid wet feet.

    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
    #2022400

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 3-09-21:

    Finally, a nice send off to the end of the inland gamefish season here in the Northwoods! Usually, it’s ended with little to get excited about, but this weekend anglers got out for a last chance at Walleye, Northern Pike and Largemouth, all with good results and some nice reports of large fish (Walleye to 28”, Pike to 39” and Largemouth to 19”).

    Now it’s Panfish time!

    Bluegills: Very Good – While some anglers still plying the deeper mud flats with success (as proof, an 11”-er brought in over weekend), for the most part the shallower 6-10’ weeds doing best as Gills have been slurping up small dark jigs tipped with waxies, beaver tail or plastics (red, pink, purple, brown top colors).

    Crappies: Very Good – Tip-down action picking up as mild temps keeping holes open and a little water flow into holes seems to encourage bites! 8-12’ tall, standing weeds best, using #8 Rockers, Little Cecils and Shrimpos to present waxies, plastics (white, yellow, silver, chartreuse) and Beaver Tail as tempters. Deep mud flat Crappies on tip-downs or glow jigs small fatheads (rosies seem to be done for the season). The deep fish bite, while still good, has slowed as fish filtering back into shallows.

    Yellow Perch: Good-Very Good – Congregations starting to show over mud flats. Pinhead spoons, Halis and Pimples to get down quickly – wigglers preferred, but very hard to get. Use red spikes or minnow heads if wigglers not available. Plastics with scent also viable solution.

    With ice thickness ranging 24-32” and little snow cover, coming rain and warm temps could eat into thickness. Slush problems from early last week are diminishing as warmth is melting snow cover. Great opportunities for late ice pan fishing in March coming up!

    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
    #2023138

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 3-16-21:

    With mild daytime temps and no precipitation for several days, fishing should be very comfortable. A few vehicles still being spotted on the lakes but not recommended. Almost all anglers using foot travel to stay safe. Best to wear your cleats.

    Bluegills: Very Good – Reports of anglers getting nice sized Gills in 6-10’ weeds (a few 10” ers), but some still in 15-16’. Best using small jigs tipped with spikes or waxies. Beaver tail and red, blue and darker plastics also effective.

    Crappies: Good – Good action with tip downs in 16-20’ weeds using Crappie minnows and medium fatheads. Some people using tungsten jigs tipped with glow plastics having success too. A few finding them mixed with Gills in 6-10’ range with small jig tipped with beaver tail or grubs. With water running through the holes, there have also been some reports of suspended fish right under the ice.

    Yellow Perch: Very Good – Large numbers being caught in 20’ or so mud flats using tip downs with Crappie minnows or heavy jigs that get down quicker (Halis Pimples & Tungsten jigs). Wigglers always the go to when available though.

    With good ice yet between 18-30” we should still have at least a solid couple of weeks before its over. Also anglers having very good success in Tomahawk below the dams with big Walleye numbers using large fatheads, medium shiners and suckers.

    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
    #2023147

    BTW, Fellas if ya get a chance, congratulate Kurt, he is a very lucky man as he was married to a great gal named Shelly in Port St. Joe, FL yesterday!!! Talented Photographer, a hunter and fisher person too!!! Kurt, you definitely outkicked your coverage…

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2026672

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 3-23-21:

    What a difference one week makes…

    Very few ice anglers venturing out due to ice conditions. Shorelines are breaking up fast and ice is looking honeycombed. It won’t be long before it’s all gone. Rain predicted all night and warm temps to follow will eat up more ice fast.

    Very few reports, but the few we’re hearing say it’s been good for Crappies and Gills.

    The pond behind the shop is about to open up any day now it looks, normally Minocqua is only a week after to break open.

    Not much more else to say but get the boat ready, we’ll have open water very soon I believe.

    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
    #2026674

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 3-30-21:

    Ice fishing is pretty much over. Shorelines are opening up; it won’t be long until open water. A few people are still taking waders and walking thru water to get to ice but it is not recommended. Most of the fishing is being done down south on the rivers. A few fishermen are hitting the rivers near by in search of perch but with limited success.

    Strong winds now, and the past few days, along with temps pushing 60’s by next week, smaller to mid-size lakes should be accessible to get the boat out for some spring 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
    #2028590

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 4-06-21:

    A very unusual warm early April has most of our lakes completely ice free. The few exceptions being the largest lakes, Fence and Trout. But with air temps hitting 80 degrees on Monday (4/5) that won’t last long.

    It’s rare to see such an early ice out with open water and such nice weather. Anglers are out checking on Crappie spots, Perch spots and getting the kinks out of their equipment.

    Crappie: Good-Very Good – Anglers finding Crappies filtering through standing weeds in 6-8’ of water. Spooking easily, so long cast required with small floats and minnows or tiny hair jigs. While still a long way off from spawning, some anglers reporting Crappies moving close into shallow brush. Most likely to soak up warmth that helps with their egg production later and food for their winter bellies.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Below dams that are open to fishing (The Rainbow Dam closes April 10th as a sanctuary until May 1st). Jig and medium fats or pieces of crawlers, lindy rigs or floats in the eddies work.

    Bluegill: Poor – Just no reports as of now. Most interest in Crappies and Perch.

    With ice off so early and so much warm weather, expect almost all Walleye spawning to be finished by May 1st. A good post spawn bite should occur, but lots can happen here in the Northwoods between now and then.

    Catch & Release Bass IS open.

    Panfish (Crappie, Bluegill, Yellow Perch) IS open.

    NO Walleye fishing is open up here with the exception of the research Lake Escanaba with its one over 28” regulation.

    The closed season is to give some species a break from harvest and pursuit. Please be aware and respect these rules. Rules like these and bag limits are meant to ensure opportunities for the future, so everyone can enjoy for years to come.

    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
    #2031636

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 4-13-21:

    Weather more typical of April, has moved in! Following a week of unseasonably warm weather, when temps peaked at 80 degrees, cooler weather has arrived. Temps forecasted to hit upper 40’s to low 50’s (still not bad for April). Water temps that shot into upper 50’s on some bodies are now back into low-mid 40’s.

    The good panfish bite also slowed, though maybe more from lack of participation than from weather. Some of those warm day patterns from last week changed as the shallows cooled.

    Crappie: Good-Fair – Still the most targeted panfish in our area at this time. Most indications have them moved out to 10-12’ depths with the cool weather. While working fyke nets this past week we are seeing a lot of Crappies that are moving to the shallows after dark!

    Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Perch up in pre-spawn and spawning mode. Very shallow, 2-5’, small minnows, worms and tiny jigs working.

    Bluegill: Fair – Anglers catching some big Gills on Flowages in wood along channels. Lakes were seeing some shallow, sunning fish, gone with rain.

    As our chapter of Walleye for Tomorrow has been working with GLIFWC to get a population estimate on Minocqua and Kawaguesaga Lakes, it’s been very interesting to see the process as the location and timing of the spawn varies from night to night and lake to lake (even on these two connected lakes).

    Spawning Walleyes, while starting early due to the warm early April, are now seen dragging things out a bit as the water cooled down and fewer fish are coming in to spawn. While this is not unusual, continue to prep for a post spawn opener. Still 2½ weeks away.

    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
    #2031641

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 4-20-21:

    Twelve days, from the time of this writing, until our inland lakes Walleye opener on May 1st.

    Cold weather came back, hard to believe we had 80 degree temps 1st week of April and have mid 20 degree nights now!

    Warmer temps look to be moving in by the end of the week. The cold has delayed some of the Walleye spawn, but for the most part, it’s over. Be prepared to target post-spawn, recovering Walleyes for the opener. Soft bottom bays with newly emerging green plant growth. Watch your temperature gauge as a 1-2 degree difference in water temp can mean a lot to location and activity.

    Til then, panfish has been good, but erratic. Temps moving up and down has put locations at times from very shallow on warm days (as panfish seek to warm themselves-Crappies and Gills for egg production, Perch to recover and feed up from spawn). The cold nights have pushed these fish back into deeper waters of 8-10’ where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate as quickly, but they will still bite in these areas.

    Bass anglers (it is catch and release this year in April), casting jerk baits (Husky Jerks, X-Raps) in shallow, dark bottom bays has been productive for Largemouth Bass.

    Water temps varying, but holding in the 40’s (low-high). Next week we should see temps climbing fast into 50’s (again).

    Remember to key on the post spawn.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2033549

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 4-29-21:

    It’s the cusp of the 2021 Walleye opener here in the Northwoods! As usual, nothing ever seems the same from one opener to the next.

    A very early ice out back in late March followed by temps in the 80’s in early April shot water temps up quickly. Walleye spawning started early and is all finished this year, even with the cold snap we’ve experienced dragging things out. So… what to expect?

    Lake temps that hit the high 50’s back in early April fell back in to the 40’s for most of the rest of this month. The cold mornings and warming afternoons could be helping opening day anglers by dragging out the slow warm up, keeping the post spawn bite active as minnows, insects and leeches start to fill the shallow, newly emergent weeds with food and warmth.

    Working those newly greening weed beds with the customary jig/minnow, jig/leech or jig and plastic combinations should be all most angers need to do well this weekend. Finding those patches of green weeds and areas with slightly warmer water will be key. A temperature difference of just 2-3 degrees from one part of the lakes shallows to another can make all the difference.

    Watch as water temps rise in the afternoons as Crappies, Pike, Largemouth Bass and Bluegills move to the shallows to warm and feed. Long cast with weighted floats (so as not to spook the fish) will be key for panfish anglers. Casting stick baits (Husky Jerks, X-Raps, Rattlin Rouges) has been effective as early season catch and release Bass anglers have been finding out.

    Looks to be great weather for our opener, we’ve missed the pre-spawn and spawn bite, but that happens more often than not and gives those Walleyes less pressure as they work to repopulate our waters.

    Bait supplies look good for this opener with only Redtails and Dace in short supply. With water temps looking to get into the 50’s by the weekend, don’t be shy about adding some leeches or crawlers to your arsenal.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2035271

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 5-04-21:

    “A Nice Opener”, that’s pretty much what the opinion has been about the start to the 2021 season. Overall good weather (sort of cool in the early AM, a bit windy) but warmed up and well attended!

    Lakes out performed Flowages to start the season. The very early ice out caused the Walleye spawn to finish early, with most of those who targeted spawning beds disappointed. On the subject of disappointment, despite the month of open water, weed growth is still sparse, Bad News/Good News – the Good News… it has a way to go, so lots of good May Walleye fishing still to come.

    Walleye: Good-Very Good – As earlier stated, some bodies of water, notably the Flowages, were poor. Anglers working lakes had very good success working 6-8’ depths with any type of new weed growth (as hard as it was to find). Using 1/16 oz weedless jigs tipped with Dace, large Fats and large Leeches action never seemed fast, but good catches brought in. On some larger lakes, a rock gravel bite was still going on. A bit larger minnow, black chubs or Walleye suckers were more effective.

    Crappies: Good – With air temps hitting upper 70’s, Crappie fishing got better and shallower by the afternoon/evening. Wind made afternoons a bit tough, but those out on the water able to hold did well in 3-5’ depths.

    Northern Pike: Good – Active bite on spinner baits, swim baits and jig and chubs. Not a lot of anglers targeting, but as Pike tend to do, they were willing to bite.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – Spinner baits worked well as water temps were on the rise Saturday. Still effective on Sunday, but a better bite on plastics such as Wacky Worms and jig/Sweet Beaver combos.

    Surface temps moved into the low to mid 50’s with Saturday’s temp. Forecast for more nights in the 30’s, highs in 50’s means temps will probably hover in the upper 40’s – low 50’s, delaying more weed growth, but spreading the bite out this month.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2036279

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 5-11-21:

    Couldn’t shake out of these cold mornings (mid 20’s to low 30’s) this past week enough to get a good solid bite going. A few afternoons temps rose enough to spark some activity, but overall bites were tough to dig out most days.

    Northern Pike: Good-Very Good > Pike like the cool. And when they don’t have to compete with Walleyes, they tend to pick up the slack. While most reports came from anglers jigging minnows or leeches for Walleye, casting spinner baits, chatter baits and jerk baits all picked up some decent action depending on the conditions (artificials worked better as temps rose)!

    Crappies: Good-Fair > Wind and cold has been the biggest hurdle. Anglers finding Crappies staging in bays with tall narrow leaf cabbage in 8-14’ of water. With surface temps hovering in the upper 40’s to just over 50 degrees, these fish just are not ready to move in. Most action on slip-bobbers and small minnows. Small plastics will produce better as water warms. When temps reach the upper 50’s (57-59 degrees) the spawning will start!

    Walleye: Fair > Cool weather can be blamed for this prolonged, post spawn duldrums. Shallows are not warming up fast enough, nor enough fresh green weed growth to pull bait fish into typical early May zones. It should be coming. There have been signs of Eyes feeding on small Perch, Gills and even leeches, but the better bites have come from a little deeper water of 10-16’ as nightly colds keep the shallows from filling up with life.

    Largemouth Bass: Fair > Surprisingly a few more anglers targeting than usual. Black Marabou jigs in 1/16 – 1/8 oz worked over dark bottomed bays in the afternoon. Mid-day, chatter baits and swim baits drawing some weed flat action.

    With slowly rising temps starting this Thursday (5/13), look for action for all species to pick up. Mornings in the 40’s warming to 60’s in the afternoon will put anglers and their quarry in a more active mood.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2037855

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 5-18-21:

    With the poplar and dogwood trees blooming, it’s a sure sign of Crappie time! Surface temps are rising quickly on lakes as warm weather with lots of sunshine is adding energy to the shallows! Oddly, not all bodies of water are seeing a rush of life to the shallows. Certain species on some lakes have held out in deeper water (Walleyes in mud flats), but this should change soon.

    Crappies: Very Good > In to spawn, anglers are finding bedding fish in 1-4’ of water depending on water clarity and available backing or cover. Following a weekend of high pressure, some areas are picked over, move around to less obvious spots, but keep movement down and cast long so as not to spook fish.

    Northern Pike: Very Good > Live bait and artificial lures all producing well as Pike active in new weed growth. Swim baits a good choice as anglers can “count down” to different depths, retrieve speed and vary action (straight, hop, etc.)

    Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good > Catch and Release only as season not open ‘til June 19th. But action good with big fish in the 19-21” range being caught in shallows (anglers reporting bedding Smallies already) using X-Raps, Husky Jerks or going soft with plastic craws or Ned worms.

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good > Cruising shallows taking offerings meant for other species (Crappie, Smallmouth). Black, brown hair jigs, Ned worms, Wacky worms all good choices. Some anglers working spinner baits over 3-5’ mud/muck bottom areas also doing well.

    Walleye: Fair-Good > Surprisingly, not a lot of hot shallow bites. Bright, cloudless days could be affecting, but a few days fish turned on in shallow weeds at times. Jigging leeches, fatheads, dace on 1/16 oz weedless Jacks or Invasion jigs. In some bodies of water Walleyes remaining over mud flats feeding on Mayfly larvae. In these areas small to medium leeches best.

    Bluegills: Good > Lots of fish roaming shallows, mostly smaller fish. Worms, thunder bugs, poppers behind clear floats. Not a very targeted species right now with focus on Crappies.

    Yellow Perch: Good > Little attention, but a few anglers targeting Perch in wood scoring nice catches on medium fatheads, half crawlers or thunder bugs.

    I’ve been seeing Smallies bedding already, Musky paired up in shallows and suckers also working beds at the same time the Crappies are spawning. Not totally unusual, but as early in the month and so condensed at the same time is. Weed growth seems behind, but improving with all the recent sun and warmth. Weekend should be good, yet forecast says wet – but that can change.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2039461

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 5-25-21:

    A warm and rainy week helped those anglers not afraid of getting a little wet while angling for their favorite fish. Lots of good reports across the board. A bit of a cool down on Sunday seemed to affect fishing by late morning, but things picked back up by Sunday evening.

    Walleye: Very Good-Good > Back in the spotlight as the cloud cover and warming water brought Eyes into the shallower water on many lakes to feed. Leeches were hot for most bites with dace, fats and smaller chubs not far behind. Wind blown weedy shallows where small Perch, Bluegills and Crappies congregated were tops! Reports from Bass and Pike anglers catching Walleyes over shallow weedy flats were not uncommon over the weekend.

    Crappies: Very Good-Good > Reports vary as some anglers finding Crappies still on beds while others moved out to nearby weeds to feed. Don’t expect to find bedding fish for much longer, but Crappie populations seem to be strong and still very good catches being reported. Small jigs (Gapen Freshwater Shrimp and Mini Mites) under small floats as well as the good ol’ bobber & minnow rig working best.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good > Big Smallies in the 3-5# range being reported every day as fish are up shallow and on beds! Top-water action on Chug Bugs, Pop-R’s, Zara Puppy’s have been a blast! Ned Worms, Wacky Worms and tubes not being turned away. Remember, season is catch & release only, get ‘em back in the water quickly to ensure great Smallie fishing to come.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good > Not in spawn mode like the Smallies, but cruising and hungry. Spinner baits and chatter baits scoring well as Bass are active. Swim baits and shallow cranks also producing over weed tops. Lots of #’s with some nice LMB in the 18-20” range reported.

    Northern Pike: Very Good > Take your pick! Actively pursue with a spinner bait, chatter bait or Mepps, or kick back with a bobber and chub or sucker, Pike have been willing participants.

    Bluegills: Good > Anglers targeting other species for the most part, but doing well with shallow water action. Like Largemouth, Gills are not bedding, but enjoying a smorgasbord of bugs and small invertebrates. Tiny jigs or just a plain Aberdeen hook with some worms, small leeches or thunder bugs all producing well.

    Yellow Perch: Good > Like Gills, not heavily targeted, but decent catches in and around drowned wood and cabbage flats of 4-8’.

    Looks to be a good, yet cool weekend weather wise. Cold mornings may lead to better late morning bites and better evening fishing.

    Musky opens on Saturday, May 29th. A lot of sightings of paired (and tripled) Musky in shallows as they are spawning, many fish showing signs of “rough” Love! Could be finished on small to mid-sized lakes by week’s end.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2041111

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-01-21:

    Despite some very cold mornings to end the month of May, (temps in the upper 20’s at dawn and some snow), fishing remained pretty strong!

    Walleye: Very Good > Had to play peek-a-boo for a while, as Walleyes moved out of the shallows with cold, but bit well over deeper mud and wood before returning to shallower cover as waters warmed in afternoons. Mornings did better on minnows and crawlers but leeches much preferred in afternoons towards dusk.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good > All catch and release as Bass filling shallows and hitting top-water lures, as well as tubes, with gusto! Twitch baits and smaller Wacky Worms or Ned Worms also producing, as are plastic craws and plastic minnow imitations.

    Musky: Very Good > Lots of great reports from anglers catching fish in shallows on smaller bucktails (500’s), rubber tailed spinners (Wizards), and 6” twitch baits. No monsters reported here, but one father/son duo reported 9 boated Sunday along with 4 on Saturday.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good > Lots of action as LMB staging in weeds outside of spawning habitat waiting for Smallies to finish. Pitching Wacky Worms tough to beat (Minnow Mike caught a 20 ½ on a Wacky) while spinner baits and chatter baits, as well as swim jigs dressed with twisters, scoring well!

    Northern Pike: Very Good-Good > Most on Mepps #4 and spinner baits. Though Pike seem to think at times that anything that swims by them is fair game.

    Crappies: Good > Moved off beds, out to tall small leafed cabbage. Tiny jigs with hair, tinsel or plastics working, as are minnows under small float.

    Bluegills: Good > Should improve with coming heat this weekend. Thunderbugs, small leeches, even small minnows working. Fly fisher people reporting success towards evening on poppers and dry flys!

    Yellow Perch: Fair > Not a lot of reports, but most likely due to lack of effort.

    At the time of this writing, forecast of temps in the low-high 80’s this weekend should get the Largemouth Bass and Bluegills into shallows to spawn. Weed growth should improve and more bug hatches will be on the way.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2042241

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-08-21:

    WOW! We got hit with a heatwave for those of us in Northern Wisconsin this past weekend! Temps in the low 90’s pushed lake surface temps into the 70’s and threw off some fish and anglers alike! We are well into the bluegill spawning stage on many lakes while some large and cooler lakes still have bedding Smallmouth.

    Bluegills: Very Good > With gills moving into shallow with many bedding up already. The Bluegill fishing has been hot! Poppers, small leeches, thunderbugs, and tiny tubes all working. Be kind at this vulnerable time as studies show that large male Bluegill are very important for maintaining quality Bluegills. These males are very important for guarding nests, so treat these fish like bass! Get ‘em back to their nest quickly to provide good year classes for the future.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good > Many done with spawn, but hitting tubes, creature baits and 3” swimbaits. Season Catch and Release only until June 19th. Big smallies to 5 ½# reported over the weekend.

    Walleye: Good – Fair > Heat and sun hurt daytime bite though some good catches reported during windows of activity. Leeches hot bait, but Chubs also producing in and along weed beds of 7-14’. Some anglers working swimbaits and Gulp minnows on 1/8 – ¼ oz jigs. Reporting hard hits working weeds.

    Musky: Good – Fair > Large swimbaits and Marabou Bucktails were the ticket over the weekend. Action improved as the heat cycle extended. Evening action on top water picking up also.

    Northern Pike: Good – Fair > Fast moving Spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits best. Fish thick weeds for best action; Weedless Swimjig with Swimbait trailer also good.

    Crappies: Good – Fair > Need to fan cast weed tops in 7-12’ with small Twister tails to locate; then fish small minnows at weed top level or just below.

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair > Good action on tube jigs along inside weed edges. Wacky Worms effective late morning through mid-afternoon until the sun lowers, then start up top-water Whopper Ploppers!

    Yellow Perch: Good – Fair > Still not getting much direct attention, but thunderbugs and medium leeches around drowned timber or weed flats of 8-10’ best.

    The early heat is playing havoc on wild bait trappers. Leeches are in short supply, while Redtailed Chubs, Black Chubs, Walleye Suckers, Mud Minnows and DACE are almost impossible to find. Try experimenting with more swimming style plastics where applicable. Fathead and crawler supplies still good.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2043598

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-15-21:

    The heat wave has finally broke with cooler temps and less humidity. That’s been a plus for angler comfort. The down side is, especially for Walleye anglers, we have to contend with Mayfly hatches.

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Reports of good sized fish coming in, many 4 and 5 pound fish being caught. Ned Rigs, tubes, and the drop shotng have all been effective methods. Look for the larger fish to come on the first breaks.

    Walleye: Good – Pick your lakes, if you see Mayflies try a different lake. Lakes where Mayflies haven’t been an issue, fishing has been fairly good. Leeches seem to be producing the most fish. Fishing the weed beds, 8-15’ is a good area to target fish right now.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – A lot of action being reported, Waxy worms, creature baits and tubes have all been producing. Look for the majority of fish to come on inside weed edges. Top-water action is starting to get better as well, pick your times to throw them though, mid-afternoon to sundown is when it has been best.

    Musky: Good – Have been hearing quite a few fish being caught, most fish in the 30” range. Bucktails & swim baits have been producing, while top-water has been productive late in the day.

    Northern Pike: Good – French spinners, spinner baits, and chatter baits fished above the weeds has been good as of late.

    Crappies: Good – Plastics seem to be producing fairly well as of late. Crappie scrubs, twister tails, tubes worked over weeds in 8-12’ of water has been taking fish.

    Bluegills: Good – Spawning is pretty much over, fishing remains good though, pick your bait of choice, leeches, worms, waxies are all working. For a little added fun, try a popper with a fly rod or a casting bubble.

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Not many reports again, weed flats in the 10’ range has been getting fish, leeches and pieces of crawlers have been working.

    Looks to be some cooler, more stable weather in the coming week, which will be a nice break from the 90 degree temps and strong storms. Remember Smallmouth Bass is still catch and release until June 19th.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2044845

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-22-21:

    Some cool weather moved into the Lakeland area this past week bringing rain and wind and dropping lake surface temps 3-5 degrees and more in some cases. Surface temps as low as 67 degrees on some lakes, a drop of 7 degrees. With the temperature drop so did fish activity. Mornings (with air temps in the low 40’s) were the worse, with afternoon/evenings being the best time to fish.

    Northern Pike: Good – These fish seem to not mind the cooler temps. Mornings best on live chubs or suckers and better on 4” swim baits, spinners and spinner baits in the afternoon.

    Musky: Good – Some shallower water action using smaller twitch baits (Cranes, Shallow Raiders) and smaller bucktails. The top-water bite slowed with the temperature drop, should improve some as the week progresses, but will want some hot weather to amp up the top-water bite.

    Bluegills: Good – As with the big fish, top-water popper bites slowed, but Gills actively taking small jigs tipped with waxies or small leeches.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good – Tube jigs and creature baits on jigs along deeper weed edges. The cool-down seems to have moved fish off rocks and up to deep weeds.

    Largemouth Bass: Good – Holding in deeper weeds. Jig and creature or wacky worming best. Need to get into the thick stuff to coax them out.

    Crappies: Good – Very scattered. Cover lots of water to find small pods of fish. Gapen Freshwater Shrimp, Mini Mites and tiny 1 ½” tubes best.

    Yellow Perch: Fair – Heat would help. Fish scattered and hard to pick up more than 1-2 here and there in 8-12’ weeds using thunderbugs or small leeches.

    Walleye: Fair – Really needed to work in thick weeds using redtails or XL leeches on invasion jigs. Some nice fish, included a 29 ¾” over weekend. But lots of moving and searching for decent catch.

    Despite the slowdown, temps look to slowly warm into the upper 70’s by week’s end and should bring some normalcy back to the area fishing. Still a few larger lakes yet to experience the big Hex hatch, the cool down will extend the wait a bit, but most lakes are done with that.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2047143

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 6-28-21:

    Settling into the summer season. Anglers finding weed growth up and thicker than usual, most likely due to earlier heat waves. A few cool mornings and some weather has accounted for some “off” bites here and there, but overall good reports.

    Northern Pike: Very Good-Good > Best working spinner baits, chatter baits and #3 & #4 Mepps over weed tops in 5-9’ of water. Chubs or suckers in the 4-6” range on jigs or under slip-floats using light wire leaders to prevent bite offs.

    Musky: Very Good-Good > Reports strong with fish working same weed beds as Pike. Large spinner baits, top-water lures and 7” twitch baits ripped over weed tops. Some big fish moving in the shallows with the recent cloud cover.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good-Good > Wacky worming very effective as has been jig and creatures, tubes and Ned rigging. Evenings for top-water with Zara Spooks, Jitterbugs, plastic frogs and Whopper Ploppers providing good action and a lot of fun!

    Bluegills: Very Good-Good > Small leeches, thunderbugs and worms – even small minnows entice nicer Gills of 7½-10” on larger lakes in tobacco cabbage beds of 5-8’. Tiny tubes, Mini Mites and Gapen Shrimp tipped with waxies also hot!

    Crappies: Good > Typical of the summer, takes some searching casting weed tops of narrow leaf cabbage using Kalin Crappie Scrubs, #0 Mepps, small beetle spins or twitching tube jigs (1-1½” long) to locate active Crappies, then go back and set up with small minnows below floats set just below weed top level.

    Smallmouth Bass: Good > Many still utilizing weed lines, hunting minnows and craws. Lipless cranks worked parallel with weed edges, tube jigs and Ned rigs working. Casting X-Raps and Shadow Raps along similar edges also producing.

    Walleye: Good > Still a decent weed bite if you’re willing to fish early or late. Redtails, crawlers and leeches on 1/16-1/8 oz weedless jigs. On large lakes work depths of 14-22’ using whole crawlers of big leeches on 1/8-1/4 oz jigs on Lindy Rigs. Night bite on lighted slip-floats and leeches picking up.

    Yellow Perch: Good > Anglers reporting nice “eaters” of 8-10” using medium fats or parts of crawlers in weeds of 6-10’. Cabbage, due to its wider spacing, easier to maneuver into pockets to find Perch.

    Forecast of clouds for the early part of the week making fishing conditions pleasant, then sun and heat and crowds planned for the Holiday weekend, be prepared to key on early and late for your best fishing times.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2047148

    From Kurt’s Island Bait for the date 7-06-21:

    Great weather for the celebration of the 4th of July brought lots of people to the Northwoods and lots of boats (of all types) to the lakes of the Northwoods. Hot weather has shot lake water temps up over the weekend, with reports of surface temps over 80 degrees!

    Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good > Early in week, following high pressure and cool nights, mornings were tough, but as temps rose action increased. When things were tough, slowly working Wacky Worms or Ned Rigs through the thick weeds enticed reluctant bites. As things warmed, working swim jigs, tubes a little quicker and high through weeds better. Hot evenings providing good top-water action on Frogs, Pop-R’s and Jitter Bugs!

    Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good > Heat pushed some Smallie action out on humps where drop-shotting and fishing football jigs/creatures producing. Also working deeper coontail edges using the same techniques and heavy tubes also picking up nice fish in 14-18’.

    Bluegills: Good > Gills active in cabbage of 8-12’ taking small leeches, worms or Mini-Mites tipped with waxies.

    Musky: Good > Fast bucktail retrieves, swim baits moving fish still in weeds. Top-water action improving with heat, Top Raiders and Whopper Ploppers catching fish.

    Northern Pike: Good > Spinner baits, chatter baits and Rattle Traps worked at weed top level popping fish. Swim baits in the 4” range, especially those on a lipped jig head producing well.

    Yellow Perch: Good > ½ crawlers, frozen soft-shell craws and medium leeches in deeper cabbage pockets (8-12’) and along coontail edges with sandgrass nearby in 18-22’.

    Crappies: Fair-Good > Some very big slabs (13-15”) being caught in unusual areas! Anglers finding these fish in 3-5’ weeds, very unusual with surface temps as high as they are. Mini-Mites, tiny tubes and small Gapen Fresh Water Shrimp jigs tipped with waxies, under very small floats or without with long cast needed not to spook fish.

    Walleye: Fair > Bite windows small. Locations vary by lake type and even on same lakes! Some weed fish by working redtails or full crawlers on weedless jigs. Others out over off shore humps of gravel or sandgrass using big leeches or Walleye suckers on Lindy style rigs.

    A cool down following this hot weekend, with some rain, and lows in mid-40’s with highs in mid-70’s will make for pleasant weather, but once again, plan for changing patterns or bites due to this unstable pattern.

    Kurt Justice
    Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
    http://www.kurtsislandsports.com
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    Minocqua, WI 54548
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    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2054388

    Oh my God!!! I had no idea that I’ve been that busy for the last month!!! Well here comes the catch-up reports!!!

    Mark

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1455
    #2054389

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

    More mild like Northwoods summer weather has prevailed with temp fluctuations not so severe as to throw patterns off. This being said, not everything has been “hunky dory”, but many species are reacting well to this summer pattern.

    Largemouth Bass: Very Good – The Boys (and Girls) of Summer! Mornings through afternoons in thick cabbage beds. Work swim jigs, swim baits, pre-rigged plastic worms, and spinnerbaits mid-range through cabbage of 7-12’. Not so active? Go deeper with Ned rigs, Wacky worms, and jig and creature combos. Evenings are a great time for topwater action on buzz baits, frogs, Whopper Ploppers, and jitter bugs! Lots of action and size this week!

    Smallmouth Bass: Very Good/Good – While some nice fish are being found shallow (hunting in 6-8’ cabbage) for numbers work off-shore humps of 16-24’ using drop-shot rigs, football jigs with plastic craws and Ned rigs.

    Bluegill: Very Good/Good – Active with water temps in the 70’s. Work deep outside weed edges to find suspending gills 6-8’ down along 16-22’ coontail using small leeches and jigs with tiny plastics. Evenings using poppers on small “ants” or sponge spiders in the shallows.

    Northern Pike: Very Good/Good – Better during the early A.M. using spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and 4” swim baits over and through 6-9” weeds.

    Musky: Good – Topwater action good with evening and early mornings using loud tail baits (Whopper Ploppers and Top Raiders) followed up by more subtle top baits such as Creepers and Hawg Wobblers.

    Yellow Perch: Good – Lots of perch activity in weeds on medium fatheads, leeches, and pieces of crawler. A few reports from anglers fishing deep sand grass on frozen soft shells.

    Crappie: Fair – Scattered and hard to locate #’s. Small 1-2” twister tails on 1/32 – 1/16 oz jigs worked through weed tops is best

    Walleye: Fair/Poor – Following reports of other mayfly hatches last week, walleye understandably slow. A few nice fish here and there but mostly smaller fish in heavy weeds in the A.M. Small chubs on ½ crawlers best.

    While walleye and crappie action still off, overall other species biting better this past week. For action and fun, summer bass can’t be beat!

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

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