Minocqua • Arbor Vitae • Woodruff
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Northern Wisconsin Fishing

Seasoned anglers and novices alike enjoy testing their skills in the Minocqua area’s lakes, rivers and streams. Most support a variety of fish, such as Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Large and Smallmouth Bass, Trout and Walleye, and most have public access.

Popular Fishing Lakes

Some of the more popular fishing lakes favored by visitors and locals include, Big Arbor Vitae, Clear Carrol, Madeline, Squirrel and Squaw. Bassmaster recently named the Minocqua chain one of the 25 best bass lakes in America’s central region and one of the top 100 in the nation. There are numerous wilderness sites for a quiet escape. Some good bets are the Willow Flowage Scenic Waters Area and the many lakes dimpling the Northern Highlands-American Legion State Forest.

Mid Lake, which has shallow water that warms quickly, is the place to be in spring, when Musky and Northern swim here to spawn.

Fishing Report

Minocqua Area Fishing Report by Kurt's Island Sport Shop 10/13/2020

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. Loos 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.





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Browse some top blog posts to help plan your next trip

Bass Fishing

The Minocqua Chain has been named one of the top 25 Bass fishing hotspots by Bassmaster. Find the Fish

Musky Fishing

Looking for that ‘one for the wall'? The musky is the ultimate trophy & Minocqua area lakes are the right place to find... Find the Fish

Walleye Fishing

One of the most sought fish in the Minocqua area, Walleye are ideal for trying your hand at making a shore lunch. Find the Fish

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Fish Recipes

The fish are caught. They are all cleaned and ready for cooking. Now, how are you going to prepare them? What will you use to complement the flavors of the fish? Here are some tasty ideas...

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Ice Fishing

If you enjoy fishing, don't let the snow and ice slow you down. Ice fishing in the Minocqua area is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the winter months.