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.



Minocqua Area Fishing Report  8/9/2022

by Kurt's Island Sport Shop

Following a week of some fairly high temps and a couple big storms that brought both lake temps (76-78 degrees) and lake levels (3+ inches of rain) up in our area, a relative cool down to start the week. This dropped some surface temps by 3+ degrees overnight (8/7 to 8/8). Fishing remained relatively strong until the recent cold snap and storm shut down early morning fishing on 8/8. By afternoon though, things coming back to normal.

Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Working into heavy cover during cool downs with crawfish imitation plastics on Ned heads. By afternoons Bass moving up in weeds to hit spinner baits and shallow running cranks over cabbage in 8-10’.

Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Not as many BIG fish reported as last week, but still lots. Best working deep weed edges of 12-16’ using drop-shot rigs, Ned Rigs and Wacky Worms.

Bluegill: Very Good – Best along weed edges/tops using worms or small leeches.

Crappie: Good – Anglers using small spinners to “clip” weed tops in 10-14’ catching nice slabs to 13”. Once located, slip-bobbers and tiny jigs or small minnows hot.

Yellow Perch: Good – Finding nice Perch (to 11”) in shallower weeds of 5-8’ while working jig/crawler combos. Gotta sort through little Perch and Gills, but one nice eater (8”+) usually leads to several in the area.

Musky: Good-Fair – Evenings, especially pre-storm, or just at dusk best. Top-water has been producing. Mornings call for gliders or bucktails

Walleye: Fair-Good – Deep rocks early and late. Crawlers or big leeches. Some weed fish, but action limited to conditions (clouds, wind)

Northern Pike: Fair-Good – Action picking up, but live bait still tops. Try jerk baits (Husky Jerks, X-Raps) over weeds in 8-12’.

Cool nights are expected in August. Slowly falling lake temps and a seasonal die-off or certain weeds will bring some change in patterns, but overall, nothing too drastic as of yet.





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.

Minocqua Chain Walleye Project

The Minocqua Chain is a 5,929-acre chain of lakes in Oneida County. The Chain includes Kawaguesaga, Minocqua, Jerome, Mid, Tomahawk, Little Tomahawk and Mud lakes, along with the Minocqua and Tomahawk thoroughfares. The Minocqua Chain forms the headwaters of the Tomahawk River and is part of the Upper Wisconsin River watershed. Tomahawk (3,462 acres), Minocqua (1,339 acres) and Kawaguesaga (700 acres) are the largest lakes of the Chain and provide the majority of the Walleye spawning habitat.

The adult walleye population and natural reproduction of the Minocqua Chain of Lakes in Oneida County has experienced a substantial decline since the early 1990s because of low recruitment of young fish into the population. The Minocqua chain currently has catch and release walleye regulations through the 2024-2025 fishing season. 
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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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