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  5/28/2024

by Kurt's Island Sport Shop

Weather could have been kinder for the Memorial Weekend, we just had winds on Saturday that made for some challenging fishing. Wind shifts and threats of rain along with some advancement on the fish spawning calendar disappointed some anglers. While giving rise to others up for the holiday weekend.

Smallmouth Bass: Very Good-Excellent - Somewhat earlier than usual, Smallies are up and bedding on many lakes. Season not open, all catch and release, but reports of hot fishing in the shallows using Wacky Worms, Ned Rigs, and Tubes. If you only could find the Lee side of the lake, top-water action is a blast. Lots of reports from anglers experiencing 30 to 40, and 50 fish days.

Walleye: Very Good - Weeds being key, depth varies. Finding Walleyes along 22' breaks in sandgrass, taking black chubs and red tails. Working into weeds (tall, narrow leaf cabbage) of 10-14' also producing. Jigging chubs or setting up slip floats with large fatheads or large leeches. Casting stickbaits over weed tops of 10-14' just along breaks into deeper water producing well using Rattlin Rouge Perfect 10's.

Crappies: Very Good-Good - Most spawning is done, though some lakes still have bedding fish. Most consistent bite using small plastic, swimbait twister tails on 1/32oz jigs, through 6-10' weeds. Mini Mites or Crappie minnows under small floats, rocking in the wind also producing.

Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good - Action in 6-10' weeds using wacky worms, tube jigs and #8 Husky Jerks. Pre-rigged plastic worms slowly retrieved through some areas and a real "do nothing" approach that’s been deadly.

Northern Pike: Good - Most reports came from Walleye anglers jigging chubs or Musky anglers working

swimbaits and smaller musky bucktails. A couple of reports from anglers targeting using #3 and #4 Mepps.

Yellow Perch: Good-Fair - Prior to wind, anglers finding Perch taking medium fatheads in green cabbage of 6-8'. Slip bobbers in pockets working best. Worms and leeches always seem to work when Perch are around.

Bluegills: Good-Fair - Probably more due to wind and rain than anything. Many Bluegill anglers prefer nicer weather. Gills found from 2-8' of water, not bedding yet, but taking advantage of warmer waters and shallow bug hatches.

Musky: Fair–Poor - Wind on opening day was brutal for boat control, and seeing what reports I could gather (my boat struck out!). Few fish seen and even fewer caught. I’m sure I will hear (and see) more as this week progresses.

Water temps that had been into the mid-60s, (64–65 degrees) early last week dropped into the upper 50s (58 average). May have been the rain and hail, yet Smallies have moved in and Largemouth won’t be far behind if temps get back into the mid-60s. Forecast for cool mornings mid-week but nice days with temp pushing 70 degrees. Unfortunately, rain is forecasted for the weekend, but I'll believe it when I see it. Rain forecasts have been unreliable as far as the intensity the past week.





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.


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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Beacons of Minocqua

The Beacons of Minocqua Lakefront Resort and Suites is the northwoods year round vacation destination. Nestled within 13 acres of pine-scented trees and peaceful shores, The Beacons provides a relaxed, serene haven for our guests. With its remarkable... Read More

Lakeside Rentals & Storage

Lakeside Rentals, Storage has everything you need for great fun in the sun! From boat rentals to other water toy needs, we have you covered! Lakeside is also a certified full service marina. Our mechanics are Marine Mechanics Institute Certified so... Read More

Boat Launch Permit


Boat Launch Fees

All tow vehicles accessing the following boat launches from April 1 through November 30 must purchase a daily or annual use permit. Thirsty Whale Boat Landing - 453 E. Park Ave, Minocqua, WI Schoolhouse Bay Boat Landing - 429 E. Park Ave, Minocqua, WI Cedar Street Boat Landing - 968 Cedar Street,...

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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.