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  9/26/2023

by Kurt's Island Sport Shop

Good fishing or poor, this is the time to be here in the Northwoods. The colors are getting prettier (never used that word in this report before) every day. Forecast for lows in mid-50’s to highs in mid-70’s will make for a great week to be outdoors.

Largemouth Bass: Good – Nice “green” Bass hitting spinnerbaits and chatterbaits for anglers targeting Pike. Cabbage flats holding best action. Typical plastic tactics using creatures and Wackys picking up fish along edges of weeds.

Smallmouth Bass: Good – Nice fish off gravel humps in 14-26’. Ned rigs, drop-shots and tubes. Still some BIG Smallies relating to inside weed edges taking top-water (Whopper Ploppers, etc.).

Musky: Good – With water temps in mid-60’s and forecast as stated above, bucktails and top-water relatively shallow (4-10’) best. This bite will remain until water cools to mid-50’s (turn-over) so keep those blades a turnin’ for now!

Walleye: Good – Action very dependent on daily conditions (Thursdays high skies – Ouch!). But overall fish being caught jigging large fats or 1/2 crawlers on 1/8 – 1/4 oz jigs or #2.5 - #3 Shiver Minnows over gravel humps. Some days, when gravel not producing, scale back to 1/16 oz weedless and hit outside weed edges to find eater Walleyes and Perch mixed.

Northern Pike: Good – Chasing down spinnerbaits, Mepps Aglias #4 or #5’s and chatterbaits over cabbage flats. Clear days pick through the weeds with jig and chub on wire leader.

Yellow Perch: Good – Very nice Perch relating to wood and weed pockets in 5-8’. 1/2 crawler 1st choice, but medium – large fats picking up Perch to 12” this past week.

Bluegill: Good – Nice Gills continue to show up, with measured 8-10” not uncommon. Can’t beat a crawler/bobber combo in 6-10’ where good green cabbage or drowned wood available.

Crappie: Good - Fair – This one really depends on who you talk to. Some decent catches reported, but not to the typical “fall” standard. The bobber/minnow crowd picking up some success, but other anglers fan casting small spinners, beetle spins finding fish suspended 5-8’ down over 20-25’ outside weed edges. Start up (where fish are typically active) and work down until you find biters!

Except for some early week rain, looks like a great week of consistent weather. Great time to enjoy the Northwoods.



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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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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Watercraft Sales, Inc.

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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.