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.

Fishing

Report

Minocqua Area Fishing Report  1/18/2022

by Kurt's Island Sport Shop

Hard to believe the extreme cold from the weekend before last did not improve our travel conditions. Temps in the sup teens did not build ice as expected on many area lakes, in fact slush has become present on a lot of our frozen waters.

Odd, some lakes see truck traffic with 14-15” of ice and good travel. Others, smaller lakes report only 10-12” with slush. Does not seem like too much snow on the lakes. It was dry and windy. But too much for these lakes to take? Springs? Pressure Cracks? One thing for sure, caution still advisable if you’re thinking of taking full sized trucks on the ice, do some scouting first.

Northern Pike: Good – Windows during very early morning and again early afternoon had anglers chasing flags once things warmed up mid-week (1/12). As always, weed related, though some reports of anglers starting to push out into deeper weed lines for larger (28-34”) Pike. Big shiners and suckers best.

Yellow Perch: Good – The mid-winter mud flat bite is improving. Anglers venturing out to mud just outside weed flats in 18-26’ finding active Perch taking waxies, spikes and wigglers depending on their daily mood. Lots of sorting, but enough eaters (8”+) to make effort worth while.

Bluegill: Good-Fair – On weedy flats of 6-10’ schools “pass through” at intervals making it worth the wait. Waxies and mousses on #10 teardrops and 3mm Fiskas in reds, purples, black. Also anglers finding Gills relating to deeper mud, usually larger average Gills. Halis, Pinheads and tungsten with hair tipped with spikes best.

Crappie: Fair – Unless you choose the warmest day to fish, head out to deeper water for early and late bites using glow jigs tipped with waxies or tip-downs with minnows (if not too cold). Keep moving until you locate Crappies hanging 3-10’ off bottom in 20-30’ of water.

Walleye: Fair – Best at low light, pre-dawn or hour preceding and just after dusk. High barometer and full moon probably did not help, but better action than previous weekend. Deeper sandgrass with chubs or suckers best.

Largemouth Bass: Poor – Not many reports, though warmer days best. Target using small to medium shiners on tip-ups if small Perch not a nuisance.

Forecast looks to remain cold next seven days with lows below zero degrees and only two days over teens for highs. As much as we all want truck travel everywhere, still can’t advise, be cautious!

Mid-winter typically sees slow down and sup-zero cold won’t help. Work deeper to find fish if your favorite spot isn’t producing. Punch a lot of holes (weather permitting) and search before you hunker down.

Fishing

Guides

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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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FISHING BOAT RENTALS

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

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#1 stop for FUN! Water sport rentals. Summer: ski & fishing boats, motors and PWC's! Winter: Snowmobiles Open Monday-Sunday. Read More

Watercraft Sales, Inc.

A full service, on the water, boat dealership featuring Nautique ski and wakeboard boats, Bennington pontoons, Sea Ray sport boats, Boston Whaler, 'the unsinkable legend', Tracker fishing boats, Suntracker and Regency pontoons, Tahoe sport boats and... Read More

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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.