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.
Minocqua Chain Walleye Project
Given the lack of significant natural reproduction, the partners* have put forth a proposal to continue one more year of harvest closure for both Tribal spearers and state-licensed anglers. This would allow the Walleye population to continue to build as quickly as possible. Pending results of an online public survey, and if approved by the Natural Resources Board, this would potentially push back the opening of Walleye harvest on Minocqua Chain to May 7, 2022. If this plan is approved, then DNR plans to estimate the Walleye population on Tomahawk in spring of 2021, and comprehensive fisheries surveys and angler creel surveys in the year Minocqua Chain re-opens to harvest. The DNR is also planning to model different regulation options and make a recommendation about whether to implement an 18-inch minimum length limit or another appropriate regulation once harvest resumes.
*Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Headwaters Chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow, Lac du Flambeau Tribe and the Tribal Natural Resources Department, Mid Lake Management and Protection District, Minocqua/Kawaguesaga Lakes Protection Association Inc., Tomahawk Lake Association Inc., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company.
Read more and take the public survey.
Minocqua Area Fishing Report by Kurt's Island Sport Shop 3/16/2021
With mild daytime temps and no precipitation for several days, fishing should be very comfortable. A few vehicles still being spotted on the lakes but not recommended. Almost all anglers using foot travel to stay safe. Best to wear your cleats.
Bluegills: Very Good – Reports of anglers getting nice sized Gills in 6-10’ weeds (a few 10” ers), but some still in 15-16’. Best using small jigs tipped with spikes or waxies. Beaver tail and red, blue and darker plastics also effective.
Crappies: Good – Good action with tip downs in 16-20’ weeds using Crappie minnows and medium fatheads. Some people using tungsten jigs tipped with glow plastics having success too. A few finding them mixed with Gills in 6-10’ range with small jig tipped with beaver tail or grubs. With water running through the holes, there have also been some reports of suspended fish right under the ice.
Yellow Perch: Very Good – Large numbers being caught in 20’ or so mud flats using tip downs with Crappie minnows or heavy jigs that get down quicker (Halis Pimples & Tungsten jigs). Wigglers always the go to when available though.
With good ice yet between 18-30” we should still have at least a solid couple of weeks before its over. Also anglers having very good success in Tomahawk below the dams with big Walleye numbers using large fatheads, medium shiners and suckers.
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