Wisconsin Statewide fishing report 1.15.15
Ice conditions improved with the colder weather of the last week; however, warm weather is back in the forecast and every lake is different so people venturing out on frozen lakes should check locally for current ice conditions.
Northwoods lakes now have 12 to 15 inches of ice, with 5 to 8 inches of snow on top. Most of the slush areas that formed earlier have since frozen and there have been motorized vehicles venturing out on the lakes. The anglers that did get out last week were mostly targeting walleye and action was sporadic. The milder temperatures predicted should bring out lots of anglers the third annual Free Ice Fishing Weekend. On January 17 and 18 people can ice fish without a license or Great Lakes trout stamp. In addition, fishing clinics are being held at a number of state park properties. The events are free but a park admission sticker may be required. Ice fishing gear is available at 19 loaner site, eight of which are at state parks with fishing access.
The sturgeon spearing season kicks off on Feb. 14th on both the Upper River Lakes and Lake Winnebago so many sturgeon enthusiast are getting gear and shanties ready. The sturgeon regulations http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/documents/regulations/WinnebagoSturgeonSpearingRegulations2015.pdf
are now available on the DNR website and people should read the regulations before participating.
Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) -
With the recent cold temperatures, ice cover has continued to firm up and most lakes in the Northwoods now have 12 to 15 inches of ice. There is also 5 to 8 inches of snow on top of the ice, but strong winds have moved the snow around and created some deeper drifts in various spots. Most of the slush areas that formed around Christmas have since frozen and there have been quite a few motorized vehicles observed on the lakes. The generally cold and windy weather of the past week kept ice fishing pressure on the light side. The anglers that did get out last week were mostly targeting walleye and action was sporadic. The successful anglers were finding a few eater-size walleye in 6 to 12 feet of water and along deep weed edges, break lines or deeper mud flats. The fish seemed to prefer medium suckers or large fathead minnows and bit best in the hour before dark. With the cold and deeper snow cover, northern pike activity has let up a bit and very few reports of success have come in. Panfish anglers also seem to have taken a break in the past week, with just a couple reports of some fair perch action coming in. This is typically the coldest week of the year and average daily temperatures should start rising from here on out through the rest of the winter! Milder temperatures are predicted for the upcoming weekend and look for a big increase in fishing pressure - and hopefully success as well. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette and Oconto counties - Very few anglers were out during the recent cold weather. Only a few of portable ice shelters were observed. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
- Many anglers took advantage of the good ice conditions at Bayshore Park and in Dykesville this past week. Ice at Bayshore Park was reported ranging from 16-18 inches and in Dykesville anglers are reporting 12-22 inches of ice. Anglers have been driving trucks out on the ice in Dykesville for a few weeks now and are mainly using ATVs and sleds out of Red River and Bayshore Park. Many anglers reported a tough bite this week for perch and whitefish in 12-20 feet of water, jigging with spoons tipped with wax worms. Anglers were also reporting low visibility with their underwater cameras. - Emily Kurszewski, fisheries technician, Green Bay
- Despite the frigid temperatures for most of the week many anglers took to the ice in and around Little Sturgeon, reporting at least 12-14 inches of ice around Little Sturgeon Bay. Good numbers of whitefish were reported being caught over the weekend from Lime Kiln road all the way up to Clafins. Anglers at Clafins are reporting 14 inches of ice and are mainly walking on and taking sleds. Rileys Bay anglers were reporting 11-13 inches of ice before the ice shoves and around 7 inches after them. Perch anglers out of Carmody Park were catching them in low numbers. Anglers in search of walleye were doing well jigging rapala's and jigs with minnows. At Potawatomie Park it is reported that there is around 5-7 inches of ice with no anglers seen fishing here yet. Around the canal in Sturgeon Bay, reports are around 5-7 inches of ice as well with no anglers seen fishing either. - Emily Kurszewski, fisheries technician, Green Bay
- Ice conditions are favorable for access to area waters. Fishing has slowed down the last week or so with mostly northern and panfish being targeted. Some walleye are being picked up in evening/night bite around Shawano Lake along with crappie.
- The cold weather did a great job of firming up area lakes and river bayous for the ice anglers. Some catches of small northern pike along the Wolf River, anglers are reminded that the minimum size limit on the Wolf River system is 26 inches for northern pike. Some panfish are also being caught by the patient anglers.
- The Winnebago sturgeon spearing season is fast approaching. This is the time when most sturgeon enthusiast start getting anxious and lose some sleep while finishing up their last touches on their gear and shanties. The sturgeon spearing season kicks off on February 14 on both the Upper River Lakes and Lake Winnebago. The sturgeon regulations are now available online and people should read the regulations before participating. During the season members of the public can stay on top of the harvest for the day by calling the sturgeon call line at 920-303-5444. - Jason Higgins, conservation warden, Oshkosh
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
- Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
- The south end of the Port Washington harbor stays open over the winter due to the power plant discharge. This area provides a good open water fishing opportunity, and anglers there have been catching a few brown and rainbow trout. Spawn sacs have been the most effective bait.
- In Milwaukee the river mouth is now ice covered after this cold snap, and Riverfront Ramp is not useable. Prior to icing up, the area under the Hoan Bridge had been producing a few browns and rainbows. When the ice moves out, try fishing spawn, minnows, or Gulp. The fishing pier at the Oak Creek Power Plant is closed for the winter months, and it is scheduled to reopen on March 15.
- In Racine the harbor in Reefpoint Marina is frozen over, with ice depths reported from 4 to 7 inches. There are aerators running near some docks, so be aware of varying ice depths. Anglers fishing in Reefpoint have been catching a few browns on minnows, spawn sacs, and jigging Gulp.
- In Green County, wardens report that ice conditions appear to be safe on most bodies of water. Anglers have reported a fairly hot bite that seems to be slowing a bit.
- Fishing has been slow on area lakes. Most lakes have sufficient ice for walking on; some fishermen are driving out with trucks already.
-Walleye and crappie fishing on Lake Arbutus is starting to pick up despite the cold temperatures. People are now driving on Lake Arbutus, but always be cautious when driving vehicles on ice.
- Now is the time to get out and enjoy winter recreational activities. With the extreme cold weather lifting, lots of ice fishing activity on areas lakes. Anglers have been doing well catching pan fish and northern pike.
Minocqua area fishing report
Lake Michigan Fishing Report and tips
Price Co. Fishing report
Information compiled from the WDNR Outdoor report and private sources