Fishing/Outdoor Report:

A mid week warm up brought a few more anglers onto the lakes this week, but after Thursday we fall back into normal/average temperatures for this time of year. Some possible accumulating snow is forecasted for Sunday and Monday and will be welcomed by the snowmobilers and skier alike. Freshening up the snowmobile trails and the ski trails, especially for the upcoming American Birkebeiner race on the 24th.

The best bite this past week on the inland lakes, where anglers are chasing crappies and bluegills. It seems that if you can find an active daytime honey-hole for bluegills, you can sit it out until late afternoon to dusk and find some crappies. Crappie minnow works best for the crappie. Light tackle such as small jigs and soft plastics seem to be the best presentation. We are also seeing fish come on wax worms and artificial baits like crappie nibbles and waxies.

Tip-up anglers are catching some northern pike using medium shiners and walleye sucker. Setting up over the deeper green weeds in 8 to 10 feet of water. Walleye action remains slow. No reports of angler success this week, but then again with the weather earlier week the week, it is difficult to sit out in the sub zero temperatures. The best time for walleye is late evening just before dusk, set tip-ups in 6 to 8 feet of water over the weeds or just off the weed edges as they come in to feed. Use fatheads and/or walleye suckers for the bait.

Let’s Go Fishing

Here are the species of fish available to catch in the “QUIET LAKES”

MUSKY

The king of freshwater fish. They are the top predator and least populated fish in our lakes. Catch and release is the common practice these days. It’s known as the fish of 10,000 casts, but hiring a guide will cut those odds.

NORTHERN PIKE

Wisconsin’s second largest predator fish, second only to their relative the Musky. Pike are typically very aggressive and will feed anytime the opportunity allows. They prefer weed flats and other ambush points.

WALLEYE

The walleye is the largest member of the perch family and is often targeted for its table fare. Walleyes can be tough to find, but when they are located, they typically cooperate and bite. Bait secret: minnows, nightcrawlers and leeches, and back to minnows as the season starts and finishes.

PERCH

A small fish that most anglers seek more for the taste than the tug. Adults average 7 to 10 inches which make it a good fish for all ages to catch. Perch have a tendency to congregate in large schools making it a one-stop spot to catch your dinner.

BASS

Large and smallmouth bass are brothers, but like family they do take separate paths. We have several small backwoods lakes that offer untapped largemouth fishing, and several area lakes that offer numbers to trophy fishing for smallmouth. NOTE: the season for smallmouth isn’t open to harvest until the 3rd Saturday of June. Regulations for harvest of largemouth are different from lake to lake.

PANFISH

These fish are probably one of the most popular sport and eating fish in Wisconsin. Crappies, bluegills, and sunfish are our most common “panfish”. Probably the most targeted fish in the spring, and often over harvested. Remember to take only enough for a meal and leave some for another day.