Fishing/Outdoor Report:

This past week the weather has given up everything it has to offer from bitterly cold, to snow, to wind and now the sun to go along with bitterly cold again.  However, for week ahead it promises a huge rise in temperatures with 20’s and 40’s along with freezing rain (ice pellets) and ending the week with rain.  Look as if we are in for another January thaw.   

The 8 to 9 inches of new snow that fell this week has made the snowmobile trails in excellent condition.  There is a base of 6  to 8 inches and the fresh snow has made them even better.  All the area lakes have been stacked and the trails through the Chequamegon  forest are now open as well.  If traveling out of Sawyer county  to neighboring counties please check ahead for trail updates.  Remember to stay on marked trails and ride safe. 

There has been very little fishing activity this week, due to the snow and extreme cold, but the ones that did brave the elements have had moderate success.  Anglers were finding crappie in 16 to 18 feet of water and off the bottom.  Sitting their jigs at 14 to 16 feet deep as the crappie would come up to bite.  Appears to be a better bite in the mid to late afternoon.  Crappie minnows rigged on jigging spoon or a larger  tear drop was the best bait.   

Northern pike continues to provide the most action.  Anglers are setting tipups over the tops of weeds and along the weed edges in 6 to 10 feet of water.  Walleye suckers or shiners has produced fish.  Tipups rigged with a steel or monofilament leader with a #6 treble hook seems to be the choice of rigging. 

Walleye action has slowed, but then again I blame the weather conditions for that.  Anglers were catching walleye off the weed edges in the late afternoon and into the dark hours.  Maybe this weekend we will have some better reports as the weather warms up. 

Let’s Go Fishing

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.