Musky Shop Northwoods Fishing Report: Early February

Musky Shop Northwoods Fishing Report: Early February

February 09, 2024

Hey everybody,

Welcome to the Musky Shop fishing report.  I hope everyone is having a great winter.  Our winter has been about as mild as any of us here in Minocqua can remember.  Last winter was really long and this winter was really mild.  We will probably get blasted again with winter weather before it’s all over.

As far as the fishing, it’s been good.  Our ice conditions have been fairly good.  We would still recommend exercising a lot of caution.  We had a report of an angler who was using a side-by-side to move across the Rainbow Flowage and ran into some open water, so as you can imagine, he made a beeline off of there.  Also, there have been some ice heaves on the flowages here and there, so exercise extra caution.  Most lakes have 10-12 inches of ice, but it’s going to warm for a few days so we might lose some.  However, we have a cold front on the way that will help add more ice. The big lakes, Tomahawk, South Trout, bigger bodies, and the flowages, have remaining open water in some places so just keep a keen eye out when traveling across these areas.

As far as flowage fishing, the Rainbow and the Willow, have delivered a good year for crappies, walleyes, and pike.  Guys have been getting crappies on the flowages in the 14–15-foot range near wood and deep weeds.  They are using tip-downs, crappie minnows, wax worms, and spikes, both red and white.  For walleye fishing on the flowages, both the Rainbow and Willow, anglers are finding them a little deeper.  They’ve slid out just a tad to that 18–22-foot range. Anglers are using walleye suckers, medium golden shiners, and large golden shiners successfully.  Tip-ups and jigging are great techniques to use and are very productive.

As far as the lakes go, the fish seem to be a little shallower in the Northwoods in Oneida and Vilas County.  For walleyes, I would concentrate in the 12-14 range, looking for weeds, woods, and rock.  You can use tip-ups, shiners, walleye suckers, and jigging small spoons.  On the lakes, the crappies seem to be a little bit deeper.  They’ve slid out to the 20–24-foot range over mud and weeds.  So, if you are out on the lake targeting crappies, you might need to go deeper unless the weather changes.  For crappies, you can use tip-downs, small spoon jigs, and wax worms. and even crappie minnows.  For Northern Pike, guys have been using tip-ups and catching nice ones.  They are great for eating, if you get the Y bones, they can be fantastic.  Pike are typically caught on large golden shiners and pike mix.

So, the fishing has been very good in the Northwoods.  Hopefully, you can make a trip to town and stop in and see us in Minocqua.  We’d be glad to help you in any way that we can.  Here at the Musky Shop, we have the freshest selection of live bait.  It turns over rapidly and is kept aerated in crisp, cold well water.  We’d be glad to help you in any way that we can.  We hope everybody stays safe when they’re out on the ice.  If we could be of service to you, please let us know, it would be our honor.

Have a great day,

God Bless and Good Fishing,

Jim Stewart