Minocqua, Lac du Flambeau, St Germain, Boulder Junction, and Manitowish Waters Wisconsin open water and Ice Fishing Report

Friday 2/23/24

Some of this will seem like I'm copying previous reports but sometimes the report doesn't change.  The ice is still great, 5-12".  Today we are making ice.  After today we will be making and melting every day depending on the amount of sunlight.  We are gonna have the largest hockey rinks in the world up here! And as long as the sun is not out the fishing is great, too.  It's been a tough year for precipitation for sure but the cold temps have left us a fantastic blanket of clear, strong ice.  Days now will become normal with temps ranging from 50 to 25.  

The only thing that has hurt the fishing this year is the negativity surrounding the general perceived economics in the northwoods.  Yes, it's true.  Any activity that is snow based is non-existent.  But in their place is fantastic ice conditions for fishing, ice skating, ice sailing and so forth.  Also, a lot of the snowmobile routes have been opened up to the UTVs and ATVs.  Check with you local club for details.  There is plenty to do in the northwoods thus many reasons to support the local economy.  Com'on up and join the fun!

Fishing has picked up some.  With the warmer weather spells the snow on top of the ice is melting and going down the holes which means more oxygen is hitting the water.  This always turns the little varmints on.  (and the big varmints too.)  It's still a light condition related bite and the windows are small.  We had one guy the other day who caught 10 crappie in about 20 minutes and then that was it.  I told him maybe he caught them all but he said he had a Livescope and was still seeing fish.  Sounds like crappie.

You know there's many MOs for catching crappie, perch and bluegill.  But my go to MO is they head to the deep water, suspended or not, during the day and then head to the shallower weeds as evening approaches.  There they find minnows and bugs hiding and will feed on them sometimes until mid-night.  Set up three tip-downs per person and relax and wait for the action.

Walleyes are kind of the same way but I don't think they head as far into the weed beds as the panfish do.  Set up three tip-ups per person and relax and wait for the action.  Of course with every lake having it's own personality this may not be the case.  Any piece of advice you get from any fisherperson might not work on a particular lake.  But it's always worth a try.

Enjoy the conditions while you can.  One thing about warm weather is it makes for nice conditions to fish in.  Don't worry about the ice melting, it's gonna be there a long time, even with 50 degree weather.  We should have good ice thru next weekend for the close of the gamefish season.  That's my guess and I'm sticking to it!  We've got a great clear strong base.  Get your spikes back out cuz it's slippery.  Where your ice skates if you got them!

Hmmm, wonder if we need to look at getting the boats ready for March and chasing crappie early for a change?  I, personally, hope so.  I've started taking a few reservations for guiding this summer.  That always warms my bones.  Give a call and we'll have some fun.  All the info is on the website at https://deweycatchemandhow.com/pages/northwoods-fishing-guide-service


We are in the End of Season Sale NOW.  Come on in the store to check it out.  We are adding new items every day to the specials list.  They are also on the website. While you're on the site make sure to sign up for our newsletters so you will be the first to know when we add more items. Our most popular discount is buy 2 of the same thing and get one 50% off!  This does not apply to items that are already specially priced.  But just about everything in the store is discounted

Right now for live bait we have Crawlers, Wax worms, White, Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow, Pink & Multi-colored Spikes, Crappie Minnows, Regular Fatheads, XL Fatheads, Blacktails, Rosie Reds, Walleye Suckers, Northern bait, Medium and Large River Shiners and Medium and Large Golden Shiners, Wigglers and Mousees.  This weekend might be the last for wigglers though.  Time will tell.

Our hours are:
Monday thru Thursday - 6am to 6pm
Friday - 6am to 7pm
Saturday & Sunday - 6am to 5pm

We have to continue to squelch a few rumors.  The shop is still for sale.  Business is great but Linda and I are ready to ease into retirement.  WE ARE NOT GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!  If you have an interest in owning and operating the largest non-franchised bait shop in Wisconsin, call Jim Cheshire, Realtor, at 715-892-4223.

Jeff Bolander, owner of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post
715-892-2751 cell