Marathon & Lincoln Fishing Report: February 20, 2012

Great northern and panfish bite, with increased night action for walleye; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

The northern have been just about as reliable as you could want this winter in the central Wisconsin area. We have seen outstanding numbers and some very good size this entire winter and this past week was no exception. We have been catching most of our pike in 3 to 6 feet of water tight within the weed line. We are running tip ups baited with large golden shiners set right below the ice to keep them from tangling up in the weeds and so the fish can find them as they cruise below.

This past week has been outstanding for all species of panfish in the central Wisconsin area. . The crappie bite has been very good with the majority of fish holding in 14 to 18 feet of water. Small minnows on tip downs and tiny ice jigs have produced the best for us. Bluegills are biting about as fast as you can get your bait in the water with limit catches not uncommon. Most of the gills are holding in 4 to 8 feet of water associated with heavy weed cover and can be caught on tiny ice jigs tipped with waxies or spikes.

The perch bite has been absolutely fantastic. We cannot remember a winter where we have had such great perch action and not only has it been consistent but we have seen good numbers and size too. Depending on the type of day the fish are holding in 8 to 12 feet of water. The determining factor is that on cloudy days the perch are out roaming the flats and on sunny days we have found more perch hanging tight to the weeds.

The walleye bite in the central Wisconsin area has been for the most part an early morning and late afternoon bite with a substantial increase in activity after dark. Most of the walleyes we are catching have been found in 4 to 8 feet of water associated with current breaks and wood or rocks. We have been running tip ups baited with large golden shiners or small sucker minnows right near the bottom for the best results.

(This report based on interview with licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and licensed guide Glenn Moberg, of Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Service, Mosinee Wisconsin).

[Image: Courtesy of Mike Crowley; available for sale at his website Life in the Northwoods]

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About the Author

Ray Smith is an author, lecturer, creative director and Senior Associate at Creative Brilliance, a full-service advertising and marketing communications company. He has been involved with northern Wisconsin tourism promotion and economic development for more than 20 years.

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