Marathon & Lincoln Fishing Report: December 24, 2012

Recent snow may hamper ice fishing.  The walleye bite has been good, with crappies, bluegills and perch all hitting, and big northerns are being taken as well; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

Heavy snow is good for late season archery deer hunters, but it may hamper ice fishing.

Ice anglers will have to use extreme caution in the central Wisconsin area when heading out onto area waters for a time.  With only a couple of inches of ice in most places and in some places no ice at all the recent snow is going to make for dangerous conditions.  Remember to carry ice picks and a life vest if traveling out and make sure you don’t head out alone.  With that said the fishing has been very good for all species of panfish with good catches of crappies, bluegills and some nice perch coming from backwater areas off the Wisconsin River system.  Most of the fish we are catching are in 10 to 12 feet of water associated with wood.  We are catching our fish on tiny ice jigs tipped with spikes or waxes.  We have been using some of the new Northland Impulse plastics and having great results, especially on the larger panfish.  On one recent outing three of us limited out with the largest bluegill going 11 inches long.

The walleye bite in the central Wisconsin area has been especially good during the low light periods and after dark.  Most of our fish are coming on tip-ups baited with either a golden shiner or medium walleye sucker.  They are then set about 8 inches to 1 foot off the bottom in 3 to 5 feet of water.  Look for areas with little or not current (backwater areas off the river) associated with downed timber.

Big northerns has also been on the men in the central Wisconsin area, and are having good luck catching some real nice sized fish.  We are running large golden shiners on tip-ups in 4 to 8 feet of water.  We are also having some luck jigging medium sized Buckshot Rattle spooners for the northerns as well. We are tipping the spoons with a minnow head on the treble hook and working it very aggressively 1 to 3 feet off the bottom.

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

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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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