Northern bite excellent, with walleye and panfish good to excellent in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Ice conditions continue to improve in the Eagle River area. We’re seeing 6-10 inches of ice on most lakes, with some lakes running 12 inches +. We prefer to be conservative in our estimates. There is some snow cover and slush in limited areas. Snowmobiles, ATV’s and foot travel are all getting anglers out on the ice. A FEW are starting to try motor vehicles on the ice.
Our guide sources strongly recommend not using motor vehicles at this time. We’ll keep you closely posted on when we are confident that the ice is safe for cars and trucks. A reminder that the Eagle River area has a wealth of excellent/qualified/licensed guides who will take you out on the ice, making sure of your safety, while having a lot of fun catching fish in the Eagle River area (ice fishing remains very good to excellent).
Northern in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around remaining weeds. Use medium to large shiners or northern suckers under a tip up, All day action and the bite is excellent (you’ll probably catch larger northerns fishing deeper, but the action will be less).
Walleye in the Eagle River area are off of break edges and over adjacent mud flats in 30 feet of water or less. The walleye are tight to bottom. Use a small to medium shiner or walleye sucker under a tip up, or try a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head. All day action, with peaks in the evening. Bite has been good to excellent.
Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) are on mud flats in 15 feet of water or less. The perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills suspending (save yourself time and hard work drilling lots of holes by using electronics — a “flasher” — to locate the depth that the fish are suspending at on any given day, as the depth will vary). Use a waxie, spike or crappie minnow on a small jig or under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
(This report based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guides “Muskie Matt” of Wild Eagle Lodge, “Ranger Rick” Krueger of Guide’s Choice Pro Shop, and Mat Hegy).