Eagle River Fishing Report: January 14, 2013

Northern and panfish action is good to excellent, with walleye fair.  All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

The ice in the Eagle River area seems to be holding at between 5 to 8 inches.  Warm winds and rising temps will herald using extreme caution, regardless of the generally thicker ice.  Foot travel is still excellent, with some anglers getting out on ATV’s, but extreme caution is necessary.  Unless you know a specific lake inside-and-out, your best bet is to hire one of Eagle River’s excellent guides, who will know where the fish are, and where it’s safe to fish.

Northern in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around the remaining weeds.  Use a medium to large shiner or sucker minnow on a tip-up.  Set your bait high in the water column for best results.  All day bite, with good to excellent action.

Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) in the Eagle River area are in 10-30 feet of water off of break edges or adjacent mudflats.  The perch will be tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills suspending anywhere in the water column.  Use electronics to locate the depth the fish are locating at, as the depth may change daily, and even a slight deviation from the previous day, higher or lower in the water column, will have a distinct impact on how successful you’ll be. Use a spike, waxie or crappie minnow under a small jig or slip bobber.  All day bite, with good to excellent action.

Walleye in the Eagle River area are locating tight to bottom in 10-30 feet of water off of break edges and adjacent mudflats.  Use a small to medium shiner or sucker minnow under a tip up, or a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head. Sporadic bite, with peaks in the evening.  Action is fair.

(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).

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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