The ice fishing bite for crappies, bluegills and perch is good, and travel on the ice has improved. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Ice conditions in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area remain good, and travel on the ice has improved. Snow cover is pretty much gone. Best to use foot travel or an ATV, and stick to established paths and trails. There are some shorelines that are eroding and pulling back, but anglers are getting out fairly easily.
All that being said, it is still spring, and regardless of the lack of continuous sun and warmth, the ice is degrading, so ultra caution is strongly urged. Indeed, the best suggestion remains: Hire one of Eagle River’s excellent guides who will put you on fish in safety.
PANFISH: Crappies, bluegills and perch are putting on a good, all day bite in the Eagle River area. Fish weed edges or adjacent break edges in 15 feet of water or less. Use a wiggler, spike, waxie, crappie minnow or mico-plastic under a slip bobber or on a small jig. The perch are tight to bottom, and the crappies and gills are suspending up and down the water column (day and lake dependent).
Use a flasher or other electronics to locate the fish at any given time. The fish are scattered, and electronics will save you time and useless effort drilling lots of unproductive holes.
As for the opening day of the Wisconsin fishing season in Eagle River (Saturday, May 3, 2014), one of our guide sources pretty much summed it up, when he said: “At this rate, we may be very well fishing for walleye and northern through the ice at the opener.” In the meantime get your gear and boat ready, and stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted.
(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).