The bite for crappies, bluegills and perch is good, although travel on the ice remains difficult; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Ice conditions remain good in the Eagle River area, but travel conditions continue to worsen. It’s very difficult to get out and around on the ice right now. There’s lot of snow cover and slush. Use a snowmobile and make sure you stick to traveled routes. Easy to get stuck and mired. Caution, as always, remains the watchword when fishing on the ice.
PANFISH: Crappies, bluegills and perch are putting on a good, all day bite in the Eagle River area. The panfish are locating in two different areas. There are basically two types of lakes in the Eagle River area — one type are the lakes that are 20 feet of water or less, and the other type are the deeper lakes that go more than 30 feet of water in depth. You can fish the deeper lakes, by hitting main lake basins in 30 feet of water or MORE.
Or you can fish the main lake basins of shallower lakes that go 20 feet of water or LESS. Right now the panfish are scattered, and the fish are heading deeper to find relief from the lack of oxygen nearer the surface, caused by a lack of sunlight. The methods for catching fish remains the same, regardless of the particular lake you fish. Perch will be tight to bottom, with crappies and gills suspending.
Best to use electronics like a “flasher” to locate where the fish are on a particular day and lake, as it varies — meaning the depth you’ll find the fish is day and lake dependent. There is no “one size fits all” right now. Use a spike, waxie, wiggler or crappie minnow on a small jig or under a slip bobber. A number of anglers have also been using micro-plastics with good success.
(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).