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Local Fish Report

Walleye image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There are lots fish in Cook County lakes – the trick is to know where they are and how to catch them. WTIP wants to help fill out your stringer by posting a weekly report on what’s biting and where. 

Tune in to DayBreak every Friday morning from 7 to 8 a.m. for the latest report.

What's On:

Local Fish Report for Feb. 25


Our fishing expert, Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, says trout are still biting, but when the latest cold front went through the area the walleyes picked up like crazy.

The WALLEYES on Sag have started to pick up.  They’re fairly deep -- in that 50 to 60 foot range, but they’re being taken with jigs and minnows… and they’re good eaters.  Also the LAKE TROUT were abundant in 40 to 55 feet, also on Saganaga.  If you can get larger minnows like suckers, shiners or certified ciscoes and tip a bucktail jig or a spoon.

LAKE TROUT in Greenwood has been spotty but success was being found in 60 feet of water or so.  Jig or spoon tipped with a minnow is the way to go. There were some also in 40 feet or so and everything was near bottom.  Daniels was showing success in 40 to 55 feet using jig and minnow or jigging Rap with a minnow head.  Trout Lake had fish in the 35 to 40 foot range or so, same M.O.-- jig or spoon with minnow.

RAINBOWS were hitting a little shallower, 17 to 22 feet using waxies and small spoons or ice jigs.  Poplar Lake also reports a few lakers being caught fairly deep, about 45 to 55 feet.

As far as RAINBOWS and SPLAKE go, Mink is still reporting good results in 12 to 22 feet of water with salted minnows or waxies and small spoons.  Bogus Lake reported good SPLAKE action in 15 to 20 feet of water with waxies and jigs.

For those looking for some easy access BROOKIES, we have to mention Carrot Lake again.  Try 8 to 14 feet of water with small ice jigs tipped with waxies.


Rainbow trout

Local Fish Report for Feb. 18


Our fishing expert, Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, says if we’re talkin’ fishin’ we’re talkin’ trout.

LAKE TROUT action has been picking up. Saganaga seems to be giving up trout at the 32 to 38 foot range. A spoon and minnow was the lure of choice. Also large buckshot lures tipped with a minnow.

Some of the smaller trout lakes were giving up fish much shallower. Kemo Lake was getting hits at 10 feet with a spoon and minnow. Jigging Rapalas were also doing the trick. Mayhew Lake was reporting some good action in 30 to 40 feet with spoons and Swedish Pimples tipped with minnows.

SPLAKE were hitting in Trestle Pine in about 16 to 23 feet of water with an ice jig and waxie. RAINBOWS were a little shallower, in 10 to 16 feet of water. Esther Lake was giving up a few rainbows and even a couple of splake in 15 feet or so using ice jigs and waxies.

One last lake to suggest might be Ram where we heard the rainbows were doing pretty good in about 16 to 20 feet, but no word on Lakers.


Splake on ice/Google Images

Local Fishing Report for Feb. 11

Our fishing expert, Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, says you’ll have to weather the cold only for a little while longer as the weathermen say were due for a nice warm up at the end of the week. Could last 7 to 10 days…wouldn’t that be nice.

A very nice SPLAKE was caught by a young angler in Birch Lake the other day. It was 20 ½” long and weighed nearly 3 pounds. He reported that he “was jigging and jigging. And he kept on jigging.” He didn’t say how deep he was fishing in all the excitement but we think he was using a chub with that jig.

Also producing SPLAKE was Mink Lake in about 12 to 15 feet with a jig or small spoon and waxies. Some were using preserved minnows. SPLAKE on Leo are still hitting in that same range -- 12 to 15 feet using waxies or salted minnows.

Daniels and Duncan reported little action but some nice size LAKE TROUT down in 40 to 50 feet of water. Try spoons and a rainbow chub. Moss was also reporting action, down deep off the bottom.

If you’re looking for some BROOKIE action, it’s worth another mention about the very accessible Shoe Lake and Carrot Lake. Waxies with ice jigs should do it. Bring the small silver spoons just in case.

If WALLEYES are on your mind you can try Crescent or Caribou as we’ve heard of a little success out there. Jig fairly deep, 25 to 35 feet with a jigging rap and tipped with a chub head.

That’s about all for this week except for this: slush is everywhere. It will get much worse with next week’s warm-up so be prepared.


Ice fishing kit

Local Fish Report for Feb. 4

Our fishing expert, Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, says trout once again take center stage for ice fishing, but he asks, “Whatever happened to the mid-winter thaw anyway?”

It seems that fewer fishermen went out this past week which is too bad as we’ve been hearing about some very good RAINBOW and SPLAKE action. The WALLEYE bite is pretty slim but if you want some action Sag and Seagull might be your best choice.

As for TROUT, a couple of lakes you might want to try include Leo where the RAINBOWS are biting in 10 to 15 feet of water. The fish are suspended just under the ice and waxies with ice jigs or small spoons. The SPLAKE in Leo are about 15 to 22 feet of water, suspended.

Shoe Lake was giving up some BROOKIES as well as SPLAKE in 8 to 15 feet using salted minnows and waxies. You can try ice jigs here too.

Greenwood Lake is reporting some LAKERS pretty deep in the 35 to 45 foot depths using jigging Rapalas tipped with a minnow head. We've also heard of some success around 18 to 26 feet off the bottom with minnows and spoons.

Mink Lake is also reporting good RAINBOW action in 8 to fifteen feet using waxies and ice jigs. If Mink isn’t your cup of tea hop on over to Kimball as it’s giving them up in 12 to 18 feet of water.


Lake Trout

Local Fishing report for Jan 31

Our fishing expert, Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, says trout once again take center stage for ice fishing.

Seems most people are fishing for trout and up at Trout Lake in the shantytown, RAINBOWS were being caught just under the ice about eight feet down or so. LAKERS were deeper and a bit more difficult to find.

Kimball Lake was reporting good action too, fairly shallow and just under the ice. Bring waxies with you. Leo Lake is looking pretty good as it always seems to, but the fish were a little deeper, 12 to 18 feet using waxies and an ice jig.

Kemo Lake reports some decent LAKER and SPLAKE action. Don’t have any depths, so bring your electronics.

For those who want to head east, Esther Lake has been giving up the RAINBOWS in 12 to15 feet of water with waxies on a small Swedish Pimple. And if you’re looking for BROOKIES why not shoot up to Loft Lake and give that a try. Waxies and small Buckshot lures or Pimples should do the trick.



Local Fish Report for Jan. 21


Our fishing expert, Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, says the trout opener was last weekend and a lot of folks were reporting good action. He also said there’s not much to report on walleyes -- so we’ll just concentrate on the trout catch.

Starting with Musquash Lake. Reports of SPLAKE in 6 to 10 feet of water using waxies with an ice jig. Some people were using small spoons tipped with minnow heads or tails. Another lake reporting good action as well as quite a few people was Trout Lake. RAINBOWS and LAKERS  were caught from 15 to 20 feet. Some were as deep as 35 feet. Just drop a minnow and jig down the hole and work the column.

Leo Lake reported action from 12 to 20 feet using spoons and Pimples. One angler reported he didn’t even tip the lure with anything. He just dropped a small Fuzzy Grub down. Action was good for both RAINBOWS and SPLAKE. The splake tended to be shallower.

Seagull was giving up a few LAKERS from 18 to 25 feet in some areas using Jigging Ice Raps. Tip it with a whole or a portion of a minnow. No word on Sag this week.

BROOKIES on Carrot Lake were being nailed with small ice jigs and waxies in10 to 15 feet of water. But don’t be afraid to try shallower.


Rainbow trout

Local Fish Report for Jan. 14

Our fishing expert, Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, says Saturday, the 15th, TROUT season opens outside the BWCAW. It’s already open inside.

WALLEYES are always slow in the winter. However if you need a couple of lakes to try, Hungry Jack reported a little action in 18 to 25 feet of water in the flats using Swedish Pimples and jigs tipped with a fathead. Devilfish Lake was also reporting action at around 15 to 22 feet using jigs and minnows. A lot of small ones but eaters were mixed in with them. Homer reports a few fish, nicer size but had to work hard for them in 19 to 27 feet of water using shiners on a plain hook.

As far as LAKE TROUT go, inside the BW anyway, those who went to Rose had decent luck. Although they started deeper they ended up finding fish in the 22 to 28 foot range. Nice eaters. They were using spoons tipped with a minnow. Daniels also reported some nice action in 17 to 25 feet or so. Spoon or jig tipped with a minnow. Also, there’s been a report of some slush on the lake but pretty good overall.

If you’re looking for some PERCH, Elbow is still producing some nice ones. Chubs or waxies seem to be the bait of choice.
Most people seem to be waiting for this weekend to search out their favorite BROOKIE, RAINBOW or SPLAKE lake. Now is when the real fishing starts.

F.Y.I. concerning slush, we’re only hearing of a few lakes with slush and even those aren’t all bad. Bearskin has very little, Birch and Daniels have a little more but there is nothing on Moss. So enjoy yourselves this week and be careful this weekend as there will be a lot more people on the lakes than the past few weeks.


Lake trout

Local Fish Report for Jan. 7

Our fishing expert, Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, says although Lake Trout season opened this past weekend it didn’t seem that a large number of fishermen took advantage of the opening.

Pine Lake is giving up a few of its LAKE TROUT in 25 to 33 feet of water with a jig and minnow. Look for some humps and fish the downside. Duncan and Daniels are reporting fish but it was a little slow. Fish are in depths of 35 to 45 feet. Use small spoons and tip with a minnow or two. Rose Lake is another good lake to fish. Depths being reported are in the 38 to 43 foot range. Try a Swedish Pimple and minnow or a small spoon with a minnow.

WALLEYE action for the area is a little slow but some are having success. Two Island Lake is a good place to try a jig and minnow in 12 to 18 feet of water around the rock piles. Elbow Lake is another good standby. Fish in 6 to 10 feet with a plain minnow or an ice fly tipped with a minnow. You might run into a few PERCH at that depth as well. NORTHERNS are also hitting here using sucker minnows.

Northern Light is still giving up a few walleyes in the 8 to 12 foot range. Swedish Pimples tipped with a minnow head or a plain minnow. Some are getting NORTHERNS on suckers. Caribou Lake is also reporting action in 18 to 25 feet of water using a glowing ice fly and minnow head.



Friday Fish Report for Dec . 24


Our fishing expert, Jon Muhich of Buck’s Hardware, says it’s time to get back to serious fishing.

Reports are that there is plenty of ice on the smaller lakes -- anywhere from eight to 14 inches. But the big lakes such as Gunflint, Saganaga and Greenwood might require a little caution. Ice making has been pretty good thus far so we can expect those lakes will be ready soon.

There’s been a little action for WALLEYES on Northern Light Lake in about 6 to 10 feet of water. Elbow is also reporting some walleye hits but don’t forget to check for PERCH while you’re there. Six to 12 feet seems to be producing decent eaters. Seagull has decent ice and the walleyes are hitting on rainbow chubs.  If you’re thinking farther west, Caribou is producing in 18 to 24 feet of water using regular chubs as bait with an ice jig.

NORTHERNS are hitting on Devil Track and Northern Light lakes. Sucker minnows are the way go.


Lonely ice fishing vigil

Local Fishing Report

11/2/10 – There are lots of fish in Cook County lakes, the trick is to know where they are and how to catch them. WTIP wants to help fill out your stringer by posting a weekly report on what’s biting and where. However – this is the time of year when fishing slows to a crawl. So, we’ll take a break and be back when the lakes freeze up with your winter ice fishing report.