Hunting, fishing, trapping and other 2013-2014 license and harvest permits for fish and wildlife activities in Wisconsin went on sale March 7, 2013. Visit the DNR website for more information. Licenses and permits for 2012-2013 expired March 31, 2013.
Recreational Safety Education Classes are now being offered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Check out the ATV, boating, hunting and snowmobile safety classes being offered in the area.
Shortly after the ice melts on area lakes, fishermen head to St. Germain for panfishing. Crappies, bluegill and perch are all common in St. Germain’s lakes. In spring, look for shallow, warm water, particularly in protected bays, and fish with small jigs and baits. As spring moves on, catch & release bass fishing becomes popular. For the earliest bass action, target shallow, structure-rich lakes with stained waters and dark bottoms.
Summer is the quintessential Northwoods fishing seasons for many anglers. Panfishing gets increasingly better as the year progresses. Muskies become active shortly after their spawn in late spring. Early in the season, target areas just off prominent points and mid-lake humps adjacent to deeper water and fish smaller baits. As the summer progresses, increase the speed of your retrieves and the size of your baits.
St. Germain’s lakes are full of walleyes. Your chances of locating walleyes are greatly increased when you keep an eye on weather conditions, water temperatures and light conditions. Walleye tend to be shallower in low-light periods—such as sunrise, sunset and under cloudy skies—and move deeper during the day. Target mid-lake humps and deep weedlines.
Smallmouth and largemouth bass action is excellent on St. Germain’s lakes. Largemouth bass tend to hold tight to thick weed cover and structure for most of the summer and provide excellent action. Smallmouth are found deeper, generally around deep rocks and deep weedlines. Often when the walleye aren't cooperating, there’s great bass fishing to be had, so be prepared for both species and you'll improve your chances of getting into some great fishing action.
As the days grow shorter towards fall, many of St. Germain's fish species increase their feeding—which makes for great angling. Fall is the best time of year for catching behemoth trophy musky in St. Germain, with really tremendous-sized fish being caught right up until the lakes freeze over. Walleye action often increases as well, as does smallmouth fishing in the early part of fall.
For many fishermen, the real fishing starts when the lakes freeze over. St. Germain is a favorite destination for ice fishermen. Some of the best walleye and northern pike fishing can be had through the ice. The most popular technique for winter walleyes is jigging or using tip-ups with small to medium sized minnows. By far the most popular technique in St. Germain for winter pike is using a tip-up baited with large shiners or other live minnows. Crappies, bluegill and perch are also ice fishing favorites. If you’re looking for a great ice fishing getaway, check out the St. Germain resorts that specially cater to ice fishermen, with shanties and amenities ready when you arrive.
Pete Stoltman Report ~ Updated 11/16/2013
It’s time to put a wrap on the 2013 open water season. Some small lakes and ponds have already developed a skim of ice. Larger lakes remain open but with increasing cold temperatures boat landing access has become an issue. Musky fishermen will be targeting the larger deepwater lakes as long as they can. Two keys are involved in a successful outing. First, be sure to locate and fish hard around schools of baitfish. Ciscoes and whitefish are coming into spawning time and muskies will take advantage of the easy meals. Second, be aware of key times. Feeding windows are extremely short during the cold water period and are frequently associated with lunar periods like moonrise and sunset. Top techniques right now have been vertical jigging, deep running crankbaits, and countdown soft plastics. Be sure to use caution around boat launches as the runoff from boats and melting snow can create slip hazards near launches. Carry some sand in your rig in case you run into difficulty pulling out from slippery landings.
Now it’s time to take a look at early ice fishing. I suspect that there may be anglers anxious to hit early ice as soon as Thanksgiving. First and foremost, use extreme caution when approaching early ice. Safety ropes, life preservers, and spud bars are all essential equipment until the ice develops a solid base of 6” or more for foot traffic. The good news is that early fishing is usually quite good right up close to shore. Walleye in particular come into the shallows toward evening and can provide some very good action. If you get out early enough, set some tipups for pike in the weeds. As we get closer to sundown you can expect the walleye to start showing up. Usually medium shiner minnows provide the fastest action for both species. The water is quite clear during early ice so rig your tipups with the lightest weight leader that you’re comfortable with. Fluorocarbon makes an excellent leader material as it is quite durable and is nearly as clear as you can get.
During the course of the season I’ll do my best to keep you advised of safety conditions and what is working on our area lakes. Meanwhile enjoy a couple weeks of downtime to prepare your ice gear, put away the rods and reels from this past season and spend some time with your family and loved ones before retreating to the ice shack for the remainder of winter!
Regular Fishin' for Regular Guys Guide Service
St. Germain 2013 Fishing Report
Rob Manthei Report ~ Updated 10/21/2013
The weather sure has changed and looks like Fall will finally get here in a hurry. Yesterday was snow and sleet most of the day and the snow was sticking. This looks to be the norm for the rest of the week.
Rob Manthei's Fishing Guide Service
Wisconsin Outdoor Report - Weekly report is updated every Thursday at noon.
- Click here for Wisconsin Boat Registration & Titling Information.
- Click here for online recreational vehicle registration.
- Click here to purchase your fishing license online.
St. Germain Area Fishing Guides
- Buck's Guide Service
- Erv Keller Guide Service
- Lakeside Guide Service
- Pete Stoltman - Regular Fishin' Regular Guys Guide Service
- Rob Manthei's Fishing Guide Service
Interesting Fishing Related Articles
- EEK! Environmental Education for Kids - Electronic magazine for kids. Learn about the great outdoors!
- Find a Lake - Searchable database by location, fish type or with landings, beaches or public lands/parks provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Rescources.
- Fish Identification Database - Search this database to identify all fish species in Wisconsin.
- Ice Fishing in Wisconsin - Early season forecast for ice fishing provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
- Invasive Species in Wisconsin - Department of Natural Resources information.
- Lake Maps - Oneida County
- Lake Maps - Vilas County
- Lake Turnover - The seasonal process of mother nature cleansing and oxygenating our lakes.
- Musky Fishing - Info, publications and regulations for musky fishing in Wisconsin.
- Take Me Fishing.org - Website features lists of places to boat & fish and other resources.
- Things to See & Do in Vilas County (PDF) - Fun spots to visit in Vilas County.
- Vilas County Lake Directory (PDF) - Online directory of useful information about Vilas County lakes.
- Wisconsin Angler Education Classes - Courses offered by the Department of Natural Resources.
- Wisconsin Boating Laws & Responsibilities (PDF) - Department of Natural Resources online publication.
- Wisconsin Fishing Regulations - Department of Natural Resources information.
- Wisconsin Fishing Report - From January to December, there's always a place to fish, fish to catch and fishing fun to be had!
- Wisconsin Lake Information - Important questions & answers on Wisconsin lakes.
The Department of Natural Resources has detected a virus affecting fish in the Lake Winnebago system called viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS for short.
The DNR reported that this virus is not harmful to humans and that it is completely safe to handle and eat fish caught in Wisconsin waters. It is important to note that VHS is a deadly virus to fish and spreads easily among a variety of fish populations. The DNR is actively responding to contain this threat and has issued the following recommendations that should be practiced on all Wisconsin waterways:
- Put your catch on ice and do not move live fish and unused bait minnows away from the landing or shore.
- Drain all water from bilges, bait buckets, live wells and other containers when leaving the landing or shore.
- Use live minnows purchased only from registered bait dealers in Wisconsin or catch it yourself in the same water you fish.
- Clean plants and debris from your boat before leaving the landing.
Below are some PDF files & links pertaining to VHS:
- Anglers, Bait & VHS Frequently Asked Questions
- Dead Bait Preservation Methods
- What is VHS?
- Species Affected by VHS (PDF)
- VHS Distribution in Wisconsin
- VHS Poster - General Prevention Steps (PDF)
- VHS Poster - Minnow Use Reminder (PDF)
- VHS Poster - Minnow Harvest Prohibition (PDF)