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Best Places to Ice Fish in Wisconsin: Petenwell Flowage
Last Updated: 2/5/2014
Petenwell Flowage was created in the late 1940s and became the second largest inland lake in Wisconsin. It is heavily used for many recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, hunting and canoeing/kayaking. The flowage provides many opportunities for shore anglers at a variety of locations. The Petenwell Flowage has an annual catch and release muskie tournament founded by Todd Forcier and has also hosted bowfishing tournaments for rough fish.
Stumps, submerged timber and shallow water make parts of the flowage difficult to navigate. Almost the entire shoreline is open to public use, with few exceptions. Petenwell Flowage is widely known for exciting spring walleye runs, with good numbers of bass, crappie, muskie and northern pike also available.
Interactive Lake Map
For a more detailed lake map and up to the minute fishing reports connect with the Petenwell Flowage waterway page on Fishidy.
Here are some tips for locating and catching fish through the ice on Petenwell Flowage:
- Channel edges should be fished during winter. In early winter, focus on the shallow, top-edge of the channel using tip-ups with 3 to 5 inch shiners. As winter progresses, focus on the base of the drop-offs. Deep wood along the channel edges will hold walleye during winter. Moving water and springs can often create unsafe ice conditions: caution is advised.
- Barnum Bay is a good location to look for winter crappie. Small jigs and small hooks tipped with minnows produce consistent catches. Jigging style baits will also work, but not as consistently as live bait.
- The best opportunity to catch perch is during late-ice. Deep wood structures and muddy bottom areas produce the best perch catches. Lindy ice jigs tipped with waxworms and various jigging spoons work well.
- Bluegill and crappie can be taken from the shallow water by early ice anglers on Skibba Slough.
- Devils Elbow consistently produces walleye and crappie throughout the season. The best action usually occurs in spring and late fall, but some fish can be caught during the early ice period. Be aware that springs and currents in this area can create unsafe ice conditions.
- Just south of Twin Lakes, a steep drop-off along the east shore holds a good number of walleye throughout the season. Crappie and walleye can be caught through the ice when fishing the drop-off and 15 foot depths.
- Winter anglers concentrate on walleye in the 10 to 25 foot depths east of Longview Point. Golden shiners of about 3 to 4 inches suspended below tip-ups will produce fish.