Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – November 16th, 2012
Chequamegon Bay smallmouths will be biting right until the bitter end. They’re stacked up in spots along the Ashland shoreline, and along the rock pile. Jigs, spoons, and live bait have been catching fish. Trolling for trout and salmon is still good in the bay, too, from Ashland all the way to Houghton Point and Long Island.
In the Apostle Islands, near-shore trolling with crankbaits is starting to get better for trout species. Water temps have dropped into the mid-40s, and more browns and splake are showing up into the shallows. Jigging and casting is another great way to catch a few trout. Drift slowly with ice-fishing lures and minnows or spawn under slip bobbers.
On the inland lakes, muskie action has been decent. Sucker fishing with quick-strike rigs has been good in deeper spots. Walleye anglers have been having luck on Namekagon by rigging and jigging on points and breaks in 15 to 20 feet of water. Crappies are schooled up over the basins. Ice-fishing jigs and spoons have worked on the crappies.
Duck hunters have been having great success with a mix of divers. Bluebills and redheads have been the most common for lay-out hunters on big water.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
The DNR ran a brown trout survey Nov. 5, but the crew did not find any trout in the river. They found a lot of fish scattered in other places, including thousands of whitefish in pools upstream from Stephenson’s Island and in pools below the dam. Walleyes were scattered in various locations, but with higher numbers below the dam and in pools below the gate. A few chinook salmon are still hanging around. Browns have been found in the Menominee marina.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Water temps are in the low to mid-40s and steadily dropping. Walleyes are in 10 to 30 feet of water over mud flats adjacent to break edges. Use a jig and a minnow. It’s an all-day bite, with action good to excellent. Panfish are in 10 to 30 feet of water off of break edges. Use a minnow or a crawler under a slip bobber or small jig. Muskies are in 10 feet of water or less near weeds. Use a jerkbait, crankbait, or big sucker on a quick-set rig.
Archery deer season is picking up as the peak of the rut approaches. If you are calling, doe bleats are effective. But it’s too soon to use grunt calls. Bucks are cruising for does, so be ready at all times for a buck to appear. Bucks are also freshening scrapes, so if you see a scrape it would be a good place to set up. The diver duck migration is coming on strong now. Duck hunters are seeing buffleheads and bluebills. Northern mallards are here in decent numbers. Grouse hunting continues to be good.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
Bowhunting action started picking up last week as the rut kicked in a little more. Bird hunting has been very good. Muskie action has been fair. A few nice fish have been caught. A 55-incher was caught on the Eau Claire chain. Crappies are suspended in deeper water. Action has been good. Walleye fishing has been pretty good, too, also in deeper water.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
LAKE HOLCOMBE AREA
Anglers are catching a few crappies in deep water. Walleyes are being caught on minnows and suckers on the Chippewa River below the Holcombe dam. Archers have been shooting a lot of deer. The shop registered a 12-pointer that dressed out at 230 pounds, and a 15-pointer that dressed out at 235 pounds. Bear hunters registered 29 bears. Waterfowl hunters are finding ducks and geese.
Lake Holcombe Sport Shop, (715) 595-4293.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Most sportsmen are out hunting for deer, grouse, and turkeys, but muskie fishermen have been doing fairly well on suckers in about 12 feet of water on the Phillips chain. A 49-incher was caught last week. Bowhunters have been seeing a lot of does, but have not tagged many bucks as of yet.
Bridge Bait & Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
Muskie action has been very good, with lots of fish up to 40 inches. A lot of the activity is in 8 to 14 feet near rocks on sharp-breaking shorelines. Use crankbaits, rubber baits, or suckers on quick-set rigs. The walleye bite has been outstanding. Most of the fish are in 12 to 16 feet of water and can be caught on jigs tipped with fatheads. Walleye anglers have been catching a few crappies and a few nice smallmouth bass. The rut is in full swing.
Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573.