Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – November 29th, 2012
CHIPPEWA FALLS / EAU CLAIRE / MENOMONIE AREA
Local trappers are noting that the muskrat population is down, most likely due to the drought’s effects on area ponds and wetlands. Pheasant-hunting success has been limited. Most of the final pheasant stocking will be finished within a week or two. At Lake Wissota, fish in the waters adjacent to the state park have been seeing little pressure. For those who have not winterized their fishing equipment, some of the best fishing of the year can be had now. Try the shallows with floating crankbaits early and late in the day for a chance at a nice walleyes, or rig a slip bobber/minnow.
Big Mama’s Bait Shop, (715) 231-0839, Menomonie.
Mouldy’s Archery & Tackle, Chippewa Falls, (715) 723-3607.
Bill’s Sport Shop, Chippewa Falls, (715) 723-9033.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
High winds and rain kept anglers off the lakes recently. Lake water temperatures rose last week, and any ice melted. Winds were keeping any ice from reforming. Muskie action was fair, and action picked up a bit with rising temps. Muskies were taking suckers on quick-set rigs with blades on windy days. Go without a blade on calm days. Or try casting rubber baits, gliders, and jerkbaits on slow retrieves. Keep your eye on electronics for muskies in deep holes, relating to schools of walleyes. Remember that the muskie season runs through Nov. 30. Walleye action has been fair, mostly due to just a few reports because of high winds. Target deep pockets and transition zones. Keep an eye out for shallow-weed fish on smaller lakes. Most lake temps were running 36 to 43 degrees last week.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
Great Outdoors, (715) 356-6818.
Captain Hooks, (715) 277-2405.
J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Muskies are on outside weed edges and break edges in 20 feet of water or less. Use a regular-sized bait or lure with a slow presentation, and don’t forget to do a figure-8 as the bait nears the boat. Best success is coming on jerkbaits, glidebaits, crankbaits, and large suckers. There has been good action, and an all-day bite that should continue through the muskie season closure Nov. 30. Walleyes are in 10 to 30 feet of water off of break edges or adjacent mud flats. The walleyes are tight to the bottom. Use a jig and a minnow. They have been hitting all day, with peaks in the evening. Northern pike are in 15 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a small crankbait or a sucker under a slip bobber for some good, all-day action. Panfish are in 10 to 30 feet of water off of break edges, or are holding near structure like cribs or brush piles. Use a crawler or a minnow on a jig or under a slip bobber. Perch are tight to the bottom. On the hunting front, the deer rut was at its peak last week. Small bucks are more active, and the big bucks seem to be sticking with the does. Grunt tubes and rattling horns are effective for bringing in deer. The lakes are not frozen, so there are decent numbers of diver ducks on bigger lakes where you will find bluegills, ringbills, and buffleheads. Decoy spreads that are larger and more visible than earlier in the season are working. Grouse can be found in the standard haunts.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
Fishing for walleyes and muskies has been good this past week. Walleyes have been active in 10 to 14 feet of water. Most of the action is coming on lead-head jigs tipped with fathead minnows. For the best action, slowly drag or slightly hop jigs right on the bottom as you drift through these deeper areas. Even though the water temps have dropped into the mid-30s, the muskie action has been consistent. Most of the action is now coming on suckers set up on quick-set rigs. Put the suckers below a slip-bobber run anywhere from 4 to 8 feet down. You may also run one line with a quick-set rig to free flow with no bobber at all. This one is set out 40 to 50 feet behind the boat and the sucker is free to go wherever it wants. More times than not this is the one that gets hit. In addition to the live suckers, anglers are still catching a few nice fish on Suicks and Bulldawgs worked very slowly, keeping close contact with the bottom.
Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573.