Both lake and river spawning runs way ahead of normal - Northern Report
Things have changed – and quickly. We went from ice fishing one day to open water the next. The shorelines are pretty well open and folks are wading and casting for fish around Ashland, and catching a few, too. But the main brunt of fishing is happening around Saxon and from Houghton Point north around to Port Wing. Trolling mainly, but folks are doing pretty good casting in and around the river mouths, as well. Trollers are doing really well shallow, as usual – mainly on cohos with a few trout mixed in. Besides the usual crankbaits, a real sleeper bait has been the No. 5 Berkley Flicker Shads. Run them 30 to 50 feet behind a board. When casting, use spoons, spinners, crankbaits, plastics and spawn. Pre-spawn walleyes are around Ashland right now, as are some big pike.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
BOULDER JUNCTION AREA
Anglers have been exercising their boats while looking for panfish. All lakes are open. Trout Lake was open on March 20 – the earliest in modern times. The panfish have been moving in and out, depending on the weather.
Northern Highland, (715) 385-2134.
CHIPPEWA FALLS / EAU CLAIRE / MENOMONIE AREA
People are starting to fish Lake Wissota, where crappies and other panfish are coming in close to shore. When the weather is nice, fishermen have been out, but the diehards are catching fish in all conditions.
Bill’s Sport Shop, Chippewa Falls, (715) 723-9033.
Anglers have been getting nicer bluegills from shore on High Falls at the first three landings. Walleyes were up in the rivers, but anglers are still catching a lot of males. Suckers are already showing up, so there is a little bit of overlap in spawning runs.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Anglers have been chasing panfish for two weeks already. All lakes are open and the walleye spawn is well under way.
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
The panfish bonanza has started and lots of anglers are already out catching fish. It didn’t take long for the smaller, shallower lakes and the rivers to open up. Look for shallow bays or tucked in areas with some type of weed growth. The main catch will be perch, but crappies and bluegills are running shallow, too. Use a slip bobber, tipped with a waxie, crawler or minnow. This action will continue for two to three weeks.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
The Chippewa Flowage, Nelson Lake and Lost Land Lake have been seeing a lot of visitation from anglers looking for crappies and other panfish. Use plastics and minnows. Others are going to Lake Superior for trout and salmon and the fishing there has been good. Anglers have also been catching and releasing trout on the Namekagon River.
Pastika’s, (715) 634-4466.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
LAKE HOLCOMBE AREA
Fishermen have been catching a few crappies – some guys have been still finding them at around 20 feet. Then, every once in a while, someone finds them in 3 or 4 feet of water along a north shore. Guys are also catching catfish and suckers. Toms are gobbling and strutting already.
Lake Holcombe Sport Shop, (715) 595-4293.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Guys have been trying hard, but they’re not catching much for panfish just yet. Redhorse and suckers are in the creeks and rivers.
Bridge Bait & Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
We haven’t heard of much being caught, just a few crappies, but guys are sure out trying to find fish. Tom turkeys are gobbling and strutting.
Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.
Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445.
The spring walleye bite has taken off. We are finding good numbers of fish in deeper pools in the main Wisconsin River channel, but most are small males. Some larger fish were in 3 to 7 feet of water. Try jigs tipped with minnows, and small crankbaits. The best action has been early and late in the day. Shallow-water smallmouth bass action also kicked into gear last week.
Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.
Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573.