Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report - June 1st, 2012
The warm spell has kicked the smallmouths into a spawning frenzy. The fish are pushed up into the shallows and a lot of males are guarding nests in the Sand Cut and Kakagon. Some females are already slinking back and will be feeding post-spawn here shortly. Fishing grubs on a jig head, wacky and or Texas rigging worms, throwing creature baits, and using fly gear are all working. Chequamegon Bay walleyes had been hitting really well on crawler harnesses and crankbaits down the Ashland shoreline and around the Kakagon and Sand Cut, too. Northerns seem to be everywhere right now, but the shallow weed beds are holding the most. Trolling to find them seems to be a good option. There are still a few browns in and along the Ashland shoreline. Trollers are finding them mixed in with walleyes and other species.
In the Apostle Islands, lake trout are the name of the game. The salmon bite has fallen off and the fish have moved to newer grounds. We will see them in the fall again. For lakers, fish the flats, the island shorelines out to 80 feet or so, and other flats out into the islands.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
BOULDER JUNCTION AREA
Anglers are working hard to find walleyes right now and are having some good success. Walleyes have been located all over, with reports of some being caught in 30 feet of water and some in shallow weeds at 7 to 8 feet. Panfish are starting to bite and crappies should start to head to the shallow wood as the water warms. Late season turkey hunters were also finding some toms and jakes that were alone and ready to come to calls.
Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce, (800) 466-8759.
Northern Highland Sports, (715) 385-2134.
All the area lakes are in the early stages of the bluegill spawn. Lake Noquebay has been producing some 6- to 8-inch gills near the DNR boat launch. The area in front of Timberline Bar and the county park have seen some nice action. Worms and small leeches under a bobber are working, as are small jigs. Bass fishing has also picked up in the shallows. Try medium leeches on a slip bobber or crawlers. High Falls has also been producing some nice gills in any of the shallow bays. Peshtigo Harbor anglers have been catching walleyes by trolling south from the mouth of the river in 6 to 12 feet of water. Smallmouth action has picked up along the shoreline and in the Peshtigo River up by the dam. The North Branch and South Branch of the Pembonwon were stocked with more than 10,000 brook trout late last week.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
This strange spring continues to have its effect. It looks like, in a lot of cases, crappies did not get to spawn. They seem to have missed their window of opportunity. Female crappies being caught now have soft eggs that they will be absorbing through the summer. Bluegills and largemouths are very shallow. Pike action is very good. Lots of fish are being caught by jig fishermen targeting walleyes in weeds and around wood (flowages). Walleye action is good overall. It’s a little spotty on some waters, but picking up on others. Fish green weeds in 8 to 14 feet for the best action. Live bait on jigs is making for most of catches. Largemouth action is very good, and very shallow. Smallmouth action is good, with fish up to 20 inches caught 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
Water temps are in the low 50s in the Eagle River and fishing continues to be generally good to excellent across the range of species. Northern pike are providing an excellent bite in 10 feet of water. Crappies and perch are hanging in 10 feet of water or less near weeds. Use a minnow under a small jig or slip bobber – excellent action. Smallmouth bass are providing a good to excellent bite over shallow rocks and gravel in 10 feet of water or less. Walleyes are hitting, but it’s “day dependent.” The action will vary from good to even close to excellent on outside weed edges.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
The erratic weather of the last week has made for some variable fishing conditions. Water temps have hovered in the mid-60 degree range on most lakes. Fronts put a damper on what had been a rather consistent bite for walleyes and panfish. Walleye anglers had been experiencing some good success on 12- to 18-inch walleyes in a variety of habitats. Bluegills and pumpkinseeds have begun nesting and good numbers of crappies continue to be found near shallow cover. Largemouth and smallmouth bass activity has also been increasing, but the erratic weather has been affecting both of these species. Northern pike success continued to be good, with most fish being found in and around the new weed beds.
Pastika’s, (715) 634-4466.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Water levels on the North Fork and South Forks of the Flambeau River are good. Fishing remains good; heavy rains in the area have raised the level of some of the lakes and flowages.
Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, (715) 339-3625.
Anglers are having luck with walleye on Clam Lake. Smallmouth fishing has also been very good on rivers in the area. The panfish action has been slow. Grettum Flowage on Fish Lake Wildlife Area is in drawdown.
Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.
Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445
Area lakes are in good condition. Warm weather should keep the panfish activity going. Anglers on the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir are catching good numbers of walleyes, most in the 12- to 14-inch range, but just about everyone targeting walleyes are finding a few keepers. Weed edges and drop-offs are producing the most fish, with jig/minnow combos working the best. Casting crankbaits against shallow shorelines at night is also paying off with bigger walleyes. Anglers fishing below Moon dam are reporting that the crappie bite is on. Jig color seems to change daily, so try different colors until one works.
Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.
Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573
UPPER PENINSULA REPORT
Lake Gogebic fishing was a little slow last week, mostly due to weather. The wind has been blowing hard most days, and also changing direction day to day. The temps dropped from near 90 to 50 in about four hours one day; not the best of conditions. Some folks have been doing well from shore, mostly due to the waves crashing in. Pike and smallies are giving up some action when the walleyes are being stubborn. Anglers are still fishing many locations from shallow to deep while using a variety of baits. Minnows seem to be at the top of the list, with leeches second.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361
Bluegills are staging in the shallows, preparing to spawn, and some nice catches have been taken on the Chetek chain. Anglers are finding a lot of action on Prairie Lake, with a large year class of 9-inch crappies. The best bait seems to be minnows hung from a stick bobber in 10 feet of water. Walleye action has been very slow, but northern pike were biting steadily on large shiners.