Bass, muskie action taking over the inland lake scene

ASHLAND AREA

Lake Superior anglers are fishing deep now for summer lake
trout, although there still have been a few spotty coho reports
coming in. Get well off shore for the coolest waters and the best
fishing. In the islands, fish are off the first breaks and deeper –
mainly lakers, with a few browns and splake in the mix. Spoons and
deep-diving crankbaits are catching fish. Watch water temps – find
the cool stuff and you may catch fish up shallow. On the Flats,
South Channel, and outer areas of the islands, magnum spoons,
standard dodger combos, and larger crankbaits fished deep on
riggers, Dipsys, leadcore or copper are all producing. Watch for
nets. Fishing has been decent, overall. Targer 60 to 120 feet for
lakers, 20 to 60 for other trout and salmon. Walleye and northern
pike reports in Chequamegon Bay have been OK. Most fish are spread
out on weed edges, deeper flats, and structure around the bay.
Troll crankbaits and crawler harnesses around new weeds, and fish
“high” toward dusk. Smallies are spreading out to their summer
structures all around the bay. A few still are hanging around the
sloughs, but the bulk of the fish are out on deeper structure.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

Outdoor Allure, (715) 373-0551.

BIG GREEN LAKE AREA

Lake trout fishing has been very good in 70 to 120 feet of water
on Big Green Lake. Spoons have been working well. Northern pike
fishing also has been very good. Try large chubs or spinnerbaits
along weedlines and out to 35 feet of water. Fishermen are seeing a
very strong year-class of walleyes, with most fish running 13 to 16
inches.

North Bay Sport, (920) 294-6462.

BOULDER JUNCTION AREA

Fishing has been more than halfway decent, with both species of
bass leading the way with a lot of action on all types of baits on
just about any lake. The smallmouth lakes are really kicking in.
Crappie fishing has been good, as well, and muskie fishing has been
productive. A 48-inch, 27-pound tiger muskie was caught last
week.

Northern Highland Sports, (715) 385-2134.

CHIPPEWA FALLS / EAU CLAIRE / MENOMONIE AREA

In the Menomonie area, Tainter Lake fishermen are reeling in
some 20-inch-plus-sized walleyes and big largemouth bass. The best
action is in 15 to 20 feet of water; use a jumbo leech or some type
of Shad Rap. The fishing will still be good after all of this rain.
The 25th annual fishing contest at Elk Point Resort is July 31.

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.

DOOR PENINSULA AND KEWAUNEE AREA

Fishermen are catching walleyes from Bayshore Park up to
Henderson Point in 20 feet of water on bottom bouncers. Perch are
hitting in Rileys, Little Sturgeon, and Sand bays in 6 to 8 feet of
water in the weedbeds. Use minnows. There has been some northern
pike action around Squaw Island. Lake Michigan trout and salmon
fishing continues to be good out of every port.

Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce hotline, (800) 626-3090.

Algoma Hardware and Sporting Goods, (920) 487-3374

Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934

Stevenson Pier, (920) 824-5222.

EAGLE RIVER AREA

Northern action is excellent. Fish the weeds in 10 feet of water
or less, using a small bucktail or spinnerbait. The muskie bite is
very good. Fish 10 feet of water or less at the outside of thick
weed edges – depths of 3 to 6 feet are producing best. Use a
bucktail, crankbait, or a topwater. Find where the weeds thin
enough to work a bait above the weeds, and you’ll probably locate
fish. It’s an all-day bite, with a peak in late afternoon into
evening. Smallmouths are hitting in 10 to 20 feet of water over
gravel/rock areas. Use a wacky-rigged plastic worm, a 3-inch tube,
plastic crawfish, or a jig and a leech. Panfish are in 8 to 12 feet
of water in and around weeds. Use a minnow or chunk of crawler
under a slip bobber, or a jig and a minnow. Walleyes are putting on
a good bite. Fish outside weed edges in 10 to 20 feet of water with
a jig and a fathead. Largemouths are in 10 feet of water or less
around weeds, related to structure (docks, stumps, and brush
piles). Use a Texas rig with a plastic worm, or run a plastic
lizard, rat, or frog.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.

HAYWARD AREA

Largemouths and smallmouths have been keeping fishermen busy.
Largemouths are in the bays near weeds and under lily pads. Use
plastics, weedless spoons, or frogs. Smallies are hitting tube jigs
and Senkos in deeper water. Muskie action also has been good, but
the action isn’t consistent every day. There is a good bucktail
bite going in the mornings and evenings over submerged weeds, with
the deeper weeds being a little better, depending on water clarity.
There also are guys catching suspended fish over deep water on
Bulldawgs and crankbaits. The thermocline is just starting to form
over deep water. Walleye action has been OK, but the window of
action has been getting narrower.

Pastika’s, (715) 634-4466.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

LA CROSSE AREA

Fishermen are doing well on all types of panfish on Lake
Onalaska and all over the Mississippi River. On the river, with the
water going down, docks and snags have been a great place to find
crappies and bluegills, but perch just started coming into play
last week. Bass fishing also has been very good, with smallies and
stripers leading the way on the main river, and largemouths holding
court along weed edges in the backwaters. Walleyes are right in
sloughs with the largemouths on the river. The high water seems to
have pushed the walleyes up in there.

Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.

Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (608) 782-5552.

LAKE HOLCOMBE AREA

Crappies, muskies, and catfish have been the big news in the
Lake Holcombe area. The walleye action hasn’t been too far behind.
The best walleye action has been on minnows. There was even a big
carp sighting – an 11-year-old boy caught a 37-inch, 281⁄2-pound
carp. Another angler then caught a 42-inch muskie from the flowage
on a Rapala. The channel catfish are just hammering on the Chippewa
River below the Holcombe dam. A 6-year-old boy caught a 291⁄2-inch
channel cat. Catfish up to 32 inches have been caught.

Lake Holcombe Sport Shop, (715) 595-4293.

LAKE MICHIGAN / METRO AREA LAKES

Sheboygan trollers were catching trout and salmon – mostly
chinooks – in 30 to 120 feet of water last week, from the surface
to 50 feet down. Shore fishing was good, too. A mixed bag of trout
and salmon have been hitting spoons and alewives.

In Port Washington, trollers had good luck from 50 to 110 feet
down last week for a mixed bag of trout and salmon on spoons or
flashers and flies fished from the surface to 60 feet down. Anglers
were catching perch near the power plant and the harbor side of the
pier; on the lake side of the pier they were catching trout and
salmon. Boaters were getting perch at the south pier.

In Milwaukee, trollers caught mostly chinooks, along with a few
rainbows and browns, in 40 to 120 feet of water on spoons, and some
flies. Shore anglers were doing best at McKinley Pier, mostly on
chinooks early and late in the day. They were catching perch, too,
on small shiners on bottom. Boat anglers launching at Bender Park
were catching perch at “the boils” on small shiners.

Racine trollers were finding great action close to shore in 30
to 50 feet of water. Perch fishing from shore was slow, but boaters
were doing OK at the breakwall and bubbler.

In Kenosha, trolling has been consistent in 40 to 100 feet, and
all methods have been working on a mixed bag of trout and salmon.
Harbor fishing has been fair, with the best action early and late
in the day on spoons and tube jigs. It’s been mostly browns; fish
from the Best Western out to the end of the pier. There has been a
good perch bite in morning from shore.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s, (262) 646 2218.

LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA

Good numbers of walleyes, crappies, and catfish are being caught
in the Fox River from the Ohio Street bridge out to the lake. The
perch fishing is starting up and fishermen are finding good size
and numbers of perch on the reefs, and also over mud flats.
Trolling patterns are starting to show up for walleyes on Lake
Winnebago.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

MADISON AREA

Fishing has been pretty good all over the Madison lakes, with
perhaps the bluegills on Lake Monona being the big news right now.
They’re hitting from the weedlines out to 25 feet of water. Try
vertical jigging or drifting. Lake Waubesa bluegills are in deep
water, too. Muskies are hitting on Lake Monona, and the smallies
are active on bars as deep as 30 feet on Mendota. Smallies also are
on Mendota weedlines, as are perch. The west side of Mendota has
been the best spot to find perch.

D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.

MARINETTE AREA

Fishermen have been catching plenty of trout and salmon on Green
Bay. They’re also catching a lot of catfish and smallmouths, along
with a few walleyes, on the Menominee River.

MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.

MANITOWOC/TWO RIVERS AREA

Some very nice weather kept anglers on the water last week.
Cooler water moved closer to shore, giving pier anglers and
small-boat trollers some good action. Kings and rainbows were
caught from the Two Rivers and Manitowoc piers, mostly on spoons.
Although water temps on the surface were 58 to 60 degrees, under
the surface it was 42 to 48 degrees, bringing fish into 17 feet of
water. Fishing action was great out to 30 to 70 feet. Trollers used
spoons in silver/green or black/green and plugs in black, green,
chartreuse, and pearl run in close by the harbor off of boards and
Dipsy Divers. Action out deep was good to 70 to 130 feet. Panfish,
bass, and northerns are hitting on Manitowoc County inland lakes
and rivers. Carp, bullheads, and catfish are being caught in
downtown Two Rivers.

CUB Radio report, (920) 683-6816.

MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA

Anglers dealt with some changes last week with lots of sunny,
high-pressure days mixed with small, quick-moving thunderstorms.
Fishing started out very good. Largemouth bass fishing has been
good in heavy cover on hot evenings. Topwaters have been the best
choice over cover and in pockets within thick weeds. Wacky-style
worms punched through thick weeds are accounting for bass to 20
inches. Smallie action has been fair to good. Bass have been
running coontail edges and sand grass flats searching for baitfish
and crayfish. Try lipless crankbaits along coontail edges and tubes
and skirted grubs in crawfish patterns over sand grass flats.
Perch, crappie, and bluegill action has been fair. For bigger
perch, try frozen soft shells over sand grass flats, but be ready
for smallies and walleyes. Crappies have most often been found over
weeds in 8 to 12 feet, but last week some nice fish were as shallow
as 4 to 5 feet. For bluegills, stick with small leeches or worms on
inside weed edges, docks, or cribs. Muskie action has been fair.
After a good week, the action died last week. Try twitching
crankbaits over weed tops, and use rubber baits over deep water.
Walleye action went from fair to poor. A slow presentation of
leeches on slip floats along weed edges at dusk has been the best
bet.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

Great Outdoors, (715) 356-6818.

Captain Hooks, (715) 277-2405.

J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616.

NEKOOSA AREA

Walleyes have been hitting on the Petenwell Flowage, with some
good catches here and there, but overall the action has been a
little slow. The biggest news is that the crappies, white bass, and
channel catfish are around in abundance. Fishermen are catching
just tons of catfish – and some pretty big ones at that – on the
Petenwell. You don’t have to do anything special to find them, just
go fishing. Guys also are catching a few muskies here and there,
but nothing of any great size.

Sunrise Bait, (715) 886-5440.

Petenwell Sports, (608) 564 7707.

SAUK CITY AREA

Devils Lake has been a great spot to go for trout and bass of
both species. Some 7- to 8-pound largemouths have come out of
Devils so far this summer. Guys are picking up a few nice walleyes
by trolling on Lake Wisconsin. Shore fishermen on Fish Lake are
catching a lot of bluegills, but the size has been off. The Crystal
Lake boat landing was closed last week because of high water. If
you can get on Crystal through private access, the bass fishing has
been pretty good. Fishermen are catching walleyes in the main
channel of the Wisconsin River, and smallies are hitting on the
current breaks. Use crawlers.

Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.

SIREN AREA

Bluegills and perch are hitting, but oddly enough, they really
haven’t been kicking in until well after dark. Some guys got their
best catches at midnight last week. To confuse the matter even
more, the walleye fishing has been better than you might expect
during the day, but then the walleye action dies after dark.

Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.

Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445

WAUSAU AREA

Muskies have been very active early and late in the day on
topwater baits and bucktails along heavily wooded shorelines and
thick weeds in 3 to 6 feet of water. Northern pike fishing is as
good as it gets. Hot summer days are really bringing them out.
Medium to large spinners and Daredevils will work when thrown into
weedbeds and any wood along the shoreline. Good numbers of walleyes
are being caught – work contour breaks in 12 to 14 feet of water,
and slowly drag jigs tipped with crawlers along the breakline.
Crappies and bluegills are pounding small jigs tipped with crawlers
worked in and around timber.

Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.

Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573

UPPER PENINSULA REPORT

Lake Gogebic fishing has been awesome. Jumbo perch have been
much more cooperative and are biting on nightcrawlers. Smallmouth
bass are very active in the weeds and they’re also hitting
crawlers, plastic worms, and lipless crankbaits. Walleyes continue
to surprise fishermen. The lake is giving up some nice fish in the
main basin or over mud flats. The weedbeds and weed edges are
second to none for producing steady action for walleyes on crawlers
and leeches. Despite a slow start this season, Lake Gogebic is now
producing the nicest walleyes seen in years. The numbers are great,
and anglers are seeing the best ratio of keepers to “throw-backs”
in a long time.

Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.

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