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Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – July 27th, 2012

ASHLAND AREA

Water has been sticking right around the mid-70-degree range. Weed growth is good and clarity is very good. With that, fishing for all Chequamegon Bay species has been fair, but early morning and late evenings have been the best due to the heat. Smallmouths are spread out all over the bay right now, where they have been showing peak feeding periods during the day. Fishing will be hot for an hour and then cool off for a bit. So, if you get to good structure, and the fishing is not on, you may want to check back later, as the fish are most probably there, just negative at that time. Lots of people are catching fish on suckers or leeches, but a lot of folks are also doing great on artificals, too. In water more than 15 feet deep, tubes on 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-ounce heads have been working well, as have drop shots. Walleyes and pike are in the weeds throughout the bay. Pulling spinners with a crawler has been the best for walleyes. Trolling crankbaits over the weeds have been producing pike. A few browns have been found in the deeper water off of the lighthouse in the channel to Long Island.
Apostle Island water temps are way warm. In most spots, if you are not 80 feet or deeper, you are not in the zone. A lot of shoreline spots are toast until the water cools off. The Flats and the outer islands are the spots to go. Look for water 50 degrees or colder. Once that transition is found, run your rigs in that water and to the bottom. Flashers with spin and glows or meat rigs are producing the best.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.

CHIPPEWA FALLS / EAU CLAIRE / MENOMONIE AREA

Hotter temperatures have made for tougher fishing. Anglers at Old Abe Lake near Jim Falls report fishing as being poor, with more weeds along the shoreline than usual. Fishing on Lake Wissota has been fair. Some panfish were being caught along shore in the Yellow River drainage. Smallie fishing on the Chippewa River near Chippewa Falls has been good to excellent, with most anglers having luck on soft plastics. Crappies were biting on the Holcombe Flowage off of Hwy. D, and also along the shorelines at Pine Point Park. Long Lake anglers were catching giant smallmouths, but at a low frequency, near cribs in 12 to 15 feet of water. Try drop-shotting a plastic worm or slowly bouncing a watermelon tube jig along the bottom. Northern pike are doing well on Marshmiller Lake on spinners and bucktails. Lake Altoona anglers are finding success catching some perch and crappies earlier in the day.
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.

MARINETTE/OCONTO AREA

Anglers are reporting smallmouth bass activity from the mouth of the Peshtigo River upstream. Pike, drum, and rock bass were also being caught in fair numbers. Stained water by the Peshtigo dam has made fishing difficult although a few smallmouths and rock bass were being caught below the Silver Bridge. Smallmouth bass were being caught in the rocky areas from Stephenson Island to the Hattie Street dam. Salmon and trout anglers were experiencing some good action around Green Island by trolling spoons in 100 feet of water 80 feet down. High Falls and Cauldron Falls are producing bluegills and crappies. It continues to be a deep water bite with fish holding tight to the bottom. The bass fishing has been doing well on plastic frogs, but slip bobbers and Lindy rigs with crawlers have also been working.
In Oconto County, the Stiles dam continues to produce bluegills and crappies in fair numbers. Some smallies were also being caught on the Oconto. The walleye bite from Pensaukee Landing to Oconto Park II has been fair, with fish being caught in 20 to 30 feet of water.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.

MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA

Water temps are high for up here. The best fishing times are very early and after dark. Largemouth bass action is excellent in the shallow weeds during the morning. Muskie action is very good, but from the last hour of light through early morning. Burning bucktails has been extremely effective. Smallmouth action is very good on deep coontail edges, or on rock and gravel bars. Walleye action is fair, with the best action at dusk or from 3-6 a.m. on big leeches, crawlers on jigs or under lighted slip-floats. Off-shore humps topping out at 26 to 40 are producing the best.
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 hovering in the upper 70s. The Eagle River chain remains the best choice for consistent action, but for smallmouth bass, anglers should try the larger, clearer lakes. Action peaks around sunrise and sunset for all species, except for panfish, where the bite is good to excellent throughout the day. Walleyes have moved deeper. Fish in 10 to 25 feet along edges with a jig and a fathead minnow. Northerns are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds, and they’re hitting. Panfish are putting on a good to excellent all-day bite in 15 feet of water or less Largemouth bass are along shoreline structure in shallower water. Fish heavy weeds, downed wood, brush piles, docks, and lily pads. Smallies are in 10 to 25 feet of water off of break edges over a hard bottom. Muskie action is fair. Fish 10 feet of water or less in or near weeds with a small bucktail or topwater lures.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.

HAYWARD AREA

Muskie anglers have been reporting some consistent action along weed edges and amongst scattered weed beds. Topwater baits and the double-bladed bucktails have been the favorite lures. Several fish in the upper 40s have been reported. Both bass species showed a little more consistency lately. Quite a few largemouth bass have set up shop near overhead cover such as logs, stumps or bog edges, though there are still a lot of fish in the shallows and cruising the weed beds. Smallmouths have been a bit more erratic. The best action has been on the larger flowages, with small finesse plastics and crayfish-like crankbaits catching most of the fish. Walleye action has been fair with these warm dog-days of summer, and some decent catches have been made on the mid-depth rock bars and along the weed edges. A small jig tipped with a leech has been the most productive bait.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.

LAKE HOLCOMBE AREA

The fishing on the Holcombe Flowage has been good for walleyes on leeches and crawlers deep in the channels early and late in the day. Muskies have been seen following baits, but they’re not hammering. Crappie fishing has been so-so – try waxies and minnows in deeper water. Smallmouth bass action on the area rivers has been good – try the Flambeau River north of where the Flambeau intersects with the Chippewa, and try the Cornell Flowage between the Cornell dam and the Holcombe dam.
Lake Holcombe Sport Shop, (715) 595-4293.

PRICE COUNTY AREA

Muskie action remains steady, especially on the Flambeau River flowages, Butternut Lake, and the Pike Lake Chain. Large double-bladed bucktails and oversized crankbaits seem to be producing larger fish. River levels are still at normal levels, making for some good canoeing on the North Fork and South Fork.
Bridge Bait & Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.

ST. GERMAIN AREA

Muskie action has been steady, with many anglers seeing and catching fish. Fishing for bass has been good with anglers reporting good catches in 8 to 10 feet of water. Water temperatures are running in the 80s, so daytime fishing has been slow.
St. Germain Chamber of Commerce, (715) 477-2205.

WAUSAU AREA

The smallmouth fishing has been fantastic on small crankbaits or jigs tipped with tube tails over shallow wood and rocks in 3 to 5 feet of water associated with any current. A strong walleye bite continues in 6 to 10 feet of water with jigs tipped with crawlers and leeches along outside weed lines and channel edges. The crappie and bluegill action has been very good.
Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573

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