Bear hunting continues to be slow despite adequate populations. Bowhunters are seeing some increased activity with cooler weather. Local lakes have been giving up some panfish.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
CHIPPEWA FALLS / EAU CLAIRE / MENOMONIE AREA
Acorns are falling and deer hunters are having success by hunting around them. Leaves are changing color and some undergrowth is dying, which will make for happy grouse hunters. Rivers are low, making for tough navigation for duck hunters. Catfish are biting on the Lower Chippewa River from Lake Holcombe downstream to Lake Pepin. Cornell, Old Abe, Chippewa Falls, and the Dells pond also are producing good catches of catfish, but are overlooked by most of the public.
Buroker’s Taxidermy and Bait, Eau Claire, (715) 835-0847.
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.
A few smallmouths were being caught at the mouth of the Peshtigo Harbor by anglers using plastics and live bait. Walleyes and smallmouths are being caught on the Menominee River, with early evening being the best time to fish. Senkos, Twister tails, and plastics are working the best. Some salmon have been seen in the river, but catches have been low. Very little fishing pressure was observed from the Stiles dam to Holtwood Park, with most people fishing for smallies and panfish with live bait and plastics. Anglers at the mouth of the Oconto River report catching a few small perch and drum on crawlers. Walleye and perch fishermen on the bay from Pensaukee to Oconto Park II report few fish being caught due to windy conditions. Geano Beach fishing activity was slow for perch.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Cooling water has made fishing better across the board in the area. Crappies have been biting great in deep weeds in the 10- to 14-foot range. Small jigs have been the key, but small Beetle Spins are working, especially on cloudy days. Perch are biting in shallow water on light jigs tipped with half a crawler. Move around to find schools. Largemouths and smallmouths are biting well on deep weed edges and gravel humps. Jigs and pigs, Carolina rigs, drop-shotting, and crankbaits are all working. Pike action has been hot on most lakes with chubs or suckers. Spinnerbaits also are producing fish. Muskie action is fair, but should be getting better as the waters cool off. A few warm fronts stunted the bite. Topwaters are still catching some fish, but big bucktails and twitch baits should be key soon. Walleyes have been hit or miss, with slip bobbers being the best bet.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
Great Outdoors, (715) 356-6818.
J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Water temps are dropping fast into the low 60s and many lakes have started the process of turning over. Weeds – the shallow ones – are dying on all lakes. Unless a warm front comes in, some great walleye and muskie fishing is on its way. Walleye fishing is pretty good right now, with the fish moving a little deeper on dark-water lakes. Jigs and minnows are the best and will be for the rest of the open-water season. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are feeding over weed flats. Every year, muskie anglers catch some huge smallies in the weeds on jerkbaits. Northerns have slowed a little, but they also will be in the weeds for the rest of the fall, looking for minnows. Look for green weeds for these fish, and throw spinners. Panfish action is good, with crappie action on the rise. The fish are holding in the deeper weeds and brush piles pretty tightly, with minnows working the best. Perch activity has picked up in the deeper weeds, with minnows are red worms working well.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
Muskie and northern action has been good, and is still improving as waters cool. Target deep weedlines, points, and bars in 2 to 20 feet of water. Sucker fishing is picking up and should peak soon. Walleyes are scattered, but are responding around weeds and gravel in 8 to 35 feet of water. Fatheads, leeches, and crawlers are all getting bit. Largemouth bass fishing has been inconsistent, but larger fish are generally being caught in deep water – around 20 feet. Jigs, spinnerbaits, and tubes are all working. Smallmouths are responding on bars, humps, wood, and brush piles. Drop-shot rigs, tubes, and crankbaits are all working. Crappies are suspended over deep water and weed edges, cribs, and brush. Early morning and evening have been the best with crappie minnows, tube jigs, with or without bobbers. Bluegill action has been good, but a lot of sorting is required to catch eaters. Eight- to 20- foot depths have been producing, with standard live bait offerings being the best. Perch are being caught in about 30 feet of water on split-shot rigs and jigs tipped with minnows, leaf worms, and waxies.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Fishing pressure has been reduced, but muskies have been active most times of the day, although there have been a lot of short hitters. Jerkbaits and Bulldawgs have been the best. Bass fishing has been erratic with most action coming in mid-depth ranges around weeds, docks, and wood. Pike fishing has been good, with spinnerbaits providing the most action. Walleye fishing has been tough; cooler waters should help. Panfish action has been good for perch and crappies over deep weeds.
Bridge Bait & Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
ST. GERMAIN AREA
Muskie fishing is picking up with most area lakes starting to see good action, although not a lot of big fish have been caught. Panfish action has been good for crappies in deep water. Fish are suspended. Walleyes are hit or miss and are being caught on points, and shallow weeds. Jig and minnow combinations have been working the best, with plastics coming in a close second. Smallmouth action has been good.
St. Germain Chamber of Commerce, (715) 477-2205