The leaves are going fast now, with some wind and rain the past few days. The tributary streams (the sections that are still open) and Lake Superior have been quite nice this fall to the anglers, with coho salmon the main fish caught. The recent rains will bring the streams back up, so be careful when out and about. Hunters are starting to go out now that it has cooled down, and there are some deer being shot by bow and arrow. Duck hunting has been OK for the hunters who have been going out. The latest storm and cool weather should bring more ducks to the area.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
BOULDER JUNCTION AREA
The warmer-than-normal month is coming to an end, with snow flurries and freezing temperatures dominating the forecasts. Duck hunters are hoping for a flight of northern birds to be pushed down with this cold weather. Anglers are reporting more consistent catches of walleyes from deeper holes when using jigs and minnows. Muskie action has been fair, with the best action coming on jerkbaits. A few fish are beginning to be caught on suckers.
Northern Highland Sports Shop, (715) 385-2134.
CHIPPEWA FALLS / EAU CLAIRE / MENOMONIE AREA
Anglers fishing at the base of the Lake Altoona spillway have been catching a lot of legal walleyes. The boat landing at Lake Altoona County Park remains closed for renovations, but should open in the near future. Lake Altoona anglers have been catching some bag limits of nice-sized perch and crappies.
Buroker’s Taxidermy and Bait, Eau Claire, (715) 835-0847.
Big Mama’s Bait Shop, (715) 231-0839, Menomonie.
Mouldy’s, (715) 723-3607.
Bill’s Sport Shop, Chippewa Falls, (715) 723-9033.
Fishing the Peshtigo Harbor for smallmouth bass and pike has been slow. At the dam, some kings were caught on flies, crankbaits, and spawn. The Menominee River provided some good walleye action during periods of low light; try trolling or casting crankbaits. Anglers fishing the cover below the dam at Stiles have been catching bluegills and crappies while using slip bobbers and minnows or worms. Kings are caught near the Iron Bridge on the Oconto on spawn, spoons, crankbaits, and Wooly Buggers. Breakwater Park and Oconto Park II landings are producing perch. Try minnows or chunks of crawlers.
MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Water temps are finally are staying below 60 degrees. As the lakes cool, muskie action is heating up. Most of these fish are still being drawn out of surprisingly shallow water, with jerkbaits bringing the best action. They pull muskies away from shallow reed beds and they then hammer suckers on quick-set rigs. Pike have moved out of the shallows, possibly following the bait or perhaps due to muskies in the shallows. Try a jig and chub or sucker on weed edges of 8 to 12 feet. Some nice largemouths are hitting spinnerbaits meant for pike. Walleye fishing has been fair to good. The best action now can be found in deep water on 3- to 5-inch chubs.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
With colder weather, water temps have dropped. The weeds are dying, and some good fishing is ahead. Walleye fishing is good, especially so with the dropping water temps. The fish are now mostly in the holes or nearby on the Eagle River chain. Jigs and minnows are the best bait on all waters now. Just fish the edges of those holes on all the chain lakes in about 15 to 18 feet of water. On the clear, deeper lakes, you can find fish from 12 feet or so right out to 30 feet. The biggest problem in the fall is wind, and last week was no exception. Use heavier jigs if it is windy. Muskie fishermen are happy with the decline in the temps. The very best fishing of the year for big fish will take place now with suckers and sucker-patterned baits. After turnover, the fish can be anywhere in the lakes. There are long feeding windows daily right up on the weed edges, but you can also get fish over deep water. On the lakes with ciscoes, muskies will “babysit” the schools and feed on impulse.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
Anglers report good muskie fishing on the edges of green weeds, weedlines, and on points. Most anglers are using bucktails, surface baits, gliders, plastics, jerkbaits, and suckers on quick-strike rigs. Walleyes are scattered. Look for them in 8 to 30 feet of water on humps, rock bars, and weed edges. Fatheads and suckers are working best, but crankbaits are still working well during evening hours. Pike action is good for bigger fish on deep weed edges on spoons, spinnerbaits, and suckers. Smallie action has been inconsistent. Target shallow rock bars, points, breaks, and weed flats. Crappie action is improving as fish move toward their fall areas. Look for fish in 4 to 20 feet of water near weedlines, wood, and brush. Top baits include fatheads, plastics, and tube jigs.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Water temperatures have been steadily cooling, and most fish have retreated to deeper water. Muskie anglers have been dragging suckers and have been seeing quite a few fish. There have been no recent reports of large fish, but quite a few 34- to 42-inch fish have been landed. A few anglers are still throwing lures and have been experiencing some action, with fish being more active on the sunny days. Walleye fishing has been inconsistent, with cloudy days producing the best results. Live bait continues to be the best bait. Cloudy days often produce some catches all day long, but on sunny days look for the fish to bite just before dark.
Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, (715) 339-3625.
Fishing has been good, with cooler nights bringing water temps down. The St. Croix River is flowing high. Deer movement has been slow. Fall color is past peak and a good number of leaves have come down with heavy rain and wind. Waterfowl numbers still appear to be above average, with the possibility of some northern birds showing up soon.
Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.
Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445.
Bowhunters have been seeing quite a few does and yearlings and are still waiting for the big bucks to show. Rubs have begun to appear, and scrape work should be soon under way. Upland hunters are scratching out a few grouse. Woodcock continue to provide most of the upland action. Waterfowl hunters have reported fair action, with migrants beginning to show. Geese are everywhere. On the Wisconsin River, water temps are in the low 50s and falling, and game fish are on the feed. The muskie bite has turned up a notch. Anglers are getting a lot of activity on jerkbaits. Successful anglers are targeting weeds and weed edges. Walleye fishing has been outstanding. Most of the action is coming from the deep pools in the main system of the Wisconsin River.
51 Sport Shop, (715) 359-5204.
Gander Mountain, (715) 355-5500.