Fishing is good to excellent on Chequamegon Bay. Trollers are still finding cohos, brown trout, kings, and steelhead. Most anglers are fishing from Washburn to the Onion River, but the channel and head of the bay also hold fish. Try to find the mud lines or clear water to troll. Area streams are high and dirty, but are loaded with fish. Casting off of the stream mouths with flashy spoons and spinners, flies, spawn, and yarn all work if you get them in front of the fish. Smallmouth fishing is super when wind conditions aren’t too bad. Rock piles hold the most fish.
Anglers All (715) 682-5754.
River Rock (715) 682-3232.
Muskie fishing on Cauldron Falls and High Falls flowages has picked up. With the cooler water temperatures muskies are hitting on large suckers on quick-strike rigs. The walleye action on Lake Noquebay has been improving. Vertical jigging chartreuse, orange or green jig and minnow combos is working the best. Panfish action has been fair; try pink/white, pumpkin, or chartreuse jigs tipped with a wax worm. Water temps have dropped and the smallmouths on the upper Menominee are putting on the feed. A chub free-lined on a bare hook will do the trick.
MBK Sport Shop (715) 735-5393.
Hook, Line and Sinker (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Wind, rain, cold and snow; water temps in the Lakeland area continue to fall. Turnover is now behind us; focus on deep water. Muskie reports have varied, probably due to turn-over. Other lakes that had been off saw a spike in activity. Suckers have been king. Jerkbaits and crankbaits are moving fish the best. Muskies up to 49 inches have been reported. Action will continue to improve as temperatures fall. Walleye fishing has been fair to good. Best catches are coming from deep lakes, in 40 to 50 feet of water. Use heavier jigs or a rig tipped with three- to five-inch suckers. Find drop-off areas with transition zones of hard to soft bottom. Vertical jigging spoons or Rapalas is also producing. A few crappies are being caught, relating to wood in 12 to 17 feet of water. Use medium fatheads to target larger crappies. Pike fishing has been good, use live bait rigs and four- to seven-inch suckers, concentrate on heavy weeds in eight to 12 feet of water. Surface temps last week were at 48 degrees (Trout, Fence), 46 degrees (Squirrel, Big Arbor Vitae), and down to as low as 40 to 41 degrees on the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage.
Island Sport Shop (715) 356-4797.
Great Outdoors (715) 356-6818.
J & J Sports (715) 244-2616.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Walleye fishing has been very good on all lakes. The fish are in the 15-foot range on the Eagle River chain. Fish the edges of all the holes with jigs and minnows. On the big, clear lakes the fish will be in the 15- to 30-foot range on the drop-offs with hard bottoms. Large red-tailed chubs or small suckers are best on these lakes. This fishing will last to freeze-up. Muskie fishing is in the good to very good range now. Live bait has started to work very well, with suckers now producing some nice fish on quick-set rigs. This late fall pattern is a good one for bigger fish, and some nicer fish have been caught in the last week or so. You can also use jerkbaits or crankbaits. After turnover, the fish can be anywhere, but most anglers will start on the deeper weed edges before moving deeper with crankbaits and rubber baits. There isn’t much in the way of bass fishing going on and panfish anglers are in the same boat. We have heard from crappie anglers who are very happy with the fall fishing, but as it gets colder and windier, it is tough to fish for crappies. In some cases, they have been mixed right in with the walleye on the chain.
Grouse hunting continues to be good. This past week has seen birds moving between different types of cover, depending on the snow situation. If the snow is fresh and there is more than about an inch, the birds will be in the conifers, young balsams, jack pines, and red pines. Look for these trees that are close to, or within, young aspen forests. If the snow is spotty or absent, they will be in their usual spots – young aspen and alder stands. Increasing numbers of diving ducks, bluebills, redheads, buffleheads and goldeneyes, are being seen on the big lakes. Bowhunters are seeing more rutting activity. Deer are more active in daytime, and rubs and scrapes are becoming more common.
Eagle Sports Center (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice (715) 477-2248.
Muskie anglers are finding fair to good action on bar edges and green weeds in six to 20 feet of water. The sucker bite is going strong; suckers seem to be in short supply. Top artificial baits include crankbaits, bucktails, jerkbaits, and even some topwaters. Trolling has been productive where legal. Walleye action is still erratic. Fish will hit all day if there is cloud cover, but otherwise fish the last hour of light and after dark. Depending on the lake, weather, and time of day, walleyes are in eight to 25 feet or deeper, on gravel bars, weed edges, and drop-offs. It’s mostly a minnow bite. Pike anglers are catching some nice fish on weeds and weed edges in eight to 15 feet of water with spinnerbaits, spoons, twitched crankbaits, and suckers. Crappie fishing is good to very good as the fish move into their fall locations. Look for them around weeds, woods, brush, and cribs in 10 to 35 feet of water. The most productive baits include minnows, fatheads, and plastics on small jigs or plain hooks, fished with or without slip bobbers. Interest in bluegills is at the low end, but the few anglers who are targeting them are catching fish around weeds and wood in eight to 12 feet of water.
Hayward Bait (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau (800) 724-2992.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Water temperatures have now dropped into the low 50s and upper 40s, and the turnover is now completed on most lakes. Muskie anglers have continued to provide most of the fishing pressure and success has been inconsistent for artificial and live-bait anglers. A few fish in the 30- to 38-inch range have been boated and sightings of fish in the upper 40-inch range have been reported. Walleye success continues to be slow, with only a few reports of catches being made. There has been a recent surge in crappie action with quite a few reports of decent catches. The crappies have been found near the mid-depth cover and suspended a few feet off the bottom in deeper water.
Bridge Bait & Tackle, Park Falls (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips (715) 339-3625.
The muskie bite has been very good with some large fish being caught in 20 feet of water using crankbaits or a live sucker and float combo. Walleyes and crappies have been very active. Walleyes are being caught from deep eddies and backwater areas with little or no current in eight to 18 feet of water. Rigs and larger minnows have yielded the biggest fish. Slip bobber rigs with fatheads are a good way to target crappies suspending four to seven feet down in 12 to 16 feet of water.
Backwater Sports (715) 536-9056.
51 Sport Shop (715) 359-5204.