Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – May 30th, 2014

ASHLAND AREA

Ice shoved into the Washburn side from Bodin’s to Basswood Island last week, and it is/was moving a lot. Before going out, anglers should check wind forecasts. When the ice is gone, anglers are catching trout and salmon from Bodin’s to the Onion River. Walleye anglers using shallow-running crankbaits are still catching fish at the hot pond. Smallmouth action has begun in the Sand Cut area, with most fish caught in deeper areas until the water warms.” 

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.

MARINETTE/OCONTO AREA

Low water temperatures have made fishing tough, but some bluegills and crappies are being caught in less than 2 feet of water on Lake Noqubey on days with little wind and lots of sun. Walleyes were found on the weed edges. Minnows and crawlers used with a slow presentation worked best. High Falls and Cauldron Falls flowages continue to be a slow bite all the way around. Water temps on the area lakes are between 45 and 53 degrees, so it may be the first week of June before we see a bluegill spawn.

MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.

Hook, Line and Sinker,

(715) 854-2073.

MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA

After a little taste of winter late last week (yes, snowflakes on May 15) and the drop in water temperature that comes with the cold, things look good from here on out with a gradual warm-up going on. We will need the warmth and sun to get the weeds growing. Crappie action is good and improving. Crappies are moving up to the shallows on north and east shores to collect warmth in the afternoons. Now that we are done with the nighttime cold, these fish are staying and staging in areas. Submerged wood along these shores and in protected bays help to gather heat in the surrounding water and add protection for these fish. Pitch tiny jigs under small floats from as far away as possible to suspend these offerings and entice hits. Small minnows, leeches, and wax worms also are working. Walleye action is fair to good. Post-spawn walleyes are moving shallow to feed. A lack of green weeds to hold forage fish means a lack of targets for walleyes and anglers to key in on. Small, shallow-running crankbaits that run to 5 to 6 feet – and not retrieved too quickly – have been a good way to work shallow flats, covering water and enticing strikes from active fish. A jig and minnow (or leech) combo slowly worked back over the same areas will produce the less active biters. Pike action is good and improving. Most catches have been by anglers targeting walleyes with jig/minnow combos. Larger chubs or suckers produced the best. Slow-moving plastic spoons worked with a lift and glide, also garner nice action. Largemouth bass action is fair and improving. Twitch crankbaits over shallow, warming dark-bottomed areas. Bluegill action is fair to good. They are moving into the shallows on warm days. Use tiny jigs and waxies. 

The muskie opener was Saturday, May 24. We haven’t seen or heard much this spring. With the Memorial Day weekend temps forecasted to hit the 70s, water temps should rush into the 60s, bringing muskies up to a pre-spawn mode. 

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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

EAGLE RIVER AREA

Now that we have finally received some decent weather (and good forecasts), we are solidly into good spring patterns. This is great, and well deserved after this horrible winter and spring. Water levels are much improved for everyone, and those water temps are now rising up there toward normal levels for this time of the year. We expect to get those temps up into the high 50s or even perhaps some 60s by this week. People are starting to really enjoy being out there. Fishermen should see some good fishing for all species. Walleye fishing has been pretty good, with many of these fish done spawning and having moved into weeds and mud flats to recover. Guys are getting some bigger fish now, but the balance of the fish caught seems to be males. As always, jigs and minnows remain the best bait for them. Guys are still getting fish on the Eagle River, also, even though the current remains high. On the lakes, look for emergent weeds to hold fish. Despite the cold water temps, weeds have started strong growth everywhere. Northerns are hitting like crazy everywhere. Just look in those same emergent weeds and you will find them feeding strongly. Just about any bait will work for these aggressive fish. Walleye anglers report many “bite-offs” from these northerns. Bass action will take a while to develop, and the water temps are just not high enough yet. Look for smallies to start cruising the shorelines, feeding and inspecting those spawning areas right now. Largemouths usually come in within days of the smallies. Muskie action has not really started yet due also to the cold water temps. They’ll be on shorelines for the next two to three weeks as long as we don’t get any cold fronts. Panfish action has been really good, with the perch mixed in with the walleyes and feeding with gusto. Crappies have started to move in shallow for their spawn also, so that fishing will be great this weekend. Bluegills are on some warmer shorelines, but are very much pre-spawn at this point.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

HAYWARD AREA

Walleye action slowed, but anglers continue to catch some nice fish. Concentrate on shallow water during low-light periods and shallow to mid-depths during daylight, while working weedlines, wood, breaklines, bogs, brush, and drop-offs. It is primarily a jig and fathead bite, but anglers are catching fish on crawlers, leeches, plastics, Gulp!, crankbaits, and Rapalas. Northern pike action is good to very good in the shallows and near schools of panfish. Northern suckers, minnows, spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, and crankbaits are all good for tempting pike. The largemouth bass harvest season opened May 3 this year with the opening of the game fish season. Smallmouth bass fishing is catch and release only until June 21. Action will improve as the water warms. Fish shallow bays and along shallower weedlines with spinners, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, bucktails, jigs, soft plastics, and live bait. Crappie fishing is good to very good as fish start staging near spawning locations. You will find them in shallow to mid-depths (2 to 12 feet) around weeds, bogs, and brush, as well as in shallow, warmer bays. Top baits include crappie minnows, leeches, plastics, and Gulp! baits on jigs or under slip bobbers. Downsizing your tackle will improve your success on big crappies at this time of year. The bluegill fishing is fair to good on most waters throughout the Hayward area, with fish starting their move to shallower water. Fish around shallow weeds, weedlines, and brush with waxies, worms, plastics, and Gulp! baits on small jigs, teardrops, or plain hooks, with or without bobbers. 

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992

Categories: North (Central), Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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