Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – July 11th, 2014
Fishing has been super. Walleyes are moving from the shallows to the deeper areas, but there were some fish still being caught in the sloughs last week. Away from the sloughs, guys are trolling the breaks, or, on high, sunny days, the bottom of the channel. Overall, walleye action has been steady, with a number of smaller fish showing up finally to indicate that some natural reproduction is occurring in the lake and bay. The smallie fishing has been super. There are still some smallies in the shallows, but many of the post-spawn fish are moving to their summer spots in deeper water. There has been some good topwater action early and late in the day. Trollers are fishing from Houghton Point on out. There are still fish being caught on flat lines while fishermen troll the first break in 20 feet of water, even in the islands. A lot of people are starting to move deeper and are fishing spoons on downriggers, Dipsey divers, and leadcore lines.
Angler’s All, (715) 682–5754.
River Rock, (715) 682–3232.
BOULDER JUNCTION AREA
Muskie fishing has been pretty good lately during the day on the edge of new weeds in 8 to 10 feet of water. Anglers have reported quite a few multiple-fish days with some guys catch three to four muskies in less than four hours. The surface-bait bite is kicking in. Walleyes are hitting leeches and crawlers. There remains a crankbait bite in the evening. Bluegills are hitting plastics and waxies. Crappies are deeper and suspended. Smallies are on rocky drop-offs.
Northern Highland Sports Shop, (715) 385–2134.
CHIPPEWA FALLS / EAU CLAIRE / MENOMONIE AREA
Water levels are high on the rivers and lakes. The smallmouth bass fishing has been pretty good on most of the lakes, but most of the lakes are parts of rivers so the water is high and dirty. Bluegills are hitting on most lakes; a few perch and walleyes were hitting on Altoona. Not a lot of people are fishing right now because of the high, dirty water.
Buroker’s Taxidermy and Bait,
Eau Claire, (715) 835–0847.
Bill’s Sport Shop, Chippewa Falls, (715) 723–9033.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
More rain has kept the water levels high and the temps from going up. It is hard to believe we’re into July already, as this spring was so late in coming. Weeds are starting to come up in most places now, and they are right to the surface on some lakes. Walleye action seems to have slowed, but that is just representative of the fact that the mayflies and the hellgrammites have hatched. Look for weed edges and mud flats and imitate the hatch with leeches or parts of crawlers and you will improve your odds. Minnows are still working a little, and will work again after these hatches. Bass action has been very good. The smallies are gorging on crayfish, so imitate crayfish with crankbaits, plastics, or even smaller red and black Mepps. They have moved off the shorelines and are on hard bottom on all lakes. The largemouths are in their summer areas. Try weeds – even real shallow – or shallow brush piles, piers, and downed trees for best results. Spinnerbaits (white and silver are best), surface baits, or wacky-rigged plastics are all working now. Pike are hitting very well in the weeds. Look for the deepest weeds you can find. The pike have been quite active on the Eagle River chain, with many walleye anglers fishing the weeds reporting bite-offs. Muskie action is developing, but it still feels a little slow because of the late spring. Most action seems to be on smaller bucktails over weeds. Some bigger fish have been seen, so the females have recovered from the spawn and are just beginning to feed more actively. Try some of the smaller, warmer lakes for the best action. Panfish action is very good. The perch are on the deeper weed edges and are hitting leeches and minnows. Bluegills are still around the shorelines and are hitting anything.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479–8804.
Muskie fishing is good and anglers are seeing many fish, though most of them seem less than cooperative. Target weeds, bays, bumps, humps, and shorelines, with early morning and evenings the best bite windows. The most productive baits include bucktails, Bull Dawgs, gliders, crankbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, and suckers. Despite the mayfly hatches, walleye fishing remains good, particularly in early morning and late afternoon. Fish 8 to 18 feet on weeds, weed edges, humps, bogs, bars, breaklines, rock, gravel, and wood. Use crawlers and leeches on jigs and live-bait rigs or under slip bobbers. Northern pike are providing very good fishing in or near weeds, weedlines, and panfish areas. Shallow water holds numbers, but fish deeper with bigger baits for trophy pike. Largemouth fishing is very good to excellent in and around lily pads, weeds, stumps, brush, bogs, and docks out to about 10 feet. Artificials work as well or better than live bait, without the hassles. Smallmouth fishing is good on rock and gravel bars and bottoms in 8 to 17 feet of water. Crappie action remains good from shallow to 20 feet of water. Work weeds, brush, bogs, and cribs with minnows, waxies, plastics, and tube jigs. Bluegill fishing is very good to excellent. Bluegills are still on the spawning beds in some waters.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634–2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724–2992.