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Northern Wisconsin Fishing report – September 19th, 2014


Chequamegon Bay fishing was tough last week due to storms rolling through the area, dirtying shorelines and blowing out the streams. Anglers were catching smallies in deep water on suckers, while walleye anglers trolled crankbaits over weed beds. Outside the bay, brown trout and steelhead are starting to show up at the mouths of the Sioux and Onion rivers. Trollers using spoons and Spin-N-Glos are doing well on lakers and brown trout in the Apostle Islands.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Muskie fishing has been steady lately. Bucktails held sway recently during the World Championship Muskie Classic. Walleyes are switching back to minnows and are sliding a little deeper than they had been. Anglers also are catching a lot of bass on spinnerbaits off of weed edges. 

Northern Highland Sports Shop, (715) 385-2134.


Walleyes and smallies have been fairly active on Lake Wissota. Muskie action has been a little slow, but that  should be kicking in a little better any time now. Sturgeon season is open, but there is not as much interest in sturgeon fishing these days because of higher size limits, a shorter season, and the cost of harvest tags. Local hunters saw plenty of geese during the early season.

Buroker’s Taxidermy and Bait, Eau Claire, (715) 835-0847.

Bill’s Sport Shop, Chippewa Falls, (715) 723-9033.


In Marinette County, fishing for smallmouths on the Peshtigo River has been good. Some perch were caught off of Little River. A few trout and salmon were caught near Green Island. Salmon are expected to stage for fall runs soon. Walleyes are still being caught by those trolling in the evenings on the Menominee River.

In Oconto County, anglers caught panfish on live bait and smallies on spinners and plastics along the length of the river. Perch are hit and miss from Pensaukee to Oconto Park II in 9 to 14 feet of water. Walleye fishing in the evenings around reefs by those using Zip Lures and minnows resulted in good catches. Muskie anglers at Geano Beach reported some follows and low numbers caught.

Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.


Heavy rains the past two weeks caused lake levels to rise. Flowages, usually dropping at this time of year, have been rising by 2 to 3 feet. 

Largemouths: Good to very good. Despite a dip in action after severe weather, largemouths recovered nicely on wacky worms and plastics. The cold weather has made jig/pig combos necessary to pluck fish out of heavy cover on cooler mornings.

Crappies: Good to very good. On flowages, fish deep wood. Some lakes are seeing crappie action in as little as 5 feet on these overcast days on small Beetle Spins and Charlie Bees.

Smallmouths: Good. Oddly favoring shallow weeds of 5 to 7 feet.

Muskies: Fair to good. Not much in size reported so far. The best action was on bucktails over shallow weeds in 6 to 9 feet.

Walleyes: Fair. Weather made it tough to sit on deep spots last week. Rising water on lakes, and especially flowages, is throwing off early fall patterns. Chubs, fatheads, crawlers, and leeches (where available) are all producing some action. 

Surface temps fell from an average of 71 to 73 degrees to 67 to 68 degrees. With cooler temps moving in last week, temps will drop even more. After such a cool summer, it seems cruel to start off September this way.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797


Walleye fishing has improved. On the Eagle River chain, they have started their move toward the holes. They have been in the 13-foot range over harder bottom. They’ll congregate in these hole for the fall, and be much easier to catch. Use large fatheads. On deeper, clear lakes, walleyes also are moving on the edges, so the 12- to 20-foot range is the best fishing possibility as these water temps decline.

Northerns continue to provide great action in the deeper weeds on just about any type of bait. The deeper the weeds, the better, but they seem to stay somewhat shallower on the Eagle River chain.

Muskie action has been good, with falling water temps spiking some action. All types of baits work equally well now, and suckers are starting to produce, also. The weed bite has been pretty good lately. Bigger rubber baits have been working well in slightly deeper water.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Muskie action ranges from fair to excellent, with mornings and nights offering the best success. Fish weed edges and off-shore humps in 2 to 15 feet of water.

Walleye action is fair, with low-light hours (morning and night) the best fishing times. Concentrate on 12- to 30-foot depths on gravel bars, wood, weeds, brush, and other structure. Use leeches, crawlers, suckers, and fatheads along weedlines. 

Largemouth action is good, though inconsistent, in thick slop and lily pad beds, brush, weeds, and weedlines from very shallow to mid-depth cover. Smallmouth fishing is fair to good in rocky areas, humps, bumps, and breaks in 8 to 28 feet of water. The best baits include spinners, spinnerbaits, plastics, tubes, jigs and leeches, crankbaits, and topwaters. 

Crappie fishing is good and improving, though fish remain scattered in various depths and locations. Bluegill fishing is good on waxies, leaf worms, and small plastics.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

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


Holcombe Flowage walleyes are hitting jigs and crawlers fished slowly over breaklines and cribs. Muskies are on weed edges and current breaks. Crappies are hanging around brush piles and cribs; use minnows or tubes. The backwater areas along the Chippewa, Flambeau, and Jump rivers are holding panfish and bass. Water levels are up, but water temps are going down. The flowage was at 66 degrees last week.

The Big Minnow, (715) 595-6362.


Muskies have continued to be the main species of interest, and action was only fair last week. Most anglers were reporting quite a few sightings, follows, and short strikes, but a fair number of catches also were made. Large artificials have provided most of the action (topwaters, double-bladed bucktails, and Bull Dawgs). Smallmouths have been active on the flowages and larger rivers near cover around deeper areas. Walleye action has remained fair, with a few anglers making some decent catches in 12 to 14 feet of water on slip bobbers rigged with leeches or crawlers. Panfish activity also has been fair; some decent crappies and bluegills have been found suspended around deep-water cover. Water levels remain a bit high.

Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.

Ross’s Sport Shop, (715) 339-3625.


Largemouth bass have been hitting very well on Big Clam Lake. Local sportsmen have been seeing quite a few deer and turkeys. Bear hunters had registered six bruins through last week. Bear hunters report seeing quite a few bears, and they’re passing on the smaller animals.

Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.

Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445.


Bluegill fishing has been very good on most lakes in the area. Walleyes also have been hitting. Some of the better walleye lakes have been Shell, Long, Stone, and the MacKenzies. Anglers have been catching a lot of walleyes, but not a lot for size. Early goose hunters did OK. Guys are getting a few bears; one local guy shot a 410-pounder (field-dressed).



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