Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – June 12th, 2015

ASHLAND AREA
Smallmouth bass are starting to move back to shore and can be found in the shallows, mostly at the east end of the bay. They are making beds, though some are still in pre-spawn mode. Most of the smallie fishing is occurring in 1 to 5 feet of water.
Walleyes remain active at the head of the bay and around Brush Point and Kakagon Slough. Most people are trolling with crawler harnesses in the shallows and using crankbaits in the deeper water along the drop-offs into the channel. Anglers also have been trolling and casting for walleyes at the mouth of Fish Creek slough during low-light hours, using shallow-running crankbaits. Jigging with leeches has been working, too.
A good number of brown trout are being caught out in the bay in the evenings. A 38-inch brown was caught early last week. Anglers have found a few splake along the Bayfield shoreline. Anglers targeting trout and salmon should start in Washburn and work their way north along the shoreline while trolling with flatlines. People are starting to use spoons off of downriggers in deeper water, along with Dipsy Divers.
    Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
    River Rock, (715) 682-3232.

CUMBERLAND AREA
Crappies and sunfish are hitting in 3 to 6 feet on Staples Lake, Beaver Dam Lake, and Upper Turtle Lake. Walleye action remains strong with leeches and minnows in 10 to 14 feet on Sand Lake and the Chippewa Flowage. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are an easy catch with plastics or crankbaits on most lakes.
Indianhead Sport Shop
(715) 822-2164

EAGLE RIVER AREA
With a fair amount of rain recently, water levels have held up well, but the temps have been low. Weed growth has been accelerating lately, and there now are some good weedbeds on many lakes.
Walleye fishing has been good, despite the cold fronts. To find fish on the Eagle River chain, find weeds – and the thicker, the better. Walleyes are in the cabbage all day. Jigs and minnows are still the way to go. On the bigger, deeper lakes, the weeds also are coming up some, and the fish are reacting the same way. Weed-walleye fishing will last the whole summer. You’ll find fish on these clear lakes in 12 to 18 feet, even on bright days.
Northern pike action has been great. Bass fishing has been good between the cold fronts. They have been spawning off and on for several weeks, but that spawn is quite spread out this year. We hope that the balance of the spawn is yet to happen and that they won’t be interrupted by any more cold fronts. For smallies, leeches are the best live bait, but you can get fish just using a jig with a twister tail. On warm afternoons, even surface baits will work. Largemouths love plastics at all times, and will hit worms in these shallows. You can’t use nightcrawlers because the bluegills will drive you crazy.
Muskie action started slowly, as usual, with mostly smaller fish being caught. This is a normal pattern, with the males becoming active first after the spawn. The recovery is well under way; fish in the 38- to 45-inch range are starting to feed. We’re way behind that on the bigger lakes, but some fish are now being reported on Lac Vieux Desert and Big Sand.
    Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
Green Bay has been productive the past couple of weeks with lots of fish being caught. The east shore of Green Bay has been great for walleyes. Most anglers are trolling shad baits in 5 to 10 feet of water. Crawler harnesses also are being trolled with success. The west shore is also going well, with the same trolling setup. Smallmouth bass fishing in Door County continues to be good, with some nice fish being caught. Spinnerbaits and jigged plastics have been working great.
Muskies in the Fox River are post-spawn now, but are still being found. Reports of 50-inch-plus fish are coming in. The casting bite seems to be best right now. Use bucktails for casting and shallow-running crankbaits for trolling. Look for the bite to keep improving out on the bay. With higher temps coming, the west side of the lower bay should heat up.
    Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.

HAYWARD AREA
Muskie action is fair to good. Look for fish in 6 to 10 feet of water near weeds, especially new green weeds, wood, gravel bars, shorelines, and just off shallow water that’s holding spawning panfish. Use small bucktails, Bull Dawgs, gliders, crankbaits, jerkbaits, and topwaters.
Walleye fishing is best in early morning and late afternoon into dark. Look for wood, gravel, bars, bogs, drop-offs, humps, and midlake structure in depths from 4 to 20 feet, depending on the lake.
Northern pike are active around weedlines, bogs, and spawning panfish in 2 to 16 feet. Fish larger baits in deeper water for trophy pike.
Largemouth fishing is good in and around weeds and wood in depths out to about 8 feet. Smallmouth action is very good even though these fish are scattered across pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn modes, depending on the water.
Crappie action is good on fatheads, waxies, plastics, and Gulp baits on jigs or plain hooks, with or without bobbers. Target weeds, wood, bogs, and stumps in depths from 1 to 12 feet in bays and other areas with dark bottoms and warmer water. Bluegill fishing is very good as they head to nesting sites. Look for “elephant tracks” on sand bottoms in shallow water.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.

IRON COUNTY AREA
Crappie fishing has turned on a little bit with a lot of people targeting them in shallow water with minnows and red worms. Walleye fishing has been steady, with the most productive spots for smaller walleyes being in 10 to 12 feet of water around wood and over mud flats. A few big ones have been caught in deeper water, 16 to 18 feet, on crankbaits. Most people are still using fatheads and jigs, but crawlers and leeches are starting to work. Some of our guides are starting to use big minnows like red-tailed chubs. Smallmouth bass are spawning, and people are having a ball catching them in 2 to 5 feet of water around rocks. Smallmouth fishing is release-only in the north until June 20. Muskies have been on the sluggish side with a lot of follows, just not a lot of hookups. Remember to work your lures slowly until the water starts to warm up. There have been some reports of mayflies beginning to hatch. The Turtle-Flambeau Flowage is a huge body of water and the hatch will not be taking place all over all at once. Fish will still bite during the hatch – you just have to use the right bait that mimics them.
Turtle River Trading Co., Mercer, (715) 476-0123.

MARINETTE/OCONTO AREA
 Bluegills are starting to bed; excellent catches are being reported on all waters. Worms, small leeches, and wax worms are working the best. Mini Mites in pink and white and pink and chartreuse glitter tipped with wax worms or without also are working. Bluegills on Cauldron Falls can be found near shore below the dam. Walleye fishing on Lake Noqueby, on the 10- to 20-foot weedlines, has been slow, but any jig tipped with a small crawler or large leech has had some good results. Weather has been a huge factor in the bluegill bite. Start in 1 to 5 feet of water and work your way out to deeper water. When in deeper water, say 10 to 20 feet, the fish tend to suspend 5 feet down, so start there. We expect to see a bluegill spawn sometime in the next two weeks.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
After another week of cold mornings and mild afternoons, it looks like we should level off to more moderate temps. Stable, warm weather should help anglers pattern some fish.
Pike: Good. Action is picking up nicely. Jigs and chubs meant for weed walleyes are accounting for most of the action. Rig 3-inch paddle-tailed minnows or 3- to 4-inch twister tail grubs on 1⁄8– or 1⁄4-ounce jigs to fish weed tops in 6 to 10 feet of water.
Crappies: Good. There are a few reports of spawning fish. Those in the shallows are being caught on bobbers and minnows. Crappies found deeper than 10 feet require some vertical techniques using jigs with plastics or minnows and slip bobbers to hold the bait at proper levels.
Smallmouth bass: Good. They are staging in many lakes, but should move up this week if they haven’t already. Casting crankbaits outside spawning areas in 8 to 14 feet has been the hottest technique.
Walleyes: Good. The best times to fish this past week were afternoons and evenings. Cold mornings put a clamp on most bites. It is still a strong minnow bite, but leeches are starting to come into play.
Bluegills: Good. They have been moving into shallow water on warm afternoons.
Perch: Good. The best action has been in the afternoons. With dragonfly hatches sprouting up, thunder bugs (dragonfly larvae) are an excellent choice on thin hooks below slip floats.
Largemouth: Good. Go slow in the morning with plastics (wacky worms, creature baits), then pick up the pace in the afternoons with shallow-running crankbaits or light spinnerbaits.
Muskies: Fair. Fishing slowly has been the best. Bucktails have been most effective by far, but bites are hard to come by. Use soft-bodied plastic baits as backup lures if followers won’t commit to bucktails.
    Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.

PRICE COUNTY AREA
The erratic and generally cool weather conditions of the last week have made for some variable fishing success. Panfish have been the highlight of the week, with some good catches of bluegills, crappies, and perch being reported. Crappies have still been found along the shallow weed edges, and the best fishing has been in the early morning and late-afternoon hours. The most productive rig has been a small fathead minnow fished a foot or two below a bobber. Bluegills are just beginning to congregate for spawning, and some nice fish have been found on the breaklines and weed edges in 6 to 8 feet of water.  Muskie fishermen have been out in moderate numbers, and success has been fair. Anglers have reported quite a few sightings and follows, but not many good hits. Smaller bucktails and slower glide baits have been the most productive baits, and a couple of catches have been made by fishermen using suckers.
Mayflies have begun to hatch on a few northern lakes, and this has begun to upset the walleye bite on most of these waters. The jig and minnow combinations are no longer the most successful method, and better action is taking place on leeches and crawlers. A few fishermen have even tried fly-rodding with streamers and mayfly imitations with some success. Largemouth bass action has been generally good, but the up and down water temperatures seem to keep chasing the fish out of shallow water. Largemouths have completed spawning on a few lakes, but quite a few nesting fish have still been observed on quite a few other waters.  The most productive baits have been soft plastics, which have to be fished slowly on the weed flats or along the first breaklines. Smallmouth bass fishing during the early release season has been hit or miss, and many smallies still are tending nests. Anglers are reminded that the release season for smallmouths remains in effect until June 20.
    Bridge Bait and Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
    Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.

SPOONER AREA
Bluegill action remains strong in 2 to 4 feet on Spooner Lake, Big, Lower, and Middle McKenzie lakes. Walleyes are being caught with crankbaits on the 18- to 20-foot cribs of Shell Lake, and largemouth and smallmouth bass are hitting crankbaits in shallow water on Long Lake and Shell.
    AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.

Categories: North (Central), Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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