Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – July 10th, 2015


The smallmouth fishing is great, with plenty of fish around, including in the shallows and over any structure. There are still a bunch of smallmouths up shallow, but there are a few fish venturing out to the usual summer haunts. The warm-water fishery has turned on in Chequamegon Bay. Folks after walleyes are working the edges of the channel and sometimes the bottom of the channel during high-sun days. The humps have been holding some fish, as well. Anglers are still getting a few walleyes out by the rock pile and over the weedbeds when using crawler harnesses and crankbaits. 

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754

River Rock, (715) 682-3232


Slip bobbers and leeches continue to produce walleyes on Shell Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Hit the 8- to 10-foot weeds on Staples Lake and Beaver Dam Lake for panfish, while topwaters are producing smallmouth bass, and plastics are turning largemouths on most lakes in less than 10 feet.

Indianhead Sport Shop 

(715) 822-2164


The water temps are now firmly into the 70s and there is weed growth even on the bigger lakes. With a fair amount of rain, things are very green and the lakes are retaining their higher levels for the time being.

Walleye fishing has been good to very good, with most of the walleyes holding in the weeds on all lakes. On the chain, they’ll be as shallow as 5 feet in the cabbage even at midday. You can fish them with weedless jigs and minnows or with slip bobbers and leeches. The mayfly hatch is over on the shallower lakes and it’s now a full summer pattern. We find that some fish, especially bigger ones, are hanging over the mud flats in somewhat deeper water. Anglers have had luck by drifting and dragging crawlers.

On the bigger lakes, try “jump-fishing” all of the small weedbeds in 8 to 12 feet with jigs and minnows.

Bass fishing is in a full summer pattern, with the smallies out over hard bottom and rocks and feeding on crayfish. The largemouths are now in the heaviest cover in much shallower water for the most part. Try fishing piers or heavy shallow weeds with surface baits or plastics.

Northerns are in the weeds on all lakes. For the nicest fish, find deep grass beds and fish slip bobbers and larger chubs.

Muskie action is also very good now, with the fish moving up from deeper water into the weedbeds to feed for an hour or so. Those times are inconsistent, so you should try the weeds first for these fish and then move deeper if you don’t find them shallower. 

Panfish action has been good, with only the bluegills still in the shallows. The perch also are in weeds, but deeper than the bluegills. They’ll hit worms, smaller minnows, and leeches. Crappies are in the brush piles and deep weeds, or sometimes downed trees along shorelines.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804


Muskie fishing is fair to excellent, depending on the day, lake, and angler. Concentrate on green weeds, weed edges, and drop-offs in 3 to 17 feet of water. Lures producing the most success include bucktails, tubes, Bull Dawgs, crankbaits, jerkbaits, topwaters, and suckers.

Walleye fishing is fair to good, with the best action starting just before dark. Fish are in various locations, including weedlines, breaklines, bogs, gravel bars, sand, rock, cribs, and drop-offs in 5 to 25 feet, depending on light and time of day. Crawlers and leeches on jigs, Lindy Rigs, slip bobbers, and split shot rigs lead the list. 

Northern action slowed, though smaller fish are active. Work weedlines in 4 to 12 feet with suckers, spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, and crankbaits.

Largemouth fishing is good to very good around thick weeds, slop, brush, cribs, lily pads, and any heavy cover. Try rigged and scented worms, swim jigs, weedless plastics, spinnerbaits, surface baits, crawlers, suckers, and leeches. 

Smallmouth action is good and improving, with fish around mid-depth to deeper weeds, rock, and wood. Use jigs with trailers, plastics, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, tubes, topwaters, crawlers, and leeches. 

Crappies are scattered and suspending, but fishing is good once you find them. Look for fish in 4 to 20 feet of water around weeds and weedlines, bogs, brush, and cribs.

Bluegill fishing is good to very good, and some fish are still in the shallows. Check depths from 2 to 12 feet around weeds, brush, and cribs.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921

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


Water clarity on High Falls and Cauldron Falls flowages was only 3 feet or less last week, making fishing tough. Recent heavy rains north and west at the headwaters of the Peshtigo River have dirtied the water. Fishing on Lake Noqueby has been improving; nice catches of 5- to 7-inch bluegills have been reported. A worm and a bobber, Mini Mites, and small jigs are all working well. Bass fishing on Noqueby also has been picking up. Spinnerbaits, plastic frogs, and nightcrawlers on slip-bobber rigs are all producing some nice 16- to 19-inch bass.

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


Finally, area lakes are seeing temperatures in the low 70s, giving largemouth bass and bluegill anglers what they have been looking for. A few mayfly hatches have been reported lately and when they have been, they are coming in small patches – not an entire lake’s worth. With this food source out of the way, walleyes should be a bit easier to figure out.

Bluegills: Good to very good. The warm weather has brought them into the shallows.  

Largemouth Bass: Good to very good with lots of action on a variety of techniques. Punch into the thick cover using heavy weights to fish Woolly Bugs and Sweet Beavers or try topwater fishing with plastic frogs and popper lures. 

Smallmouth bass: Good to very good. Fish just off the first breaks and along rocky drop-offs. Work plastic crayfish and creature baits. 

Perch: Good to very good. Perch are feeding on crayfish. The deep wood is best, but sand grass flats also are holding these crab eaters.

Muskies: Good to very good. Evenings have been good on bucktails and topwaters. Shallow water in 2 to 12 feet is still the best.

Walleyes: Good. Watch the weather; when clouds move in so should you to 8- to 12-foot cabbage flats. Use large leeches and crawlers on weedless jigs. 

Pike: Good. Taking a back seat to largemouth bass, but still active on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and No. 3 Mepps Aglia and Comet spinners.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797

J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616


Muskies are feeding on the Flambeau and Chippewa rivers and their flowages. Use bucktails, jerkbaits, and topwaters, with the best action in late afternoon. Subsiding mayfly hatches improved walleye action on many lakes. Fish leeches and crawlers on floating jig heads near weeds and hard bottom/muck breaklines in 6 to12 feet. Fish largemouths on weedbeds with topwaters and soft plastics. For crappies, fish small minnows on slip bobbers over mid-depth structure.

Bridge Bait & Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108

Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625


All species have been getting a moderate amount of interest, and some nice catches have been made when fishermen can get out on the water. Walleye action has improved on many lakes following the mayfly hatch. The best rig has been a leech or crawler fished near weed edges in 6 to 12 feet of water. Muskie action has been heating up with more fish starting to get into an active feeding mode.

Rainbow Ace Home Center, (715) 234-8116

J.C. Bear Paw Co., (715) 236-7300


Largemouth and smallmouth bass have completed their spring ritual and are quickly recovering from the spawn. Largemouths have started to settle into their summer pattern of cruising the weedbeds and have been active on surface baits and soft plastics. Smallmouths have been a bit more of a challenge; the larger fish seem to be hanging in deep water. Panfish action has been good. Some nice bluegill catches have been reported. Crappies are being found over mid-depth structure and in shallower water along any weedlines. 

Big Mike’s Outdoor Sports, (715) 349-2400

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


Categories: North (Central), Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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