Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – September 4th, 2015
Bucktails and sucker minnows are triggering muskies in 12 to 18 feet on Lake Wapogasset, Deer Lake, and the Apple River. Crappies and sunfish are suspended over 15 to 20 feet on Balsam Lake, Half Moon Lake, Pike Lake, and Wapogasset. A few walleyes can be had during the evening hours in 15 feet on Balsam and Wapogasset. Bear numbers seem extremely high in this area, with a lot of activity at baits and frequent bear sightings reported.
Lucky Baits (715) 268-6231
The few anglers braving the weather on Chequamegon Bay last week reported moderate success. Early mornings and evenings offer a better bite for smallmouths, walleyes, and pike. Smallmouths are periodically in their deeper summer haunts, but if they’re not there, try shallow structure. Trout trolling is good, but there is no thermocline in many areas. Start shallow early and move deeper as the sun rises.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754
River Rock, (715) 682-3232
EAGLE RIVER AREA
We are slowly coming to the end of a summer that has been very dry for the most part. Lakes are now lower than they have been all year. We need rain, and lots of it. Many waters are now a little green from algae, and are a little unappealing to the eye. This is typical for the end of summer. Despite the temps, fishing has been OK, especially for largemouth bass.
There is very little summer left before our waters start to cool, and we hope that we aren’t cursed with high temps in September. That always hurts fishing.
Walleyes are still not in deep water, and are holding in some semblance to the weeds and the mud flats. An effective tactic at this time of year is to drag crawlers or leeches over those mud flats during the daytime for some larger fish. A serious night feed is still on, so try some of the low-light periods for better action. Minnows are working during those periods. Check out those weeds also, as you can still get fish on the deeper edges of the weeds during the daytime. The Eagle River chain has been good in the evenings, when the boating activity slows down.
Bass action has been very good. Largemouths have been active in the weeds throughout the area on plastics, surface baits, and spinnerbaits. All lakes have been active. Smallies seem to be quite deep, and you can catch fish in over 20 feet of water on many lakes. Try some large leeches or crawlers at this depth for some nice action. You can still get smallies on the rocks with crankbaits, too.
Northern action continues to be good on all lakes in the weeds. You’ll get them in 5 to 8 feet of water, or in 12 to 15 feet on the lakes with those deep grass weeds. Chubs, crankbaits, or Mepps-type spinners are all working.
Muskie action has been OK, but not great. Low-light conditions have worked best, and full night fishing continues to be productive. When the water gets warm, many anglers will use surface baits to annoy the fish into hitting. During the daytime, fish over the weeds, but at night move out to the weed edge or over deeper water.
Panfish action remains good, with bluegills still the star. These fish are in the weeds or in other shoreline cover. Worms or waxies work best for these fish, and you can catch bluegills on every lake up here. Perch are in the deeper weeds and can be caught on all types of live bait. Crappies are concentrating in deep water near cover.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804
Muskie anglers report sightings and follows, but are having difficulty tempting bigger muskies. Concentrate on weedlines, gravel bars, and shorelines in 3 to 18 feet, with some fish suspending over deeper water. All bait types are working now.
Scattered walleyes offer fair action. Target 8 to 30 feet of water near weeds, weed edges, rock and gravel, mud flats, and midlake structure with leeches, crawlers, suckers, and fatheads on jigs, and Lindy rigs. Cast crankbaits along weedlines and river channels.
Northern fishing is fair to good on weed edges in 3 to 18 feet with suckers under bobbers, spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, and crankbaits.
Largemouth fishing is fair to very good. Fish slop, thick weeds, wood, docks, stumps, logs, and lily pad beds in 3 to 12 feet. Best baits include weedless plastics, scented worms, crayfish imitations, spinnerbaits, twitch baits, buzzbaits, and frogs/topwaters.
Smallmouths are scattered and action is fair, but inconsistent. Fish deeper rock bars, midlake humps, breaks, hard bottoms, and woody shoreline cover. Top baits include jigs/leeches, Gulp! baits, plastics, tubes, crankbaits, crayfish imitations, twitch baits, and topwaters.
Crappie fishing is good, with fish schooling in 8 to 30 feet on deep weedlines, mid-depth cover, cribs, and brush. Best baits include crappie minnows, waxies, plastics, tubes, and Gulp! baits on jigs or plain hooks, and topwaters.
Bluegills are scattered and suspending in depths from 6 to 22 feet around weeds, weedlines, brush, gravel, rock, and cribs. Use waxies, leaf worms, crawlers, plastics, leeches, and Gulp! baits on jigs or hooks, and topwaters.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992
Trout and salmon fishing remains good in Lake Michigan’s Green Bay for anglers trolling spoons in 40 to 80 feet of water. Fair numbers of walleyes and good numbers of bass are being caught in the Menominee River.
Fishing on Lake Noquebay has slowed down. The reports are that the fish have gone deep – 20 to 30 feet of water. Slip bobbers with a worm or a small jig like Mini Mites have been productive. Plan on doing some sorting to get your limit. Bass fishing also has slowed on area lakes; slip bobbers and crawlers and surface baits have been working. In all cases, fishing in the morning and late evening have been the most productive. Cooler weather and some rain in September will be the ticket to get the fish feeding again.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Lots of wind, some rain, and a cool-down the past week put a kibosh on fishing for most species. Surface temps dropped into the mid- to upper-60s as daily high temps ran 10 to 15 degrees below our late-August average.
Muskies: Good to very good. The one real bright spot to the past week has been the muskie action. Topwater lures have been hot (Tallywackers, Pacemakers) this past week. Fish of 34 to 40 inches were reported by anglers willing to face the wind. Spinnerbaits also have been working; cast them over weed tops along windward shores in water as shallow as 3 to 5 feet.
Northern pike: Good action. Pike also have been active, many being caught on lures meant for muskies. Spinnerbaits, No. 5 Mepps, and Rizzo Whiz lures have all caught nice pike. The wind has kept most anglers from using live bait, but a few fishermen have reported success casting chubs on jigs when and where weather permits.
Largemouth bass: Fair to good. The wind made it tough on boat control and largemouths were holding deep in weeds. A jig and plastic creature was the best bet to lure fish to bite.
Smallmouth bass: Action was slow as weather made access to off-shore locations tough. Drop-shotting crayfish imitation baits were the best.
Bluegills, crappies, and perch: Poor. Weather made for tough fishing for these panfish species.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Variable and almost constantly changing weather, along with some windy conditions, have made for some erratic fishing success in the northwoods in the past week. Water temperatures have cooled down a bit and this seemed to have spurred on muskie activity across the area. The muskie anglers have been reporting a lot of sightings and follows, as well as quite a few hook-ups and catches of fish in the 34- to 42-inch range. The mid- to late-afternoon hours have produced the best action, and the favorite lures have been Bulldawgs, crankbaits, and topwater lures fished near the deep weed edges. Bass fishing has been fair and relatively consistent with some sort of action being found on most trips. Largemouths have been found near the thick weedbeds and near mid-depth structure such as downed logs, stumps, and bog edges. Smallmouth fishing has shown some consistency on rivers and flowages, with the best success coming on finesse plastics fished near rock and woody cover along deeper water areas. Walleye fishing has shown the most variability in the last week, with some anglers using leeches and crawlers along the weed edges and in weed pockets. Some fishermen have also found a few walleyes on the deeper gravel and rock bars in 12 to 18 feet of water. Action for northern pike, an often overlooked fish in the summer, has picked up a bit in the last several weeks. The dropping water temperatures seem to have favored this species and action has been good around the near-shore weedbeds. Spinnerbaits and small crankbaits have worked the best.
Bridge Bait and Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625
The weed edges on Spooner Lake are producing bass, bluegills, and pike, while channel catfish action has picked up on the Clam River and Clam Lake. Walleye and muskie fishing has been slow since the cool weather arrived. Bear baits are getting hit, especially since the weather cooled down.
AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.