Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – October 2nd, 2015


Minnows are producing a few walleyes on Balsam Lake in 14 to 16 feet, and muskies continue to hit large sucker minnows and topwater baits in 12 to 15 feet on Deer Lake, the Apple River, and Lake Wapogasset. Crappies and sunfish continue to hit in 7 to 10 feet on Balsam, Wapogasset, and Bear Trap Lake.

Lucky Baits (715) 268-6231


Brown trout and salmon have started moving into the streams, Fish Creek, and the Sioux River. Anglers are trolling river mouths, casting from shore, and fishing in the river. Smallmouth fishing is good in deeper areas of the breakwall, rock pile, and tip of Long Island. Northern pike action is very good by the breakwall, with smallmouth anglers catching them by accident while drifting suckers over the weeds. Anglers are catching walleyes along the Ashland shoreline at night.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754

River Rock, (715) 682-3232


Look for suspended crappies over 10 to 12 feet on Beaver Dam Lake and Lake Vermilion, bluegills on Staples Lake in 7 to 10 feet, and bluegills and crappies on the weedlines of Big Round Lake. Bear hunting continues to be good, and many hunters continue to wait for bigger bears.

Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164


Water temps are falling, but the warm spells are keeping lakes in the turnover process. Hunters are not happy with the amount of leaves still on the trees. Visibility in the woods is pretty limited. 

Walleye fishing has not been great. The walleyes seem to be waiting for the temps to fall more and for turnover to end to get to their winter spots. This includes the fish on the Eagle River chain. They haven’t moved to the holes as they normally do in September. All bait types are still working. We’re getting some fish over mud flats in deeper water, a few still in the weeds, and a fair number of fish on drop-offs in 15 feet on the bigger lakes. The best advice we can give you is to wait for colder weather.

Bass fishing is holding up well. With this warm fall, the largemouths are still hitting well in the weeds. Action has been great for these fish on all types of baits, even surface baits. They also continue to be located in quite shallow weeds. Smallies are in deeper water over hard bottom, but have changed their feeding pattern to minnows.

Northerns have been hitting well on artificial and live bait in the weeds on all lakes. Chubs work well at this time of year. Try some with slip bobbers over deeper weeds on lakes like Anvil, Franklin, and Butternut.

Muskie action is good, especially since we are in turnover on most lakes. The best suggestion is to turn to brighter lures; they seem to be producing the best. The water temps are declining, so it is time to slow those lures down a bit. All bait types are still working, including surface baits. Sucker action has started slowly.

Panfish action continues, with crappies leading the way. This action has been very good in deeper weeds. Find weed flats in 9 to 12 feet of water and you will find crappies in them. Bluegill action has improved after a slowdown as the lakes turned over. Perch are in deep weeds.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804


Muskie anglers are doing well, reporting numerous sightings, follows, and hooked fish. You will find fish along weed edges, bars, breaks, humps, and drop-offs in 15 to 20 feet. All baits are working – even suckers. 

Walleye action is fair to good and improving, with fish in 12 to 25 feet. Look for weeds, wood, brush, cribs, gravel, and other structure, working shallower water at night. 

Northern fishing is fair to very good. Look for fish around weeds and panfish out to 20 feet. Try suckers, spoons, spinnerbaitscrankbaits, and buzz baits. 

Largemouth fishing is fair to excellent on most waters. Target structure such as weeds, weedlines, wood, brush, cribs, docks, and slop in depths from 3 to 12 feet. Baits of choice include plastics, drop-shot rigs, swim jigs, crankbaits, crawlers, and small suckers. 

Smallmouth action is inconsistently good. Work drop-offs and the edges of wood, rock, and gravel in 3 to 10 feet, but near deeper water. The most productive baits include plastics (tubes, rigged worms, frogs/topwaters, finesse baits), spinnerbaitscrankbaits, swim jigs, fatheads, and small suckers. 

Crappie fishing is good to very good, and best in early morning and evening hours. Fish are hanging on weed edges, cribs, and brush in 12 to 25 feet and suspending over deeper water. 

Bluegill fishing is good once you find the fish. Small fish offer great action in shallower weeds, but you will find larger bluegills around weeds and weed edges in depths to 20 feet. Small jigs with waxies, leaf worms, crawler pieces, and plastics will catch fish

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921

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


Marinette County anglers report smallmouth bass and northern pike being caught from the municipal landing in Peshtigo down to Klingsborn’s Landing. Surface baits and spinnerbaits have been working well. Perch anglers are having success fishing out of the Little River landing. Once the fish are located, some nice catches have been reported. Shore anglers on the Menominee River report catching some perch, bluegills, catfish, sheepshead, walleyes, and smallmouths by using minnows and crawlers fished on bottom. Boaters on the Menominee are catching smallmouths and some walleyes by trolling crankbaits and casting tubes and jigs.

In Oconto County, bluegills and crappies were being caught below the dam at Stiles, but the fishing dropped off with the rain and an open gate on the dam. Anglers at the mouth of the Oconto River enjoyed some good smallmouth fishing when using tubes and jig heads. The perch bite has improved from the Pensaukee Landing to Oconto Park II. Anglers are reporting fish being caught in depths from 4 to 14 feet of water. Locating the fish is key. Crappie rigs and jigs tipped with minnows have been working best, but some sorting has been necessary. The walleye bite has been slow. Multiple muskie anglers fishing Geano Beach reported multiple follows; however, hookups continue to be low. Spinners and double Colorado blades produced all noted follows. Water clarity is good.

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


While it’s still a bit warm, temps are falling a bit on area lakes. Once again, wind was the biggest problem for anglers last week, with bouts of high pressure also making things a bit difficult. Overall though, fishing has been good.

Walleyes: Very good. Cast weedless jigs tipped with redtails or large fatheads along wind-blown shorelines of smaller, shallower lakes and flowages. Larger, deeper lakes are seeing the best action in 28 to 34 feet on larger chubs on Lindy rigs or jigs. Nighttime walleyes are hitting glow jigs or lighted slip floats with large fatheads.

Pike: Very good. Cast spinnerbaits, swim baits or Mepps Aglia spinners over weedy flats of 5 to 9 feet. Suckers or chubs jigged in same areas also have been effective. We’re seeing lots of numbers, but also some nice pike up to 32 inches were caught last week.

Muskie: Good. No reports of big fish lately; mostly fish of 34 to 42 inches on bucktails, Rizzo Tails, and spinnerbaits. Some fast-moving twitch baits and gliders also are moving fish.

Crappies: Good. Reports are improving. High winds are the biggest draw-back to fishing deep wood. On natural lakes, key in on green weeds that remain in 8 to 12 feet. Thumper jigs tipped with minnows or crawlers are working along deep weed edges for crappies up to 14 inches.

Largemouth bass: Good. As waters cool, topwater action has slowed, but crankbaits are producing fish. Plastics are still a good choice, as wacky-worming is still working.

Smallmouth bass: Good. Big smallies are being caught on flowages on X-raps, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits. On natural lakes, rig for deeper water (22 to 34 inches) using 4- to 6-inch suckers on Lindy rigs.

Perch: Fair to good. Pieces of frozen soft-shell crayfish or crawlers dragged around wood or cribs are working best.

Cold, clear nights in the 40s are being checked by daytime highs in the 70s. The sucker bite for muskies is just getting started. 

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797

J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616


Muskie fishing is good on bucktailsjerkbaits, soft-bodied lures, and large suckers. Walleye-fishing success is improving around mid-depth structure and gravel bars with leeches, crawlers, and minnows on small jigs. Northern fishing is fair on spinnerbaits near weeds. 

Fish largemouths around mid-depth weeds and structure in 5 to 10 feet and along deep weedlines and wood with soft plastics and worms. For smallies, fish finesse plastics near mid-depth wood close to deep water. Panfish anglers are catching nice crappie, bluegills, and perch along deeper weed edges. 

Sturgeon anglers report a fair number of small fish and just a few 60-inch and larger legal fish, mostly only on cut bait or crawler gobs fished in deep holes or river bends.

Muskie fishing has been drawing quite a bit of attention, and action has been generally good. Nearly all muskie anglers are seeing fish and are having follows, and numerous catches of mid-size fish have been made. The most successful baits continue to be artificials, with bucktailsjerkbaits, and soft-bodied lures being the favorites of late. A few anglers have started using large suckers, but the warmer water makes it hard to keep the bait alive. However, look for the sucker bite to improve as water temperatures cool down into the 50s in the next month or so. 

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

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

Categories: North (Central), Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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