Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – October 30th, 2015


Fishing was tough last week due to strong winds. Trollers are sporadically picking up a salmon or a trout off the Sioux and Onion rivers and at the head of Chequamegon Bay. Stream fishing is difficult with the low and clear water. Though water temperatures are still in the 50s, smallmouth bass have started to move to and school in their usual fall haunts. Anglers are hitting the streams heavily for salmon, brown trout, and steelhead preparing to spawn. Success is varied, as the fish arrive in waves. Water temperatures are starting to drop slightly, and trollers are mainly using shallow-running crankbaits or are casting spoons.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754

River Rock, (715) 682-3232


Walleye fishing has been good to very good throughout the area. The Eagle River Chain has been productive for the past week as the fish move toward deep holes. Jigs and minnows have been the best bait for them at this point. Most anglers are
using large fatheads. Look for these fish in the 15- to 20-foot range, often right around the edges of the holes. On the larger lakes, the fish are much deeper for the most part. Some anglers claim more success on larger minnow such as sucker minnows or redtail chubs. Some nice catches of numbers and some decent size have been reported on all lakes.

Bass action has slowed now as the temps have dropped off. The largemouths are moving from shallow weeds deeper into the 10-foot range on most lakes. Plastics are still working for these fish. Smallies are deep now and can be caught on jigs and minnows over hard bottom.

Northern action is good, with these fish still working the weeds, but at times even moving into the holes on the chain. Larger minnows will work much better to target these fish.

Muskie action will be the best of the year now, especially for big fish, for the rest of the fall. They will show no particular strong pattern as far as location, as they are on the move. You can still get fish on the weed edges on a daily basis, but can in an equal amount get fish suspended out over deep water. Sucker action has been great, and many anglers are now selecting larger suckers for big fish. 

Panfish action has slowed except for the crappies. Many walleye anglers are finding the crappies right with the walleyes. If you see some marks on your electronics above the walleyes, it will be crappies.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804


Minnows continue to produce walleyes in 20 to 30 feet of water on the Chippewa Flowage, Lake Lac Courte Oreilles, and Grindstone Lake. Muskies are hitting large sucker minnows or bucktails in 10 to 12 feet on the flowage, Lac Courte Oreilles, and Spider Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 10 to 15 feet at Nelson Lake, Lac Courte Oreilles, and the flowage. Local duck numbers remain decent, and grouse hunting is only getting better with the majority of foliage eliminated.

Muskie fishing is good and getting better as fall progresses. Concentrate your efforts on weedbeds and weedlines in 5 to 15 feet. Suckers on quick-strike rigs are the ticket at this time, but anglers are catching fish on topwatersbucktails, tubes, and jerkbaits

Smallmouth action is improving. Fish are on weeds, rock piles, and structure. Baits of choice include suckers, crawlers, and topwaters

Crappie fishing is good. Fish are suspending over deeper water, but if the bite is slow, check shallower areas around weedlines. Bluegill action is fair to good in 4 to 18 feet near weedlines and rock bars. 

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921

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


In Marinette County, pressure on the Peshtigo River was extremely light. Anglers do report catching a few kings, pinks, walleyes, and smallmouths, from below the dam in Peshtigo to the Peshtigo municipal landing. Spawn, spinners, spoons, and crankbaits are taking a few fish. The results of a DNR shock survey show there are a few kings in the Menominee River, along with some pink salmon, brown trout, rainbows, walleyes, and smallmouths.

In Oconto County, anglers report catching some panfish and the occasional smallmouth below the dam at Stiles on crawler chunks and minnows in conjunction with slip bobbers. Most fish are being caught around structure. Pink salmon were being caught by the walking bridge in Stiles while using spinnerbaits and flies. The perch bite is starting to get better for shore anglers at Oconto breakwater park and Oconto Park II. Slip bobbers or crappie rigs tipped with minnows or crawler chunks have been working well. Walleye anglers report limited success.

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


Cold nights with lows in the lower 30-degree range and some highs barely breaking 40 degrees pushed surface temps down. Some smaller shallower lakes saw surface water hit 47 degrees, while mid-sized lakes read 51 to 52 degrees and the largest lakes still about 54 to 55 degrees.

Muskies: Good to very good. Action is slowing down from last week’s peak, but is still good with more reports of larger fish. Suckers top the menu, and rigs with blades are best on dark water and windy days.

Walleyes: Good to very good. There has been a good bite overall in most cases in deep water on mid-sized lakes on large fatheads or crawlers. On larger lakes use redtails, suckers, or blacktails on jigs or Lindy rigs. 

Crappies: Good. Fish deep wood from 10 to 18 feet, especially with deeper water nearby. Use medium fatheads or crawlers on jigs or slip floats. Jig heads with spinners underneath and tipped with medium fatheads is a good choice. 

Northern pike: Good to fair. Action is slowing some. For the best results go with live bait (chubs, suckers).

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797

J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616


Variable and generally mild weather has made for some comfortable fishing conditions in the northwoods, but the abundance of hunting opportunities seems to have limited fishing pressure in the past few weeks. Water temperatures have now dropped into the low 50s, and fall turnover has started. 

Muskie anglers have provided most of the fishing pressure on our local lakes and their success has been variable. Most fishermen have switched from artificials to suckers on quick-set rigs. Most of the muskies have been in the 32- to 40-inch size, though fish up to 46 inches have been reported.  Walleye success continues to be erratic, and it seems that the fish haven’t settled into a solid fall pattern yet. Late October and early November should provide a little better walleye action with jig/minnow and slip bobber/minnow combinations working best on deeper rocky structure and along mid-depth breaklines. There has been a recent surge in crappie action with some nice fish being found along and near the deeper-water areas, with the fishing suspended about 4 to 5 feet off the bottom.

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

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


Crappies, perch, and bluegills continue to be caught in 5 to 7 feet at Spooner Lake. Look to the shallow breaks on Long Lake with minnows for walleyes and smallmouth bass. Archery hunters are stating that bucks have really started chasing does.

AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011

Categories: North (Central), Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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