Fishing Report: Best fishing still early and late
For the Tomahawk Leader
NORTHERN WISCONSIN – There will still be a lot of boating traffic for the next few weeks, so plan your fishing trips accordingly. Early mornings and evening are the best, both for fishing and to avoid that traffic.
Walleye fishing was both good and not-so-good in the last week. We have had multiple reports of this “good and bad” from anglers on both the Chain and the deeper lakes. On the Chain, the fish during the day are most likely around deeper structure in 10 to 15 feet of water. If you know the crib locations, they can hold fish on a daily basis.
The best bait on the Chain are crawlers now, with minnows in second place. On the bigger, deeper lakes, anglers are still using minnows, but crawlers are working there also. Fish in the 12’ to 16′ range near or in weeds on these lakes, or on deeper humps that are 15 to 18 feet on top. Evening fishing right up to dark has been better throughout the area.
Bass fishing has been very good this year, with both smallies and largemouth providing great action. The largemouth are more a “cover” fish, using the weeds and shoreline spots like downed trees and piers as ambush spots. All bait types are working at this time of year for these fish. Plastics and surface baits, plus spinnerbaits are all working well. And boy is it fun to catch a fat bass on a surface bait! Smallmouth are hitting well on most lakes. These fish tend to locate deeper and over hard bottom areas. Try the 8’ to 15′ range with wacky worms or other plastics. Some of the crankbaits with red or brown colors work well also. For live bait, use leeches.
Northerns, as usual, are working the weeds for prey and can be caught easily with sucker minnows or artificials that have flash or noise. This includes surface baits. If you know of lakes that have some deeper grass weeds, try these areas.
Musky action has been a bit inconsistent this year. We should start to see this pick up soon as we move into late summer. Topwaters and bucktails are still working best. Make sure your retrieve isn’t too fast, and don’t be afraid to pay attention to the solunar table times. That said, night fishing has been pretty good this year, with good action from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on most nights.
Panfish action has been pretty good for bluegills, which are located in any weed area with sufficient cover. Look for deep weed edges for the bigger guys, but we’ve seen consistent good action in shallow weeds. This makes for great fishing for the kids right off the dock. Worms are best for these guys. Crappies can be found around cribs and deeper wood, or in heavy shallow weed cover including milfoil and lily pads.
The weather is supposed to be pretty nice this week, with temps in the 70s and that perfect sleeping weather in the 50s at night. But we’re looking at a couple of rainy days. Just think of those days as “restocking” the water.
Get out there and enjoy it while you can. September will be here before we know it!
Good luck and good fishin’!