Fishing Report: Summer is here

By George Langley

NORTHERN WISCONSIN – We are quickly heading for mid-summer, and it is going to be both busy and enjoyable on the water.

If you believe the forecast (and depending on where you look), the temps this week should be starting out really warm and then getting a bit cooler, with some nighttime temps in the 40s. The spawns are mostly over, with the exception of a few bass and some bluegills. Weeds are growing nicely now, with great cover for the fish and the water temps are rising. Summer is here!

Most of our fish are now assuming their summer habitat, so the main single piece of advice is to look for weeds and fish deeper. On the Eagle River Chain, in the mornings and evenings you will find fish in five to seven feet of water. As the day progresses, the heavy boat and jet ski traffic tends to drive these fish deeper for the afternoons, so jigs and minnows in deeper water will find you some walleyes.

Walleye, perch and crappies are still biting well, mostly on jigs and minnow combinations. Start the day in those nice cabbage weeds in the shoreline areas for all three of these fish. Quite often, you can get a mix of these fish, as they seem to be feeding together. We don’t have a lot of largemouth on the Chain, but there are some smallies in this water on the rocks. Look for rocky points in mid-level water to produce these fish.

Northerns mostly stay in the weedy areas, or near them. Mepps bucktails or Johnson Silver Minnows and Daredevils work best for them. Fish the weeds all day for these guys, as they are not night feeders.

Musky and northern action is good right now, as the musky have recovered from their spawn and are feeding more aggressively. Musky action this year has been mostly on bucktails, but as the water continues to warm, we’ll find action on surface baits, plastics and stick baits. These fish will locate everywhere, so shallow weeds to deeper water can produce. Generally, we find more fish in the deeper water from the end of this month and forward.

Be patient with the heavier water traffic. We will see a lot of boaters out from now to late August. Now is the time of the year to try early and/or later in the day – you will be surprised how nice and quiet it can be.

Good luck and good fishin’!

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