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    The island was nice, but we found better fishing in a back bay straight across from Zip Inn II where C.J. caught an 18.5″ Smallmouth & we also caught walleyes.


    Good to read you had success and were able to put some fish in the boat. A 18.5 inch smallie puts up a pretty nice fight, and some walleyes for the frying pan is always a nice treat. Congrats!
    Did you end up floating the river down? I’ve been meaning to make the trip, but I’ve been focusing my attention on landing a big musky.


    Hmmm. I have an hour for lunch. It takes me five minutes one way to get to one of three dams nearby in the city. That means I would have 50 minutes to see how many bass and walleyes I can catch. The thing about fishing is, once its in my head, it supersedes nearly all other priorities.
    Lunch can wait. I’ll have an update in about an hour!


    Two nice smallmouth bass and a small walleye. Not bad for a quick lunch.
    As are the many reasons I enjoy living in Tomahawk, having quick, excellent fishing at my hands is a real treat. I have a 15-minute break coming up in a few hours. Hmmm.
    Fishing this Labor Day weekend should be a blast. The problem I often run into is trying to narrow in on how to best use my time. The musky fishing is heating up. The walleyes and smallmouth are also very active, and I haven’t even had the opportunity trout fish the Prairie River yet this summer. However, with the world we’re living in, I really shouldn’t complain.
    Good luck to everyone this weekend and enjoy your Northwoods water time!


    We fished below King’s dam when the wind made boat handling on Lake Alice a pain. Leeches & minnows were the ticket. My son had a musky hit a bluegill at his feet as he was bringing it in.

    Like usual, you should have seen the one that got away. I had something big that hit a swim bait & after going towards the shore, raced upstream. I lost it while back-reeling.

    Good stuff.

    [ September 02, 2007, 11:07 PM: Message edited by: Jeff Boettcher ]


    I’m also familiar with the Kings Dam musky and the one that got away.
    Last fall, I had a strike from what I believed to be a very large musky I had just seen submarine below the dam. After casting every plug in my musky tackle box, I decided to call it a night.
    The next morning, I returned to Kings Dam for the fish. As I walked to the dam, a nearby fisherman informed me that someone had just landed a 48-inch monster. The early bird got the musky.
    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but If you decide to fish muskies below Kings Dam make sure to use shallow running lures.I have about $50 worth of plastics, bucktails and plugs stuck to the bottom of the river below the dam. I know where most the snags are and still end up in them.
    This past week brought no muskies from outings on Seven Island Lake and the Wisconsin River.
    I was able to crack the 20-inch smallmouth bass class after fishing the stretch of Wisconsin River between Grandmother and Grandfather dams Sunday night. However, it was explained to me that bass on this stretch aren’t considered big until they reach 24 inches. Maybe the bass I released will one day grow up to be a big bass.


    I’d take a 20″ Smallie any day!!!

    As for the Kings dam area, several times I snagged long lengths of fishing line instead of rocks. Twice it looked like Spider wire. While I’m sure that a scuba diver could retrieve a fortune in lures, the amount of stray snagged line could turn the area into a death trap for the ambitious diver. Saw a 37″ caught & kept, a 32″ released and a ~45″ lost. Is it legal to use Bluegills for bait? My son had one hit a bluegill at his feet as he was bringing it in.

    [ September 06, 2007, 10:28 PM: Message edited by: Jeff Boettcher ]


    It is legal to use panfish as bait as long as you count them as part of your daily slot limit.
    Just as concerning as the line in the water at Kings Dam, I find the line on the shoreline to be another potential hazard. Small mammals and waterfowl are known casualties of this often careless disrespect for the outdoors.
    Not that it helps for musky fishing, but two tricks I use when fishing below dams are to use a wire hook that bends easily and the other trick is to make a small loop of line under where you clamp down on the sinker. This allows the line to pull free when you get snagged. You lose the sinker, but it saves a lot of time in having to re-rig.
    Sounds like musky fishing has been pretty good for you. I’m curious if you’ve ever seen a musky do something strange? I have. I’ve also spoken with several musky anglers who tell me stories that are almost to hard to believe.


    Thanks for the tip! That should save a lot of hooks & slip bobbers. As for the sinkers, my son & I have used Green Gremlin tin shot for the past three fishing seasons. AFter reading about lead poisoned water fowl & loons, a presentation at Northland college finally convinced us to make the switch from lead to tin sinkers & jigs.

    My son & I don’t actively fish for muskies. The only strange muskie tale I have occured when I was fishing Lake Tomahawk with a friend on July 4 about twenty years ago. We were casting to a weed bed in a small bay. I was watching a Bald Eagle gliding above us when I heard a splash. Looking back at my surface bait, here was a set of jaws following the lure & making snapping motions about a foot behind the lure. The muskie follwed to about 5 feet of the boat. I cast back to the same area, only to have it happen again. Was the fish trying to “scare” my bait away or just goofing off? Who knows?

    My son’s first muskie came on a lure his sister found buried in the sand on the Flambeau Flowage.
    A chewed up jointed Rapala with a broken leader attached. The next morning I suggested that he tie on to a medium action bait casting rod we brought along on vacation. As I rowed to a spot we had been catching walleyes on Mercer’s Grand Portage Lake, we went past a tiny point jutting out before a shallow bay. The fish hit the Rap & flew out of the water at a 45º angle. It was early morning & we couldn’t see if the fish was a northern or a muskie. We just knew it was a good one. As it shot past the boat C.J. yelled “Dad, it’s a Muskie!” As I rowed away from the point & the weeds, C.J. played the fish. There was no leader, but the muskie was hooked by the rear treble & every time the fish rolled the lure wrapped around its snout. The line never came close to the fish’s teeth.

    I’d broken our big net the previous day by sitting on the yoke, so all we had was a smaller net supplied by the resort. The fish shot by the boat several times during the “eternal” battle.
    Finally C.J. directed the fish toward the net & a quick scoop brought it into the boat. The hook fell out on its own. (This was a good thing since I’d forgotten the pliers in the cottage.)

    Keeping the fish in the net & in the water, we rowed back to the cottage to show Mom & Sis. No tape measure, so held a stringer next to the fish & made a knot at the tail while holding the ring at the fish’s jaw. We let the fish go after getting a picture next to the boat. We “retired” the lure & walked to Mercer to measure the knotted stringer & to buy an identical Rapala. C.J.’s first muskie measured 38 inches in length. I have yet to catch one.


    Hey Jed or some one else,

    YOUR TURN!! Fishing stories rock! Please share.


    A few weeks ago you were asking about Lake Alice and where to fish. Well, in the future I’ll be able to share very up to date information with you because I’m moving to the lake at the end of this month.
    I LOVE first ice fishing. I love the silence, the thrill it gives me, and above all, I love the amazing action that is almost guaranteed. With this message board, I’ll be able to keep abreast those who share my addiction for first ice. Not knowing the ice conditions “up north” always drove me nuts before I moved to Tomahawk. Hopefully these postings will give people an idea on upcoming ice conditions – and even save on carbon emissions as is the concern on another posting.
    I really enjoyed reading your message on the muskies. One of the strange stories I’ve heard is of fish that are seen swimming with their heads out of water with their mouths open. As though they are trying to use gravity to swallow something they ate that was too big. A friend who spends a lot of time musky fishing on Lake Mohawksin has seen this several times. I haven’t seen it yet, but he said it looks very strange.
    One odd musky encounter that happened to me was on Roberts Lake in the northeast part of the state. I had been fishing with a friend all day when before dark I looked off to the side of the boat and there was a musky starring at me on the surface of the water only 10 feet away. I brought the big fish to the boat with my bucktail, but it didn’t even look like it wanted to bite my lure. To this day, I think that musky was messing with my head. It still haunts me in my dreams.
    On fishing as a whole, I cannot in words explain how crucial it is to my life and well being. On Sept. 11, 2001, the first thing I did after calling my family was head to the water in an effort to find clarity. Find something that made sense. While the time on the water wasn’t enough to erase the horrid events unfolding on T.V., it did make me realize how fortunate I am to live in a place where I’m provided that right. I try to keep that in mind every time I step onto first ice or into the boat.


    I should have mentioned this on my last posting, but Thank You to all veterans who have, currently are, and will in the future fight to defend our freedoms!

    [ September 11, 2007, 09:29 AM: Message edited by: Jed’s line ]


    Silence while ice fishing? You MUST fish places more exotic that I. Every where I try to ice fish there is some peckerhead trying to push his/her snow mobile to the limit. (Aren’t there trails for such people to use??)


    The beauty of first ice is you don’t have a lot of people on the lake and snowmobiles are too heavy to be out. I’m talking two to four inches when I refer to early ice.
    The best years are when you can get out around or before Thanksgiving. Bays are always the first to freeze.
    I always make sure to carry hand-held ice picks and don’t fish in deep water to be safe. I check the ice with my spud as I venture out on the lake. My friends that hunt think I’m nuts. I always respond by reminding them their heading out into the woods with 500,000 other people carrying weapons.
    As far as the snowmobilers, I don’t think there’s much we can do about that situation. With there being little snow, they have to stick to the lakes since many trails are closed. After spending $7,000 on a machine, I understand why they feel the need to be out using them. However, if they come too close to my tipups (which I mark) I will usually let them know.


    C.J. & I will look forward to your reports. We might be able to sample the action ourselves when he come home between semesters.

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