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North-Central WI fishing report

Joel DeBoer
June 28, 2010
Wausau - Freshwater Fishing Report

Smallmouth bass fishing has been solid on the Wisconsin River system, with fish using predictable hard-bottomed current break areas with the increased flow of late. Lipless crankbaits and topwaters have worked well recently, as well as plastics such as the Mister Twister 4" FAT Tube or size 3 in-line spinners like the Mepps Aglia and Black Fury. Fair numbers of fish are also being caught by flipping and pitching shoreline cover, especially during the mid-day hours, such as docks, downed trees, and stumps/snags.

Here in Central Wisconsin the channel catfish bite continues to be overlooked by many anglers, but has been a source of action and excitement for those looking to tangle with these bruisers. While some fish are being taken during mid-day from the deeper holes and pools, the best action continues to be during nighttime and low-light periods. A simple sliding sinker rig baited with fresh cut bait on a Mustad Demon Circle Hook is the simple yet deadly manner in which to get in on the action. Look for fish to be holding near the head of holes, as well as adjacent to stumps, snags, and blow-downs once light levels diminish.

Inland walleye fishing has been streaky, but good catches of fish are still occurring. Fishing weeds or wood where present has still been productive. Weedless jigs tipped with large fatheads should be worked carefully around and through available cover. Orange and hot pink have been the best colors in darker water while blue and green have been producing well in clearer water. Remain patient and check a variety of depths if you're not getting bit as the fish have shown a tendency of late to change location from day to day.

In speaking with my friends and fishing colleagues Captain Brett Jolly and Captain Lucas Molepske, the big-water walleye bite on Green Bay has been very good throughout the month of June. Captain Jolly spends the bulk of his time on Green Bay and has been on top of the walleyes since the season opener; he reports that fish are being caught both by casting and trolling presentations, on crankbaits and livebait presentations.

The warm water temperatures have pushed the big northern pike to their deep water sanctuaries. Working large chubs or sucker minnows on jigs or below over-sized floats has worked well in proximity to deep weed lines. Casting parallel to the deep edges of the weeds with lifelike rubber presentations such as Bulldawgs and 10" Titan Tubes is also accounting for some hefty pike. Where legal, trolling both open water and along deep structure has worked nicely for big pike in June. Crankbaits such as Invaders and Shallow Invaders have worked well as have large spinnerbaits like the Snyper and Thumper Junior produced by locally owned and operated Esox Edge lures.

Musky fishing has been above-average during June with some truly large fish having been caught and released, including a 54 ½" monster in NW Wisconsin and a 53" brute here in Central Wisconsin. Fish have been relating to traditional musky structure dependably, especially weeds, and have been enthusiastically consuming large double-10 bucktails such as the Mepps H210 worked on a medium retrieve. Bulldawgs and hybrid crankbaits like the Kick'n Minnow have also worked well, both for fish relating to cover and for suspended muskies. The suspended musky bite on the deeper, clearer lakes to our North has been first-rate. Large crankbaits and rubber baits in natural patterns have been producing fish consistently in these cisco-based systems; in addition, night-fishing has been a terrific option for scoring on clear water muskies, especially on lakes with high boat traffic.

Target Species:

Musky, walleye, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, northern pike

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Joel is one of the musky pioneers of the Wisconsin River system in North-Central Wisconsin where he continues to guide and call home. He has been featured in Musky Hunter and Muskie magazines, on internet radio, and in his weekly column for the Everest Herald entitled the “Guide’s Corner;” in addition, Joel has given various seminars throughout Wisconsin on topics ranging from smallmouth and walleyes to trophy muskies. Joel has spent his life perfecting the tactics and techniques necessary for l

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Wisconsin Angling Adventures
Phone: 715-297-7573
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