FISH EAGLE RIVER
The Eagle River area is a world-class fishing destination – the hub of all Northwoods’ fishing. Our numerous lakes are well known for their trophy-sized fish – musky, northern, walleye and bass. Plus panfish are plentiful and are always fun to catch for a homemade fish fry. Our rivers and streams are also a popular attractions for fly fishing and don’t forget wintertime offers great ice fishing opportunities too. If you haven’t been fishing in area waters in years or you don’t know the best spots, there are many expert area guides eager to help you lure in the big ones and to provide lessons for a lifetime. Area bait shops are always helpful in sharing specific information about the hottest baits or lures. So come and enjoy our diverse fishery. You will be glad that you did.
WEEKLY FISHING REPORT
Largemouth bass and crappie bite is excellent, with walleye and northern very good; musky and perch good; smallmouth bass fair and bluegills slowing. Our resident Eagle River fishing guru George Langley tells us: “The fall colors in Eagle River are beyond elegant right now. It is just incredible. So even if you’re not catching fish, the view is worth it- – but then again, you’re going to catch fish, so it’s a double reason to get up here to Eagle River right now.”
Waters temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area range from 55-60 degrees, depending on lake size, with the larger lakes being warmer (they drop in temps slower than the smaller lakes).
LARGEMOUTH BASS: The bite is still excellent in the heavy weeds, with the largemouth’s remaining surprisingly shallow despite dying weeds. Fish 3-6 feet and use a plastic for best results.
WALLEYE: The walleye bite in the Eagle River area is very good, with the walleye moving towards, and in the holes on the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes (largest freshwater chain of lakes in the world). Fish 15-25 feet, starting on the mudflats and working towards the holes, with the best action on the edges of the holes. On these lakes use a jig and a minnow for best results, with some anglers reporting good action on half of a crawler. The larger lakes in the area are also producing very well, in 20-25 feet of water. On the larger lakes stick to a jig and a minnow for best action. In both areas – -shallower and deeper lakes — the walleyes are tight to bottom.
NORTHERN: Northern action in the Eagle River area is still very good in the weeds, with a Mepps spinner working best. Other anglers are getting good action using a large chub under a slip bobber. Any weeds will produce, but the best bite tends to be in the deeper weeds, in the 6-10 foot depth range.
MUSKY: The musky bite is pretty good right now in the Eagle River area with sucker action starting area wide (medium size – -14-15 inches). Musky hunters are also getting hits using jerkbaits. The big pattern for muskies is that there isn’t one. They’re located everywhere from the weeds to the holes. Slow your bait retrieve down, as the water temps continue to drop.
Start in the weeds for half a day, then work your way deeper if the weeds don’t produce. Don’t forget to always do a “figure 8″ as your lure nears the boat, as there is still good potential for a near-the-boat strike.
PANFISH: Crappie action in the Eagle River area is excellent with a capital “E.” The crappies have moved deeper and are mixed in with the walleyes, and you’ll get the crappies, if you move up in the water column 4-5 feet above the walleyes, who are fairly tight to bottom. Use a jig and a minnow.
Perch are in the weeds (tight to bottom in 6-10 feet of water) with worms
and waxies working best. Perch action is good. Fish bluegills in the
shallower weeds, using a red worm. The action for the gills is slowing a bit. George Langley commented: “Angler interest in panfish is declining as the water temps drop, and anglers turn their main attention to gamefish. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after the panfish. They still offer a tremendous opportunity for fun and action, especially for kids.”
SMALLMOUTH BASS: The action for smallies in the Eagle River area is just fair. Fish hardbottom/rocks/humps in 15-25 feet of water. A jig and a minnow is working best.
FLY FISHING: With untold numbers of rushing streams, brooks and rivers, Eagle River provides wonderful opportunities for fly anglers of every ilk.
And for the adventure of a lifetime go for gamefish with a fly rod on one of the Eagle River area’s hundreds of lakes. Eagle River guide guru, and 35 year avid fly angler for musky, George Langley, tells us that it’s a memorable experience for fly anglers, but realistically you must be able to double-haul cast and attain distances of 70-90 feet on your cast.