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.
SPRING IS IN THE AIR
The calendar might say that spring officially starts next week in Wisconsin. Talk to any avid fisherman, however, and you’ll be told it’s the first Saturday in May – Opening Day.
WEEKLY FISHING REPORT
Cold temperatures made fishing a bit more challenging over the weekend, but a promising forecast of sunny skies and 60-70 degree temperatures later in the week should bring walleyes and bass back into shallower waters.
Muskies: (Opened in Michigan and the border lakes of Wisconsin and Michigan) Depending on the lake, they will be starting, in the process of, or finishing up the spawn cycle. They’re going to need some recoup time, especially the females. They get pretty roughed up in this process. Smaller buck tails like the Mepps Muskie Killer or a 500 series Bucher Tail, or small twitch bait like a Husky Jerk or Shallow Raider have been getting bit.
Northern Pike: These fish have already spawned and are cruising the new weed beds in search of prey. A 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jig tipped with a fat head minnow will catch pike. Bass style spinner baits will do the job also. White or chartreuse with willow leaf blades and spoons like Daredevils or Johnson Silver Minnows that are weedless are also a good choice.
Walleye: They are coming out of post spawn and should be in the new weeds that are coming in nicely. A good weedless 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jig helps a lot. Jacks Jig and Northland Weed Weasel, preferably the plastic weed guards instead of steel, are getting bit.
Bass: Both Smallmouth and Largemouth are getting ready for spawning. These fish will be easy to spot while preparing their spawning beds. Slip bobbers, split shot, and an Aberdeen hook baited with a minnow or crawler will work fine to get these fish. Small crankbaits with a small square bill fished in the shallows catch a lot of fish at this time also. A reminder: Largemouth Bass are opened and Smallmouth Bass are only catch and release until June 18 in the northern zone.
Perch: They should be hanging out in the weeds and foraging on some young of the year bait fish. Slip bobber set-up should be what you are using. The bait of choice will be theirs, so bring along a selection of small leeches, red worms and crappie minnows.
*Fishing report for the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce based on observations submitted by Eagle River guide “Muskie Matt,” George Langley, and Colin Crawford’s Guide Service; their contact information is listed below.