Lake Superior, Ashland

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6/10/16 @ 10:12 AM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE (34%)
Waxing Crescent

CONDITIONS
Cloudy

AIR TEMP
61° - 65° F

~ Fishing guides from Anglers All, 715/682-5754, report the following: 
This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay.  “Well, we’ve still got the dirty water shoved into the head of the bay, but they’re getting walleye anyway,” noted Carolyn Swartz, co-owner of Anglers All.
She said walleye fishermen are having success by trolling, drifting crawler harnesses and jigging with leeches.
“Most of your walleye activity in shallow water takes place during the low-light hours,” Carolyn pointed out.  “There are people fishing off the ‘pig iron’ even during the day, but the majority of the walleyes are in the drop-offs in the channel or on the humps during the daytime, especially if it’s high sun.  Of course, that’s different if it’s cloudy or overcast.”
The smallmouth bass in the shallows are still in all three modes: pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn mode, she said.  
“As we keep getting these little cold fronts moving through, oftentimes if it drops the water temperature down it could send them out to a little deeper water.  But overall, we are looking at the shallows of the Sand Cut, Brush Point and Oak Point.” 
She said the bass fishermen are using crankbaits, plastics, spinner baits, and walleye-size sucker minnows for live bait to target those smallies. 
Trout and salmon anglers have reported good days all the way from Houghton Point to Outer Island.  “It  all depends on the day, the weather and the water temperatures,” said Carolyn.
She said the salmon reports have dropped off.  “We’re not hearing of many cohos now, but they’re getting plenty of brown trout and lakers.”
Carolyn advises fly fishermen to be aware that an early “Hex hatch” might be in store for the Chequamegon Bay area this year.  For the uninitiated, that’s when the large mayfly with the scientific name Hexagenia limbata appears in huge numbers.  They have the power to bring the largest trout to the surface where they can be caught on dry flies.  
There are four stages of this hatch that the angler should be aware of: nymph, emerger, dun and spinner.  The pesky critters can be seen covering the sides of buildings close to the waterfront in Ashland after they have moved from emerger stage to fully winged dun.
“With the warmer weather coming this weekend, they could start popping on the White River, so get ready for that.”  Carolyn said by using the proper fly, trout anglers can have great success during the Hex hatch.   
** Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, Anglers All is a full-service tackle and fly shop with a professional guide service for Lake Superior and area inland lakes and rivers, offering the largest selection of baits and tackle in the Chequamegon Bay area.  For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at Anglers All and they will gladly keep you informed! 


~ Fishing guides from River Rock Inn and Bait Shop, 715/682-3232, report the following:
The Ashland area has been kinder to anglers the last week since the weather calmed down.
“We’re starting to get some stable weather now instead of all that rain and wind,” commented Scott Bretting, owner/operator of River Rock Inn & Bait Shop.  “Fishing has been pretty decent,” he continued, “and I think we’re going to have a good weekend.”
Bass fishing has been “pretty good,” he said.  “There’ve been some nice catches of smallmouth and the numbers are up.”
Scott said for the most part the bass should be in post-spawn mode now. 
“Although we may have a few late bloomers in there,” he added.  “Folks have been reporting some smallmouth still hanging out in the shallows.  They’re moving in and out of that area.”
He said anglers can sight-fish them right now off of the Sand Cut.  “But the water is cloudy by the Kakagon Slough, which makes it tougher.”
And unfortunately, that cloudy water is making walleye fishing a little more difficult as well.  “Guys out trolling have been reporting some nice fish,” Scott said of the walleye seekers, “but as is typical with this unstable weather pattern, the water’s all clouded up so that makes it a little more challenging.”
Scott did say that folks are still getting walleye down by the “pig iron” beach and close to the Xcel Energy Bay Front Power Plant.  “There’s rock bass in there, too, and some smallies, plus the occasional northern pike,” he noted.
Last weekend was the Saxon Harbor fishing tournament.  Scott said the adverse weather conditions probably had some effect on the turnout, but it was still fun.  “They had close to 30 boats participate.  It’s mainly a trout and salmon tournament.”
Anglers have been venturing out to the Apostle Islands and into the flats, Scott noted.  “They’ve been getting browns, cohos, lake trout and splake, about everything the bay has to offer for trolling.  No huge fish, but plenty of nice ones.”
FYI: For those who don’t know, Scott explained that the so-called “flats” area of the bay is about 90 to 100 foot deep and has a consistent clay or sandy bottom.
He said a couple of hotspots have been the front of the Bad River and the old Coast Guard dock on the tip of Long Island.  “That another good spot with a nice drop-off in that area,” he said.  “It’s abandoned now, but there used to be a Coast Guard station there.”
Scott said anglers are out “trolling with the stickbaits.  There’s a few guys downrigging, too.”  Hot steel and hot pink have been good colors, he added.
He said folks are using crawlers with a jig head and harnesses for walleye.  “Some are using leeches on a jig head, too.”
Fishing on the area’s inland lakes is going well.  “It’s your typical, late spring bite,” Scott said.  “You start to see some pollen on the water so you’re competing with some of the live forage on the surface.  All reports are that the panfish, perch, northerns and walleye are into their pre-summer patterns.  They are hanging out in those deeper spots during the day and then moving into the shallows in the evening.”
“With all of the rain we’ve had it’s been tough fishing,” Scott continued, “but those fish are hungry!  They’re waiting for those fishermen to come and entice them.  We are starting to see some of the clearer water you see in the summer.  It’s going to be a great June and July for anglers coming up here!”  
** Stop in and see their wide variety of live bait, fishing tackle, gear, accessories, smoked fish, local cheeses, meats, and microbrews, and much more at River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in Ashland.  Call River Rock for the most current fishing report and they’ll give you the 411 on the bay area!


 ~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports: 
Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area!  Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing.  The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.

You can fish and win weekly cash prizes in the Species Master Classic, an online catch-and-release fishing tournament. This contest starts June 15 and runs all summer. Cash prizes are $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. Open to all ages, the Species Master Classic allows participants to fish anywhere in Ashland, Bayfield, Sawyer, Price, Washburn, or Barron counties. Catch, photograph and upload images of your fish to www.speciesmaster.com. There is a cost to enter. Visit the website for more information or to register, or call 715/718-6438.

Edited on 6/10/16 10:15 AM
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5/26/16 @ 5:08 PM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE (78%)
Waning Gibbous

CONDITIONS
Partly Sunny

AIR TEMP
66° - 70° F

~ Fishing guides from Anglers All, 715/682-5754, report the following: 

This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay.  Fishing is holding up, all depending on the day and the weather, according to Carolyn Swartz, co-owner of Anglers All.

“I’m guessing that we have mud lines again out in the bay,” she noted.  “You could encounter dirty water conditions due to all of the runoff, depending on where you are fishing.”

She said bass fishing was great on Wednesday, “during all of that cold and blowing weather.  The guys got soaked and they had to hustle to get back in when the storm and lightning hit, but the fish were really active.”

Her takeaway from that experience, she said, was that even though we are approaching the first day of June, be prepared for all types of weather, including chilly temperatures, wind and rain.

“Anyone planning to go fishing out on the Big Lake should always bring clothing and gear for all weather conditions,” she advised, “because you just never know.”

The water temperatures are rising though, which is all to the good.  The bass are becoming very active, she said.  “Right now, there are bass in pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn mode.”

Most of the activity has been on either plastics or sucker minnows, moved slowly in the shallows.

“The walleye bite has started to turn on at the mouth of the Kakagon Slough (Brush Point) and at the head of the bay,” she noted.  “However, the dirty water conditions could slow that up a bit.  Try to find the mud lines if possible.”

“People are starting to use crawler harnesses,” she said.  “They are drifting those and slow-trolling stickbaits for the most part. The low-light hours continue to be the most successful time for catching walleye.” 

Northerns are being caught in the shallows in the same areas where you would find the walleye and the smallmouth, along with the occasional perch and rock bass.

“There are still some northern pike being caught by soaking smelt,” Carolyn said.  “As the water temperatures warm, they will start moving around a bit, too.  Folks need to look for them around structure, weed beds, wood, that type of thing.”

Trout and salmon trolling continues to be good.  “Though once again at this point, you should look for mud lines and fish the clear water adjacent to them.”

Fish are still being caught on stickbaits running in anywhere from 20-60 foot of water, as well as being caught on spoons in the deeper water.

“The streams will be pretty blown out for the next few days due to all of this rain and if we continue to get rain as the forecast indicates,” she added.

** Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, Anglers All is a full-service tackle and fly shop with a professional guide service for Lake Superior and area inland lakes and rivers, offering the largest selection of baits and tackle in the Chequamegon Bay area.  For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at Anglers All and they will gladly keep you informed! 



~ Fishing guides from River Rock Inn and Bait Shop, 715/682-3232, report the following:

With almost picture-perfect weather, anglers were out in large numbers over the past weekend in the Ashland area. 

“Man, it was so crowded this past weekend it was hard to find a parking place at any of the boat launches,” commented Scott Bretting, owner/operator of River Rock Inn & Bait Shop.  “But when you have a flat calm and 80-degree weather, that’s what happens.”

This week, however, has been a completely different story with rain, wind and thunderstorms dominating the area’s weather.  But as Scott pointed out, “We needed some rain; it was getting pretty dry out there.”

Out in the bay, the smallmouth bite is on!  Scott described it as “topwater shallow.”

“It’s been really good, very productive this past week,” Scott said.  “We are seeing fish up in the shallows now, going on their beds.  They are definitely in spawning mode and folks are seeing a lot of action in the shallow water.” 

“They’re catching a lot of walleyes as well,” he continued.  “There’s not a lot of bugs yet, so it’s good fishing.”

Scott said that crawler harnesses have been one of the main tools for the successful walleye anglers.  “Some are trying leeches and minnows though.”

After hearing a fishing novice joke about the name, Scott noted that “the crawler harness is one of those inventions that guys have played around with trying to improve upon, but it’s still a mainstay out here.”

Trolling for brown trout has been hit and miss, according to Scott.  He said out near Houghton Point it’s starting to slow down. “That’s a hot spot in the spring and then once the water starts warming up, they move on.” 

Scott said recently anglers have been very successful out on the outer side of Long Island, in about 12 foot of water.  

“Guys did phenomenal out there this weekend,” he said.  “When they found clouds of baitfish, they found very productive fishing.  They got browns, coho salmon and lake trout.”

People are getting out to the flats in the South Channel, Scott said.  “They’ve been fishing deep for the lake trout and have been very successful doing that as well.  Guys are running downriggers out there.”

For those who don’t know, Scott explained that the so-called “flats” area of the bay is about 90 to 100 foot deep and has a consistent clay or sandy bottom.

** Stop in and see their wide variety of live bait, fishing tackle, gear, accessories, smoked fish, local cheeses, meats, and microbrews, and much more at River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in Ashland.  Call River Rock for the most current ice fishing report and they’ll give you the 411 on the bay area!

 

   


~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports: 

Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area!  Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing.  The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.


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5/20/16 @ 2:08 PM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE (99%)
Waxing Gibbous

CONDITIONS
Partly Sunny

AIR TEMP
71° - 75° F

~ Fishing guides from Anglers All, 715/682-5754, report the following: 

This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay.  Fishing has been very good, but it all depends on that ever-important wind direction.

“The smallmouth bass are where they should be and they’re starting to make beds in the shallows,” said Carolyn Swartz, co-owner of Anglers All in Ashland.  “Some fresh fish are coming into the shallows now.  Really, everything is starting to move in, but they don’t all make beds at the same time.”

“The bass bite has been best in the late afternoon when the water is at its warmest,” noted Luke Kavajecz, fishing guide with Anglers All, “but still steady throughout the day.  Yesterday we even got our first topwater fish of the year, so that was great.”  

Light jigs and plastics are the recommended presentation for smallies at the moment, Carolyn said. “Or flies moved very slowly in the shallows.”

“You've got to love Lake Superior in the spring,” Luke observed on Wednesday.  “Four days ago, I was running the boat through snow squalls and stiff northwest winds.  Thankfully, the snow, cold and wind are behind us (I hope!). 

“During the nasty weather, we were running to the north of Washburn and casting spoons and throwing flies for trouty species,” Luke said.  “This can be a great alternative to trolling, and also a pretty effective way to catch browns, steelhead and splake.

“Even though the weather was less than ideal,” he continued, “we moved plenty of fish and landed splake, browns and steelhead on light tackle in very shallow water, so that in itself is pretty cool.”

Luke said that as the weather has settled down, the smallmouth have “fired back up.”  

“Where the water had been 60 degrees a week ago, it had dropped down into the low 40s after the big front came through on Saturday,” he explained, “but the temperature has bounced back up in the past few days.”

Those changes in the water temperatures have resulted in some inconsistent walleye fishing, said Carolyn. 

“But the walleye will start coming out of post-spawn mode as the waters warm,” she said.  “They will start coming out into the bay and feeding heavily.”

Carolyn said anglers are getting walleye at the head of the bay and at the mouth of the Kakagon Slough.

“People are starting to use crawler harnesses,” she noted.  “They are drifting those and slow-trolling stickbaits for the most part. The low-light hours continue to be the most successful time for catching walleye.” 

Trout and salmon are still being caught in a lot of places inside the bay as well as outside, Carolyn said.

“People have been trolling stickbaits in the shallows for them and doing extremely well,” she said.

“Trolling remains strong for the offshore and inshore bite as well,” Luke added.  “The South Channel has been fishing really well and guys are seeing good numbers of cohos out there right now.” 

Luke said that shore fishing has been really good, too.  

“This is a very under-utilized resource in our area,” he commented.  “It's so easy this time of year to get a great mix of fish right off of Ashland's shoreline.  Sturgeon, brown trout, northerns and walleyes can all be caught right now, without the use of a boat.” 

“There are still some northern pike being caught by soaking smelt,” Carolyn said.  “As the water temperatures warm, they will start moving around a bit, too.  Folks need to look for them around structure, weed beds, wood, that type of thing.”

** Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, Anglers All is a full-service tackle and fly shop with a professional guide service for Lake Superior and area inland lakes and rivers, offering the largest selection of baits and tackle in the Chequamegon Bay area.  For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at Anglers All and they will gladly keep you informed!  
   

~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports: 

Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area!  Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing.  The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.


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5/6/16 @ 2:17 PM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE
New Moon

CONDITIONS
Sunny

AIR TEMP
91° - 95° F
~ Fishing guides from Anglers All, 715/682-5754, report the following: 
This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay.  The high winds and heavy rain from last week have dissipated, leaving behind much calmer, somewhat clearer waters.  
Water temperatures in the bay right now are probably in the low 40s, estimated Carolyn Swartz, co-owner of Anglers All.  “With this warm-up coming now, those temperatures are going to go up into the 50s pretty quickly in the shallows,” she predicted.  “The water out in the big lake is in the high 30s to low 40s, which is about average, so we’ve managed to work our way into a normal spring.”
Folks will be out in force on the bay this weekend, motor trolling for trout and salmon, many of them flatlining stickbaits.
“There are still brown trout in the shallows on the Ashland side,” Carolyn noted.  “And I know there have been some nice northern pike being caught.  Plus, they are getting walleye during the lowlight hours along the shore.” 
She said anglers will find perch along the shoreline, too.  The sturgeon have been hanging around near shore as well, but as water temperatures rise those fish will move out into deeper water.
“There have been several legal sturgeon caught,” said Carolyn, “which is 50-plus inches!  They are soaking a smelt on the bottom for those.”
She reminds anglers that they will need to purchase a sturgeon harvest tag in advance for $20 if they intend to keep one of those and their bag limit is only one a year.
Fishing for steelhead (migratory rainbow trout) has remained productive in Lake Superior tributaries like the Sioux River and Fish Creek. 
“There are plenty of fish in the streams yet and now that the water level has gone down some, fishing should be at a really good point on those right now,” Carolyn said.
“And we are all definitely looking forward to a great smallmouth season!” Carolyn concluded.
It will be catch-and-release only on smallmouth bass starting tomorrow – Saturday, May 7 – and continuing through June 17.  Then from June 18 all the way until March 5, 2017, anglers are allowed to harvest one smallmouth that is a minimum length of 22 inches. 
Conditions on the inland lakes this weekend should be close to perfect for catching panfish, according to Luke Kavajecz, fishing guide with Anglers All.
In an interview published May 5 in the Ashland Daily Press, Luke said those fish “are probably not up on their beds yet, but they are definitely moving into the shallows.”
And although the waters on those inland lakes were still a bit cool, Luke said they will warm up fast, especially with a predicted high close to 90 today.  “By the weekend, they should be fishing good. I think it’s going to be great!”
** Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, Anglers All is a full-service tackle and fly shop with a professional guide service for Lake Superior and area inland lakes and rivers, offering the largest selection of baits and tackle in the Chequamegon Bay area.  For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at Anglers All and they will gladly keep you informed!  
   

~ Fishing guides from River Rock Inn and Bait Shop, 715/682-3232, report the following:
The waters of Chequamegon Bay have settled down nicely now in the absence of the gale-force winds that plagued the region last week.  The water clarity has improved considerably and the water level has come down a bit.
“Guys were starting to get out there trolling more this week,” said Scott Bretting, owner/operator of River Rock Inn & Bait Shop.  “And of course, bass fishing opens up this weekend.”
Scott said “anything that looks like a smelt or minnow is a good bait for trolling.  They’ve been going out around Long Island and Houghton Point, as well as the mouths of the Sioux and Onion (rivers).”
He said there are fish all over, including “some nice splake, brown trout, Coho, even some lakers.  Soon you’ll start seeing walleye show up.” 
The water is not quite warm enough yet for them to come to the shallows, Scott said.  
“They are staying deep, in the cooler water,” he explained, “but pretty soon you’ll start seeing them migrate, when the weather settles and they move up to spawn.  They’re in pre-spawn mode now.”
As far as bait for those, anglers will soak a smelt for northerns and sturgeons, plus the occasional brown, Scott commented.  “And we have crawlers and leeches available for walleye.”
One of the area’s “hidden jewels” as far as Scott is concerned is bringing in lake sturgeon. “They’ve been catching them out by the Ashland lighthouse.  They spawn this time of year up the Bad River, one of the few areas they do that.”
The streams are still doing well, Scott noted.  “The people fishing them are getting browns and steelhead. They’re not running as fast now either.”
Scott cautioned anglers and other outdoors enthusiasts that it is “pretty dry in the woods right now.  It’s like a tinder box out there, so please, be careful with any campfires this weekend.”
** Stop in and see their wide variety of live bait, fishing tackle, gear, accessories, smoked fish, local cheeses, meats, and microbrews, and much more at River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in Ashland.  Call River Rock for the most current ice fishing report and they’ll give you the 411 on the bay area!


~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports: 
Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area!  Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing.  The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.

Fishing inland waters
It is looking like great weather for the general inland fishing opener coming up this Saturday, May 7!  For Ashland County, there are no major changes to bag limits on most inland waterways.  
The 2016-17 Wisconsin hook & line fishing regulations provide for a harvest of 25 panfish per day for species such as bluegill, sunfish, pumpkinseed, crappie and yellow perch.  
Anglers are allowed a total of 5 walleye per day on inland lakes and streams.
Northern pike season also starts tomorrow, May 7, and runs through March 5, 2017.  The season limit is five northern pike of any length.
While many fish are fair game starting May 7, anglers are reminded that some seasons are still a ways off.  Smallmouth bass is catch-and-release only for inland waters in the Northern Zone and on Lake Superior and its connected sloughs until June 18, while the season opener for musky fishing isn’t until May 28.

License to fish
Wisconsin residents and non-residents 16 years of age and up will need a fishing license to fish any waters in the state.  An annual license costs $20.  Go online at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/regulations/hookline.html for more details.
Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, don’t need a fishing license.  They do need to carry proof of their age when fishing, however.
State residents who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are entitled to obtain a free license when they go on furlough or leave.

New this year
Motor trolling is now legal on all inland waters with one hook, bait, or lure and – depending on location – with up to three hooks, baits, or lures, according to the DNR website.
Most inland lakes and rivers within the Ceded Territory (which includes Ashland County) have a daily bag limit of 3 walleye.

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4/29/16 @ 11:48 AM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE
Last Quarter

CONDITIONS
Sunny

AIR TEMP
46° - 50° F
~ Fishing guides from Anglers All, 715/682-5754, report the following:

This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay. The area has received several inches of rain since Sunday accompanied by high winds.

“There’s a lot of dirty water out in the bay right now from all of the wild wind and weather,” said Carolyn Swartz, co-owner of Anglers All. “It’s going to take a few days for that to settle down.” Once that happens, folks will no doubt continue to troll for trout and salmon, many of them flatlining stickbaits.

“Near-shore trolling had been pretty good for splake and browns,” said Luke Kavajecz, Anglers All fishing guide, “but the water was still pretty cold, so this bite is just going to get better as it warms up a little.”

“Most people were working the shallows and looking for the mud lines,” said Carolyn. “There had been reports of Coho salmon, brown trout, steelhead, splake and lake trout all being caught, with browns being the most prevalent species.”

Both Carolyn and Luke said they are really looking forward to the fishing opener coming up in May.

“The smallies are already in their shallow-water places,” Carolyn noted. “It’s just a matter of getting the water to clear.” “We're all trying to hold back the excitement for our favorite fishing of the year,” commented Luke.

It will be catch and release only on the smallmouth bass starting May 7 and continuing through June 17. Then from June 18 all the way until March 5, 2017, anglers are allowed to harvest one smallmouth that is a minimum length of 22 inches.

“All of that rain should have brought fresh fish into the streams,” Carolyn continued. “It will be a few days until those swollen streams come down and then it will be great!”

Fishing for steelhead has remained productive in Lake Superior tributaries like the Sioux River and Fish Creek.

“Steelhead fishing has been excellent in the Brule River and other South Shore tribs,” Luke noted. “Most of the fish we're catching in the Brule right now are dropbacks, but there should still be fish around for a while yet.”

Carolyn said there have been some nice walleyes caught, mainly at night, on the Ashland shoreline. In addition, there have been quite a number of people fishing for sturgeon on either end of the Ashland breakwall.

“There have been several legal sturgeon caught,” said Carolyn, “which is 50-plus inches! They are soaking a smelt on the bottom for those.”

She reminds anglers that they will need a sturgeon tag to fish for those and their limit is only one a year.

“They are also catching northerns along the shoreline,” Carolyn added “Now that the smelt run is over, you will see more pike being caught. And once again, they are soaking a smelt for those.”

** Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, Anglers All is a full-service tackle and fly shop with a professional guide service for Lake Superior and area inland lakes and rivers, offering the largest selection of baits and tackle in the Chequamegon Bay area. For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at Anglers All and they will gladly keep you informed!

~ Fishing guides from River Rock Inn and Bait Shop, 715/682-3232, report the following:

Open-water fishing on Chequamegon Bay had been very good until the current weather system arrived, bringing gale-force winds and chilly temperatures to the Ashland area. The water in the bay right now is a reddish brown hue caused by all of the runoff from the rain-swollen streams, plus the surface is roiling and dotted with whitecaps.

“Before all of that wind started, trolling was great and there were some nice browns reported,” said Scott Bretting, owner/operator of River Rock Inn & Bait Shop. “There were lots of people fishing for northerns during the last week too, but with the way the lake is right now – the water’s all churned up and muddy – no one is going out.”

Bretting also noted that the “nor’easter wrecked our smelt season.” After what some reported as the best smelt harvest in several years, the run ended abruptly Sunday night when this unfavorable weather system moved in.

Because of the gale-force winds on the big lake, the smaller inland lakes have been seeing some action, however. “Panfish and crappies are getting in that spring mode,” Scott commented.

“The streams have still been offering good fishing,” said Nate Baron, River Rock employee and owner/operator of Up North Guide Service. “Steelhead are still moving pretty good on the streams.”

“The streams have been very high because of the heavy rain we’ve had,” Scott added, “but that should settle down next week. Once the weather settles down, things will be really good.”

“Guys who are out trolling are definitely getting quite a few Coho and browns,” Nate said. “They’re trolling shallow or off the shoreline, using stickbaits. They’re also going out and trolling off the islands.”

Scott said there were some awesome Coho salmon caught last Saturday, April 23, around the tip of Long Island and off Houghton Point.

** Stop in and see their wide variety of live bait, fishing tackle, gear, accessories, smoked fish, local cheeses, meats, and microbrews, and much more at River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in Ashland. Call River Rock for the most current ice fishing report and they’ll give you the 411 on the bay area!

~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports:

Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area! Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing. The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.

• The Sanborn Community Club will hold a Smelt Fry from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, at Sanborn Memorial Park. The tiny community of Sanborn is located a few miles south of Ashland. (Take Hwy. 112 or Sanborn Avenue out of town.) The park is on County Hwy. E in Sanborn. For more details, send an email to rose1234@cheqnet.net.

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4/14/16 @ 3:08 PM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE (56%)
Waxing Gibbous

CONDITIONS
Sunny

AIR TEMP
71° - 75° F

WATER TEMP
Below 40° F
~ Fishing guides from Anglers All, 715/682-5754, report the following:
This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay. Open-water season is finally here after ice-out early last week!!
“Fishing has been pretty good as long as people can find the mud lines,” said Carolyn Swartz, co-owner of Anglers All. “We’ve got a lot of dirty water out there right now, but the fishing definitely picks up as soon as you find those mud lines and the clean water that the fish like.”
“They will want to troll on the clean side of those mud lines,” Carolyn explained. “The fish like to hide in the dirty water and then pop out into the clean side.”
She said most people are trolling shallower-running stickbaits in anywhere from 3 to 10 foot of water. “Folks have been doing pretty well on browns along with some Coho, splake and the occasional steelhead,” Carolyn said.
And although the Washburn Marina is still iced in, folks wanting to launch their boats from Washburn can get out of Thompson’s West End Park and Bodin’s.
** Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, Anglers All is a full-service tackle and fly shop with a professional guide service for Lake Superior and area inland lakes and rivers, offering the largest selection of baits and tackle in the Chequamegon Bay area. For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at Anglers All and they will gladly keep you informed!

~ Fishing guides from River Rock Inn and Bait Shop, 715/682-3232, report the following:
Open-water fishing on Chequamegon Bay is here! “The landings are pretty much all open now and guys are out trolling,” according to Scott Bretting, owner/operator of River Rock Inn & Bait Shop. “There’ve been some nice browns reported,” he added.
“Anything that looks like a smelt” is a good bait for trout right now, Scott said, laughing. In addition, he highly recommends stickbaits such as Rapala, Smithwick, Reef Runner, and Bomber.
And speaking of smelt, the spawning run began last night in Ashland! “It sounds like they netted very few smelt last night, but this weekend will be the start of smelt season and we hope to have a good week of it,” Scott said. He reminds smelt enthusiasts that if you’re not a Wisconsin resident, you do need a license to harvest smelt.
River Rock will be selling whole smelt for $3 per pound or $6 per pound for cleaned smelt. “When they buy them cleaned, they actually get more per pound because then they’re not paying for the guts or head,” Scott pointed out.
Scott said there is still ice on quite a few of the area’s inland lakes and it’s “not fishable ice” either, so most of those are still in transition at the moment. “The spring fishing on the inland lakes is for panfish typically,” he noted. “It’s closed season (inland) for walleye and northerns right now, of course.”
“They’re fishing out by Houghton Point, at the mouth of the Onion River and over in Washburn off the coal dock. There’s still ice in the marina over there and here in Ashland so there’s no boats in those marinas yet, but it won’t be long now.”
Scott said there is also still a large pile of ice on the Ashland breakwall that resulted from the wind pushing the ice out and up onto the structure. “We still have a one-foot pile of snow in our yard here at River Rock, but that will be gone by tomorrow probably,” Scott commented. The water in the bay is still pretty dirty from the recent snowmelt and runoff, he noted.
“Guys are having success down by the ‘pig iron’ getting pike,” Scott said. “That area will be busy this weekend, I’m sure.”
“They’re still catching steelhead in the streams, but the runoff is pretty strong because of that 8 inches of snow we got last week,” Scott continued. “So the rivers are running pretty fast and furious right now, but they are going to clear up and be productive fishing spots in the next couple of days.”
He said stream fishermen have been doing well using spawn and yarn patterns. Egg patterns are another commonly used bait to attract steelies.
Scott said he is looking ahead to a wonderful weekend for fishing. “It’s great to see folks out on the lake and we’ve had some nice reports from off the Washburn coal dock. There are plenty of places where people can get their boat out so I think they are going to have an awesome weekend!”
** Stop in and see their wide variety of live bait, fishing tackle, gear, accessories, smoked fish, local cheeses, meats, and microbrews, and much more at River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in Ashland. Call River Rock for the most current ice fishing report and they’ll give you the 411 on the bay area!

~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports:
Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area! Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing. The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.

• The WJJH Spring Home & Sport Show is coming up this weekend, April 15-17, at the Bay Area Civic Center, 320 4th Ave. W., Ashland, featuring displays and demos of home and recreational products. Show hours are: Friday, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free admission all three days. For more information, call 715/682-2727.
• The Ashland Gun & Knife Show is set for April 22-24 at the Bay Area Civic Center, 320 4th Ave. W., Ashland. Show hours are: Friday from 4-8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guns on display and for sale. For more information, call Ray at 715/292-8415.

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3/31/16 @ 4:39 PM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE
Last Quarter

CONDITIONS
Cloudy

AIR TEMP
36° - 40° F
~ Fishing guides from Anglers All, 715/682-5754, report the following:
This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay. The ice has been in and out of the bay several times now, with the most recent change in wind direction blowing it back in last night. The amount of open water is definitely on the increase, however, and it shouldn’t be too much longer before the bay is completely free of ice.
“Back here we are still seeing ice by the boathouses,” noted Carolyn Swartz, co-owner of Anglers All on Ashland’s far east side, “but it’s clear to the west of us by the condos.”
Carolyn said from her vantage point she can still see ice in the bay over toward Washburn.
“I know there is some ice along the shoreline in places over in Washburn, but then there is open water around the coal dock. This stuff is going to keep moving back and forth until it totally disappears,” she said of the lingering ice. “We are in transition still, but we’re getting there.”
“Nobody from here (Anglers All) is even going to try smelting until next week,” she added. “I haven’t taken the water temperature yet to see where we’re at, but I don’t think it’s warm enough for them yet.” Those who plan to venture out and try trolling should look for clean water and mud lines, according to Carolyn. “They will want to troll on the clean side of those mud lines. The fish like to hide in the dirty water and then pop out into the clean side.”
Carolyn said the water is pretty high in the local rivers and streams after the recent rains and with the snowmelt. “The surrounding streams and tributaries are very high and dirty. It would be wise for people to wait until they come down a little.”
She said there is some steelhead fishing going on with people using spawn, yarn and flies “during the times when the rivers are fishable.”
** Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, Anglers All is a full-service tackle and fly shop with a professional guide service for Lake Superior and area inland lakes and rivers, offering the largest selection of baits and tackle in the Chequamegon Bay area. For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at Anglers All and they will gladly keep you informed!

~ Fishing guides from River Rock Inn and Bait Shop, 715/682-3232, report the following:
Open-water fishing on Chequamegon Bay is getting closer every day. “With this rain and if the winds are right, we may have no ice out there by the weekend,” said an optimistic Scott Bretting, owner/operator of River Rock Inn & Bait Shop.
“But either way people are starting to get out,” Scott continued, citing the example of an area angler who had luck trolling in front of Second Landing. “He launched his boat from his house further east though because Second Landing is still locked in,” Scott explained, adding that the man reported there was still ice about 2 miles out.
Other folks have been fishing off the Ashland Marina seawall and Washburn coal dock, as well as the open water around the ore dock base. Scott said he has received reports of some nice trout and salmon catches.
“People have been fishing from both the Short Bridge and Long Bridge west of Ashland,” said Scott, “and the ‘pig iron’ beach down by the (Xcel Energy) power plant west of the breakwall. Once the ice moves out, that will turn into an active spot for early-season pike.”
Trout fishing season opened up last Saturday on designated sections of some Lake Superior tributaries. Anglers have been out after rainbow trout and steelhead in the lower streams from the sloughs inland, including the Sioux, Onion and Brule rivers as well as Fish Creek.
“We’ve had nice reports of stream fishing for steelhead,” Scott said. “They are up high in the creeks already, which seems kind of early, but the last two years we had ice and snow until May.”
He said egg patterns are a commonly used bait to attract steelies. “They are using spawn sacs, brightly colored yarn, spinners … looper bugs are also working for some people.”
Scott said the inland lakes are starting to open up, too. “Those should see lots of action in the next week with the increasing open water.”
Despite previous hopes for an early smelt run this year, it now looks like we won’t see any smelt action until at least the second week of April, Scott noted last week. This will put us at about our normal pace because the smelt don’t typically start their spawning run until the third or fourth week in April. The run usually commences shortly after ice-out on the bay and lasts only 12-14 days.
“It should be a real good smelt season without any ice blocking them from making their spawning run,” Scott commented. “And we know there’s plenty of smelt in the bay because they were catching them all winter.”
** Stop in and see their wide variety of live bait, fishing tackle, gear, accessories, smoked fish, local cheeses, meats, and microbrews, and much more at River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in Ashland. Call River Rock for the most current ice fishing report and they’ll give you the 411 on the bay area!

~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports:
Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area! Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing. The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.

• The Annual Bay Area Farm & Garden Show and 4-H Dairy Breakfast will be held this Saturday, April 2, at the Bay Area Civic Center in Ashland featuring 4-H displays and the popular “Largest Scrambled Egg Omelet” dairy breakfast in the Northland. Look for local honey and other dairy displays. There will be fun for the entire family! The 54-inch frying pan will once again be used to prepare the “All-Wisconsin Scrambled Omelet” that serves 100 people and weighs about 50 pounds. The omelets will be prepared in the exhibit area. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare each omelet, which contains one-half pound of butter, six pounds of cheddar cheese, six pounds of ham, 250 eggs, onions, mushrooms and salt and pepper. 715/682-2500

• The Wild Rivers Chapter of Trout Unlimited will hold their Fishing Expo and Auction on Saturday, April 2, from 1-7 pm at the Ponzio Center on the Northland College Campus. The event will feature two great speakers: Great Lakes Stream Restoration Manager for Trout Unlimited Laura MacFarland and fishing guide Luke Kavajecz from Anglers All. Activities include fly fishing instructions, bucket raffles, and a live auction.

• The Washburn Area Ducks Unlimited Banquet is set for Thursday, April 7, from 5:30-10 p.m. at the Steak Pit, 125 Harbor View Dr., Washburn. This popular annual event features many quality guns & prizes, plus an awesome cooked-to-order steak dinner. For more information, call 715/373-2087 or 715/779-3639.

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3/28/16 @ 5:29 PM
FATHER BOB
FATHER BOB
USER since 3/8/14
are any smelt showing up yet?

Post Your Comment
3/11/16 @ 3:49 PM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE (10%)
Waxing Crescent

CONDITIONS
Sunny

AIR TEMP
56° - 60° F
~ Fishing guides from Anglers All, 715/682-5754, report the following:
This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay. With daytime highs in the 40s and even some 50s, ice conditions are changing very rapidly now.
“Can you get out there (on the ice) is one question,” noted Carolyn Swartz, co-owner of Anglers All in Ashland, “but then the flip side of that is can you get back afterward? The boat landings are certainly problematic.”
“Water is starting to go through the holes that were already drilled on the ice,” she continued. “If it stays cloudy like it is today, the ice should hold up fine for the weekend. But if the sun comes out, it’s going to eat up that ice quickly.”
Carolyn said anglers who are determined to go out should bring an ice bar and check their way as they go. And she reminded everyone to be sure to wear a flotation device. Extreme caution is advised!
On a drive up the Bayfield Peninsula this week Carolyn saw that there are floating icebergs between Bayfield and Madeline Island. She said that leaving off of the coal dock in Washburn is no longer possible because a pressure crack has opened up too wide for an ATV to get through safely.
“Your best bet now is to spend the time getting your summer gear ready,” Carolyn suggested. “Check over everything and start prepping your boat. Open-water fishing will be here before we know it!”
** Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, Anglers All is a full-service tackle and fly shop with a professional guide service for Lake Superior and area inland lakes and rivers, offering the largest selection of baits and tackle in the Chequamegon Bay area. For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at Anglers All and they will gladly keep you informed!

~ Fishing guides from River Rock Inn and Bait Shop, 715/682-3232, report the following:
Although the fishing was grand last weekend for the annual Ice-O-Rama tournament held out at Second Landing, conditions have deteriorated to the point now that fishing guide Scott Bretting said he wouldn’t advise anyone to venture out on the ice of Chequamegon Bay.
“I don’t recommend travel on the ice right now, this year especially,” the owner/operator of River Rock Inn & Bait Shop said. “It never was a good ice year. We’ve had marginal ice all winter and now with this weather, no way. Conditions are too unpredictable.”
“The snow in my yard was gone overnight, that’s how fast it’s happening,” Scott noted, adding that there is a lot of high water in area creeks and streams right now from snow melt.
In response to a question about intrepid (or perhaps insane) anglers who were seen sitting on what appeared to be chairs within a few feet of open water near the “hot pond” earlier in the week, Scott said “they were after cohos.” He also observed that “they must not have gotten any because you notice they haven’t been back.”
UPDATE: Anglers were again positioned daringly close to the edge of the ice shelf by the Xcel Energy warm-water discharge pool (or hot pond) on Friday morning (3/11). Make of that what you will, but it looks highly ill-advised to the average observer.
Scott said he “had a lot of fun” participating in the 29th Annual Ice-O-Rama held last Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by the North Wisconsin Rod & Gun Club.
“I caught a lot of whitefish and I know they had good reports of perch and northerns,” Scott said. “A 21-pound northern pike won the tournament. A local guy who hadn’t been catching many fish caught that huge pike on a perch rod using less than a 6-pound test line. If he hadn’t been an experienced angler, it would have gotten away.”
Scott said he was pleased to have caught his five-whitefish limit on Saturday for a great meal Sunday with his family. “We battered them up and then cooked them in an electric skillet,” he explained. “Man, they were good! Sometimes we will broil them or cook them out on the grill, but whitefish are good any way you prepare them. They’re just a great, all-around eating fish.”
Bretting is cautiously optimistic about the chances for an early ice-out this year and with it perhaps an early smelt run.
“None of the boat landings are open yet,” he said. “They’re all still locked in with ice. We’re definitely in a transition time right now. That could last a month or more.”
“Ice-out typically occurs during the second or third week of April, but it’s certainly possible it could be earlier this year. We’re looking at the earliest we’ve ever changed over our store from winter to spring tackle, I can tell you that,” Scott added.
He noted that commercial fishermen are able to get out on the lake from Bayfield, meaning his bait shop has fresh fish for sale right now. So if you can’t get out and catch them yourself at the moment, you can still enjoy a terrific meal of locally-sourced lake trout or whitefish!
** Stop in and see their wide variety of live bait, fishing tackle, gear, accessories, smoked fish, local cheeses, meats, and microbrews, and much more at River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in Ashland. Call River Rock for the most current ice fishing report and they’ll give you the 411 on the bay area!

~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports:
Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area! Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing. The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.

• The Annual Pan-a-Rama Ice Fishing Tournament will take place this Saturday, March 12, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Northern Lure Resort & Campground on Gordon Lake in Glidden. This contest is for panfish only. There is a $5 entry fee. Prizes will be awarded for the biggest panfish in several categories. Lunch will be served. For more information, call 715/264-3677 or visit www.northernlure.com.

• The Snowbelt Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will host their 16th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet on Saturday, March 12, at the AmericInn Lodge & Suites, 3009 E. Lake Shore Dr., Ashland. Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. Ticket includes the dinner and membership in the NWTF. This is the Snowbelt Longbeards Chapter’s annual fundraising and membership banquet. There will be a pre-event raffle and early bird incentive drawing. For more information, call 715/893-2216 or 715/893-2270.

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3/4/16 @ 12:49 PM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE (23%)
Waning Crescent

CONDITIONS
Cloudy

AIR TEMP
31° - 35° F
~ Fishing guides from Anglers All, 715/682-5754, report the following:
This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay. Fishing continues to be pretty good for those who are venturing out. A wide variety of fish are being caught in the area, including brown trout, whitefish, perch, northern pike and splake.
The wind and warmer temperatures are causing the ice to deteriorate and with next week’s predicted highs in the mid-40s and 50s, we may be looking at an early ice-out this year.
“We lost the ice on the outside of Houghton Point,” noted Carolyn Swartz, co-owner of Anglers All in Ashland. “That wind the other day took everything out.”
She said there is still “plenty of good ice within the bay proper. We’re expecting good fishing for the North Wisconsin Rod and Gun Club’s Ice-O-Rama tournament out at Second Landing.”
Carolyn said the fishing report is pretty much the same with the late afternoon hours into sunset having the best bite during this past week. She said her cousin caught a big brown out by the Ashland Breakwater Lighthouse in the afternoon a few days ago.
“Everything is moving through the channel now,” she said, “so they can expect to find fish in shallow water or in up to 35-40 foot of water.” Carolyn recommends travel on the ice by snowmobile/ATV or on foot. “The ice isn’t such that you would want to drive a car or truck out there.”
On the inland lakes, people have been finding some good crappies and bluegills over in the Iron River and Delta areas. “There is a lot of slush reported on most of the inland lakes,” Carolyn noted.
With the unusually warm winter the northland has experienced, Carolyn urged anglers to be very mindful of ice safety.
“People are going to have to be prepared for some conditions they don’t normally face here at this time of the year,” she noted. “They really need to go back to checking their way as they go and using extreme caution.
** Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, Anglers All is a full-service tackle and fly shop with a professional guide service for Lake Superior and area inland lakes and rivers, offering the largest selection of baits and tackle in the Chequamegon Bay area. For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at Anglers All and they will gladly keep you informed!

~ Fishing guides from River Rock Inn and Bait Shop, 715/682-3232, report the following:
“Looks like it’s going to be a fast spring,” commented Scott Bretting, fishing guide and owner/operator of River Rock Inn & Bait Shop. “With temperatures in the 50s next week, that ice is going to go quick! The ice I fished on last Saturday (near the mouth of the Sioux River) is no longer there, so that should give you an indication of where we’re at.”
Scott said there is open water right now from the tip of Long Island to the tip of Houghton Point.
“In the thickest spots, there’s only a foot and a half of ice out there,” he continued. “This is not a normal year where we have three feet out there, so it’s going to go fast when we get the warmer weather next week.” But in the meantime, anglers are having a ball.
“Last weekend the fishing was fantastic!” Scott enthused. “On Saturday we had gorgeous weather. We were sitting out on the ice in 55-degree weather; it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Scott said he “caught lots of whitefish. And it was an early morning bite – by 10 o’clock, it was done.” He said he also got some “brown trout, splake, a mix of things.”
The usual spots – such as the Ashland lighthouse, off Second Landing 3 miles east of Ashland, and off the Ashland shoreline by the marina – have all been producing fish, Scott said.
There were a lot of fish reported during the annual Neighborly Bar ice fishing contest held last Saturday. “A big northern won the contest, a 15-pounder,” Scott noted, “because they couldn’t get out to where the lake trout are.”
“But people were fishing all over the bay from end to the other, in front of the creeks at the head of the bay, all the way to the mouth of the Kakagon Sloughs and out to Houghton Point, and over by Second Landing.” He said plenty of smelt also were caught in front of the Ashland lighthouse.
“The perch off of Second Landing are picking up in numbers,” said Scott, “but if you’re catching only small ones, move. Because there are some schools of small ones swimming around out there, but we’ve had some nice reports of some big ones, 9-14 inches.”
He said that lake shiners are working well for perch and for most fish. “Tip-ups with a shiner are definitely a mainstay. Jigging with a waxie on a buckshot or pimple is always good for perch and gold has been a good color.”
Scott said anglers are getting northern pike too in the same spots as the perch, so going off of Second Landing is a good plan for those targeting pike.
“Walleye are showing up too on the east side of the bay in the Second Landing area,” Scott added. “They will eventually go up the Kakagon Sloughs to spawn. They’re pre-spawn right now, so they’re feeding pretty heavily.”
Scott noted that anglers are using “crappie minnows” or “small fatheads” on the inland lakes to get those panfish like bluegills. “Some nice crappies have been reported on those. Waxies are working, too.”
** Stop in and see their wide variety of live bait, fishing tackle, gear, accessories, smoked fish, local cheeses, meats, and microbrews, and much more at River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in Ashland. Call River Rock for the most current ice fishing report and they’ll give you the 411 on the bay area!

~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports:
Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area! Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing. The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.

• The 29th Annual Ice-O-Rama ice fishing contest sponsored by the North Wisconsin Rod & Gun Club will be held this Saturday and Sunday, March 5-6. The contest starts at 5 a.m. Saturday and continues through noon on Sunday. There will be $100 prizes awarded for five categories of fish, plus cash prizes for the 2nd and 3rd largest fish in each category. In addition, a raffle drawing for five Grand Prizes will take place at 1 p.m. on March 6 at the Rod & Gun Club, 67032 Sloughs Lane (Second Landing), Ashland. Contestants may fish at their own risk anywhere on Chequamegon Bay. All fish must be registered by noon on Sunday, March 6. No frozen fish will be registered. For more information, call 715/685-9778.

• The Annual Pan-a-Rama Ice Fishing Tournament will take place on Saturday, March 12, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Northern Lure Resort & Campground on Gordon Lake in Glidden. This contest is for panfish only. There is a $5 entry fee. Prizes will be awarded for the biggest panfish in several categories. Lunch will be served. For more information, call 715/264-3677 or visit www.northernlure.com.

• The Snowbelt Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will host their 16th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet on Saturday, March 12, at the AmericInn Lodge & Suites, 3009 E. Lake Shore Dr., Ashland. Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. Ticket includes the dinner and membership in the NWTF. This is the Snowbelt Longbeards Chapter’s annual fundraising and membership banquet. There will be a pre-event raffle and early bird incentive drawing. For more information, call 715/893-2216 or 715/893-2270.

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