~ 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.