Chequamegon Bay, Ashland County

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5/26/16 @ 5:12 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 @ 2:12 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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5/17/16 @ 8:45 AM
jboutdoorguy
jboutdoorguy
USER since 6/15/12

What thinking of going up for smallies Friday. Are they doing anything yet? Anybody know water temps? Feel free to pm me. Thanks

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5/11/16 @ 7:42 PM
FISHING REPORT
fshnfvr
fshnfvr
USER since 5/24/06

MOON PHASE (30%)
Waxing Crescent

Nets are out and have been out in the islands. Will start near Long and Madeline island shortly. 3 coho and a brown Saturday near Otter

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5/11/16 @ 12:26 PM
Gone 4 Now
Gone 4 Now
USER since 4/26/08

June 1st

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5/10/16 @ 9:09 PM
EYEfanatic
EYEfanatic
USER since 11/26/10

Whenever they want. 

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5/10/16 @ 6:03 PM
FISHING REPORT
slay 'n em
slay 'n em
USER since 1/4/11

MOON PHASE (20%)
Waxing Crescent

Does anyone know the official date of when commercial fisherman can start putting their nets out?  

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5/10/16 @ 6:52 AM
Kam9381
Kam9381
USER since 3/20/12

Nothing on the opener, or Bass so far?  I'm itching to hear how things are setting up.  Headed up for my annual trip on 5/20.  Any current Temps in the sloughs would be awesome.......

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5/7/16 @ 3:30 PM
CNT
CNT
USER since 7/14/06

Any current water temps in sloughs much appreciated.

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5/6/16 @ 2:08 PM
FISHING REPORT
Mary McPhetridge
ashland
USER since 4/22/10

MOON PHASE
New Moon

~ 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 on 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.


Edited on 5/6/16 2:26 PM
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4/29/16 @ 11:50 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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4/25/16 @ 1:34 PM
FISHING REPORT
Siscowet
Siscowet
USER since 11/24/15

MOON PHASE (89%)
Waning Gibbous

CONDITIONS
Raining

AIR TEMP
36° - 40° F

WATER TEMP
40° - 45° F
Brown Trout and Coho have been good, but competing with the best smelt run in years. Scatter raps and Rebel Fast Tracs have been producing on the surface. Not much on downriggers. Spring Apostle Islands Sport Fishermen's Association meeting! On 7pm, Wednesday April 27, 2016 The AISA will have our Spring Membership meeting in the basement meeting room of the Washburn Library, 307 Washington Ave. Washburn, WI We have George Meyers, Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation as a speaker. George will be outlining the role the WWF plays in representing the Sportsmen of Wisconsin. The AISA is considering joining the WWF so come listen and learn with us. In addition, we will be holding our first ever 50/50 raffle. Tickets will be $1 each, with the winning ticket taking 50% of the proceeds. Come early and get your tickets! We will also have tickets for the Coho Madness 50/50 raffle available, Drawing on September 16, with up to a $2500 prize! In addition we will have biannual election of the club officers. An eventful night, hope you can make it.

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4/18/16 @ 3:06 AM
FISHING REPORT
Guns-n-bowses
Guns-n-bowses
USER since 4/14/16

MOON PHASE (89%)
Waxing Gibbous
Went out from 9:30-12:30. Started slow ended decent. Probably would've done a lot better if we were in an area that had a beach but unfortunately too many people like always so we had the left over rocky areas but still managed a big cooler full.

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4/17/16 @ 11:57 AM
HUBB
HUBB
USER since 12/16/04
Few more

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4/17/16 @ 11:54 AM
FISHING REPORT
HUBB
HUBB
USER since 12/16/04

MOON PHASE (83%)
Waxing Gibbous

CONDITIONS
Partly Sunny

AIR TEMP
61° - 65° F

WATER TEMP
Below 40° F
Fished Washburn Friday afternoon and Saturday. Large areas of muddy water in the bay with temps ranging from 37°-42° depending on the clarity. Trolled shallow to deep from Washburn to Onion/Sioux River with best success around 20 feet of water. Bright flicker shads and Brad's Thinfish produced the most fish. Smelt run just started. Big Smile

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