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Vilas County Lakes

Vilas County, Wisconsin
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Displaying 11 to 20 of 17,844 posts
9/25/23 @ 8:25 AM
Kurt Justice
User since 5/12/04
Good fishing or poor, this is the time to be here in the Northwoods.  The colors are getting prettier (never used that word in this report before) every day.   Forecast for lows in mid-50’s to highs in mid-70’s will make for a great week to be outdoors.
Largemouth Bass:  Good – Nice “green” Bass hitting spinnerbaits and chatterbaits for anglers targeting Pike.   Cabbage flats holding best action.   Typical plastic tactics using creatures and Wackys picking up fish along edges of weeds.
Smallmouth Bass:  Good – Nice fish off gravel humps in 14-26’.  Ned rigs, drop-shots and tubes.  Still some BIG Smallies relating to inside weed edges taking top-water (Whopper Ploppers, etc.).
Musky:  Good – With water temps in mid-60’s and forecast as stated above, bucktails and top-water relatively shallow (4-10’) best.  This bite will remain until water cools to mid-50’s (turn-over) so keep those blades a turnin’ for now!
Walleye:  Good – Action very dependent on daily conditions (Thursdays high skies – Ouch!).   But overall fish being caught jigging large fats or 1/2 crawlers on 1/8 – 1/4 oz jigs or #2.5 - #3 Shiver Minnows over gravel humps.  Some days, when gravel not producing, scale back to 1/16 oz weedless and hit outside weed edges to find eater Walleyes and Perch mixed.
Northern Pike:  Good – Chasing down spinnerbaits, Mepps Aglias #4 or #5’s and chatterbaits over cabbage flats.  Clear days pick through the weeds with jig and chub on wire leader.
Yellow Perch:  Good – Very nice Perch relating to wood and weed pockets in 5-8’.  1/2 crawler 1st choice, but medium – large fats picking up Perch to 12” this past week.
Bluegill:  Good – Nice Gills continue to show up, with measured 8-10” not uncommon.  Can’t beat a crawler/bobber combo in 6-10’ where good green cabbage or drowned wood available.
Crappie:  Good - Fair – This one really depends on who you talk to.  Some decent catches reported, but not to the typical “fall” standard.  The bobber/minnow crowd picking up some success, but other anglers fan casting small spinners, beetle spins finding fish suspended 5-8’ down over 20-25’ outside weed edges.  Start up (where fish are typically active) and work down until you find biters!
Except for some early week rain, looks like a great week of consistent weather.  Great time to enjoy the Northwoods.
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9/24/23 @ 10:25 PM
John Andrew
User since 8/10/09
Back to posting after a few days of non posting. 
Many Bass boated today.

 Some very good size.
All fish on deep rocks.
Water temp at 65.
Some rain.
Rain tomorrow, as reported.
A "special thank you" to M.J. Taylor for her I. T.  expertise.
Awesome job M. J..
Some openings in October. 
As always, stay positive think clearly, do not listen to negative talk and do not listen to negative people.
God Bless John Andrew

Vilas County Lakes photo by John Andrew
Vilas County Lakes photo by John Andrew
Vilas County Lakes photo by John Andrew
9/24/23 @ 11:18 AM
Fillet Show
User since 7/14/08
I Agree Misty1.  I try to let it pass, just like some jerk on the road.  I have never had words with someone other than a quick passive-aggressive comment they might not even hear.  It’s not worth it in the end, and makes you feel how we would driving in rush hour traffic, which is a feeling we are all trying to escape as we fish the northwoods.  
My experience on the lakes was mixed.  I like the habitat and scenery, but it was tough to fish given the bright calm day and weekend traffic.  We managed a little of everything.  Launched on Clear, I think, in some back bay for duck hunting boats.  Great view coming out with fog and sunrise, but took some time.  I think we spent 80 percent of our time on Clear.

tight lines,
9/22/23 @ 3:28 PM
User since 5/7/19
My last post on this issue. This is a fishing thread. 

Sorry to hear that you had a similar experience as we did. Most people are very friendly and polite, Respect others fishing/skiing/pontooning.  Sad that the DNR didn’t ticket.  I actually pulled up along side of one of the perpetrators and had a few choice words with him and his “sweetie”.  His response verbatim. “My bad”. Sounds kinda familiar?  

Same day as Sweetie day.  We fished all the humps on Clear for musky and walleye. No takers   

Enjoy the lakes, be respectful, and don’t let others ruin your time fishing. ​
9/22/23 @ 9:30 AM
Fillet Show
User since 7/14/08

I was up on the chain for the first time 2 weeks ago.  It was fun to try and dissect unknown water, but I agree with you about the rude behavior.  We experienced boats coming between us and shore on full plane with a no wake buoy 20 yards from us.  Two boats within 3 minutes came through, and guess what?  A DNR boat saw the 2nd boat do this, and pulled up to them to let them know they broke the law.  The boater said, “sorry, my bad” and the DNR said, OK.  Why not ticket these poor sportsman and violators.  They were 20 feet from shore, 20 feet from us fishing, and were going 40mph!  I was excited to see they got caught, but extremely disappointed to see the law let them off the hook.  At least hop on board and give them some hassle, check for licenses and PFDs.  
Might be my last time on the chain.
Tight lines,
9/20/23 @ 1:00 PM
User since 5/29/11
Misty1 that will never happen.  Those kind of rude fisherman think YOU should be the one staying home. It's their water in their pea brain.
9/20/23 @ 9:56 AM
Steve Strait
User since 7/19/23
Partly Sunny 72°
Water: 69°
Weed Beds
I have had the pleasure to have this family for the past 6 years. We always do two days half day for muskies and the other half bass. The two half days on muskies we only could manage follows. The bass were on fire both days with many boated that were very nice. The bass and muskies were both weed related and if there was wood present even better. All muskies and bass were in 5 foot of water or less. Both days we had a northwest wind. All bass were taken on plastics. We through bucktails gliders and rubber for muskies. We finished up with a fish fry. 

God Bless 
Steve , I still have some open days for ice guides.
Vilas County Lakes photo by Steve Strait
Vilas County Lakes photo by Steve Strait
Vilas County Lakes photo by Steve Strait
9/18/23 @ 2:18 PM
User since 5/7/19
Fished our Chain(MW) this weekend.  Struck out on Musky but managed to put about 20 Walleyes in the boat in 3 hours. All released. 3 in the 17 inch range.  Jig/minnow 16-22 feet.  

on another note, in the 20 years of living on the Chain, never have I seen so many disrespected fisherman as I did Saturday during the “bring your sweetie” Bass  fishing tournament. Had 3 instances of just plain poor behavior. (Polite use of words). Flying by other fishermen in channel full throttle 30 feet away. While other boats are fishing. Running between our boat-while fishing- and shore full throttle in 4 feet of water. Maybe 20 feet offshore. As far as I am concerned they can stay home 
9/18/23 @ 10:25 AM
Kurt Justice
User since 5/12/04
Mid-September, early fall and so far, very typical of early fall.  Lows in the 40’s highs upper 60’s to low 70’s.  Surface water temps had dropped quickly last week from low 70’s to low 60’s, but have settled now into averages of 61-65 degrees.                                           
Smallmouth Bass:  Good-Very Good – While most anglers reporting Smallies over rock/gravel bars in 20-30’ on drop-shot rigs, tubes, coontail edges with sandgrass lawns in 16-20’ also holding cruising Smallies.  Some reports of very shallow, 3-8’, Smallies hitting X-Raps and Husky Jerks on overcast days.
Largemouth Bass:  Good – Nice fish in heavy cabbage taking chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and shallow cranks.
Bluegill:  Good – Large Gills this week (to 10” measured) taking 1/2 crawlers, small minnows and Mini-Mites in 7-10’ cabbage and drowned wood.  Not summer numbers, but fewer and larger average.
Musky:  Good – While mostly action on bucktails and top-water, some reports of gliders and jerks like Suicks and Smity Jerks with tails.  Shallow water, 3-8’, for most action.  Not a lot on suckers yet, water temps averaging 65 degrees, so that bite best once water cools a bit more.
Yellow Perch:  Good – Nice Perch on medium fats or 1/2 crawlers on 1/16 oz weedless jigs around cribs and drowned wood.
Northern Pike:  Good – Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and 4-5” swimbaits over 6-10’ weed beds producing nice Pike as they start to “fatten” up.  Jig and chub/sucker combos also effective.
Walleye:  Good-Fair – Frustratingly spotty at times.  Fishing gravel/rock humps or 18-30’ using Shiver Minnows (2.5-3) and Jigging Raps (#7-#9) great way to pick up active fish.  Work areas back with 1/8-1/4 oz jigs tipped with large fats, medium chubs or crawlers to pick up light biters.
Crappie:  Fair – Surprisingly missing from most reports.  Anglers targeting suspended Crappies finding fish drifting slip-bobbers with medium fats and trolling small cranks.  Others targeting fish relating to drowned wood in 8-15’ reporting small jigs with 1-2” twister tails on soft minnow baits picking up fish.
This coming week’s forecast shows lows in low to mid-40’s but temps into mid-70’s for highs.  Water temps probably won’t move much this week so I don’t expect a lot of change in fishing activity.
9/17/23 @ 5:18 PM
User since 5/29/11
Team Extreme you fish WI all the time not knowing the regs is inexcusable. 
Displaying 11 to 20 of 17,844 posts

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