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Vilas County Lakes

Vilas County, Wisconsin
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 17,843 posts
10/3/23 @ 9:16 AM
Kurt Justice
User since 5/12/04
Looks as if Mother Nature is going through the “Change”!  You know, hot (10/1 – 88 degrees) to cold (10/5,6,7 – highs of upper 40’s, bbbrrrr!)   Short sleeves, sunburn, swatting flies to pull out the long johns!  It’s that time of year, we should expect anything to happen.
Water temps, thanks to the heat of late, have risen into the mid-upper 60’s.  Following a wet week, it’s hard to believe things didn’t cool off more.  Once Saturday (9/30) mornings storm moved out, conditions have become very nice as people were seen taking advantage of what might have been the last “nice weekend”.  We’ll see.
Bluegill:  Good–Very Good – Sunny, warm weather following all that rain has the Gills fired up.   Great catches of 7-9”, thick Gills with a few honest 10” measured to send off September.  Crawlers and floats.  Weeds of 8-12’ or available cribs or drowned wood.
Yellow Perch:  Good-Very Good – Cabbage edges in the same 7-10’ depths as well as cribs or wood.   Nice Perch to 12” taking 1/2 crawlers or medium fatheads on 1/16 oz jigs or under slip-floats.
Smallmouth Bass:  Good-Very Good – Big bronze backs still hitting Whopper Ploppers and Choppo’s in shallow, 3-8’ depths.  Twitchbaits (X-Raps, Husky Jerks) also producing in these areas.  Nice, fat Smallies to 21” this past week.
Largemouth Bass:  Good – Green weeds holding plenty of Largemouth.  Wacky Worms, jig and Sweet Beavers as well as chatterbaits and spinnerbaits all producing well.
Crappie:  Good – Lake fish still suspending outside weeds.  Work from 5’ to as much as 15’ down outside coontail edges of 18-24’.   Wood holding some fish.  Medium fats, small jig/plastics and 1/16 oz beetle spins working best.
Northern Pike:  Good-Fair – Not as much, as water warmed past couple days, but should pick up on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and 4-5” swimbaits this weekend.
Walleye:  Good-Fair – Rain and overcast last week helped until lightening storm shut fishing down on Saturday (9/30).  Still, Shiver Minnows (#2.5-#3), Jigging Raps (#7’s & #9), 1/4 oz – 3/8 oz jigs tipped with crawlers, fatheads or chubs along gravel/mud transitions in 18-30’.   On flowages, fish light, weedless jigs with 3-4” redtail or black chubs through timber along river channels.
Musky:  Good-Fair – Electric storm hurt, but still some good action on bucktails and top-water this past week.  A few reports on sucker action, but with this weekend’s outlook for a sharp drop in highs (88 to 48) expect the sucker bite to get hot!
Fishing pressure on some species such as Bass and Gills will likely drop following the cold to come.  On the other hand, Musky, Walleye, and for a while, Crappie action should pick up.
Colors still beautiful, with more to come.  Bundle up and come see for yourself.
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10/3/23 @ 5:30 AM
Steve Strait
User since 7/19/23
Sunny 71°
Water: 65°
Brush Piles
I had the pleasure of fishing with David and Norm. The fish were on fire.  Catching crappies walleyes and big small mouth. All fish were in 25 feet of water casting a plane hook with a split shot and a very slow retrieve to trigger the fish that were very tight to wood. Norm was fighting a small mouth about 3 pounds and a big musky charged in and grabbed it by its tail and just shredded it. That was exciting. We finished the day with a shore lunch and great conversation with a lot of laughs.

Thanks again David and Norm. Again Norm thanks for your service to this country.

Veterans discounts available
I still have some open dates for ice guides.
Vilas County Lakes photo by Steve Strait
Vilas County Lakes photo by Steve Strait
Vilas County Lakes photo by Steve Strait
9/29/23 @ 8:49 PM
User since 5/21/11
The bigger lakes tend to be better fishing, but now that the boat traffic has died down the smaller ones may turn on. I like eagle sports for bait and info.
9/29/23 @ 9:54 AM
User since 6/9/15
My parents are heading up to a place on the Eagle River chain tomorrow. I would love for them to have success on the water. What lakes do you recommend that I send them too for walleye or crappie/panfish? Or at a minimum which bait shop do you suggest I have him stop in at to get info?-thanks a bunch!
9/28/23 @ 4:48 PM
Dave Musch
User since 5/2/08
Raining 58°
Water: 63°
Client Rich and I Fished yesterday morning For walleyes. Conditions were a light  misting rain off and on. Caught lots of walleyes on jig and crawlers in 20 ft. depths.The fall bite is on in this type of lake.
Vilas County Lakes photo by Walleye Only Guide Service
9/27/23 @ 9:13 AM
John Andrew
User since 8/10/09
Switched over to a Perch day. 
More of the nicest clients any Guide could ever want to work with.
My hat goes off to this couple.
Yes, I can hear the oil popping on Lake Crisco, even this early in the day. 
Water temp at 64.
All fish deep.
Partly cloudy, some plastics and some live bait. 
Strikes were subtle. 
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
9/26/23 @ 8:12 PM
Only Walleyes
User since 5/5/12
That is because crappies are so easy to catch in the fall. Will not last forever as a few people are taking 25 crappies aday
9/26/23 @ 10:58 AM
User since 5/25/06
Is there any reason why guys are hitting the flowages more so than the big lakes? Are the big lakes just not producing now because of the fall changes underway? Are the crappies more readily available on the flowages and people are looking to capitalize more so on those and walleyes? Just trying to gauge why it seems people are fishing the flowages more so than the big lakes at this point in the season. Any feedback would be helpful in planning my next few lakes this upcoming weekend. 
9/25/23 @ 4:58 PM
Steve Strait
User since 7/19/23
Cloudy 71°
Water: 65°
Weed Beds
Earlier this year, as in past years, I donate a day to either "Take a Vet Fishing" or the "Wounded Warriors" programs for our Vets. Both are outstanding programs. I had the pleasure of having Nick and Ryan in the boat this year from the Wounded Warriors program. Both  wanted to catch some fish so they could have a good fish fry. So we went after crappies and perch.  Ryan and Nick both caught many and kept just enough for each to have a good fish fry. All fish were taken on weed lines in 8 foot of water on minnows and set 3 feet down reeling them back in slow and pausing. 

I give discounts to vets and still have some open days for ice guides this year.

I would like to thank all of our Vets past and present for their service.

God Bless you and your families.

Steve Strait, Sr.
Vilas County Lakes photo by Steve Strait
Vilas County Lakes photo by Steve Strait
Vilas County Lakes photo by Steve Strait
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.
Displaying 1 to 10 of 17,843 posts

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