Northwood's Fishing Report: Early August
Happy Summer everyone! Fishing in Wisconsin's Northwoods has been really good. We are receiving very good fishing reports from our guide staff and customers who are fishing in the Minocqua area. The weather has settled down a bit and has been summer type conditions. Most of our water temps will range from the low to mid 70's depending on what type of a system you are on.
The panfish bite has been great. In talking with our staff member and guide staff member Fred Palermo, he and his clients have been doing very well. Freddy has been locating most of his panfish in the 9'12' range over green weeds. They have been using mini-mites, crawlers, leeches and Crappie minnows on slip bobbers with great success. Fred also is always on Crappies big time; Freddy has a way of locating suspended Crappies out in main lake basins which is pretty hard to do. He follows their movements all season and has great knowledge of where they are locating and how to catch them.
The Walleye bit continues to be great. Our staff member and guide staff member Doug Smith recently guided his clients to what they said was their best day of fishing ever. They caught several really big Walleyes with the largest being 29.5". Doug, otherwise known as The Big Ticket has earned that nickname as he and his clients many times boat the largest Walleye or Musky in Oneida and Vilas County most years. Doug has been guiding for over 30 years and has a major grasp on fish movements, locations and how to catch them. If you're interested in Big Gamefish, Doug is the guy.
Most of the Walleyes have been being caught on deep humps in the 25'-30' range. Jiggin’ Raps, and Rippin’ Raps work very well, slip bobbering Redtail and Blacktail chubs as well as crawler and leeches have been working well. Trolling crankbaits for Marbleyes has also been putting fish in the boat too like Rapalas.
Musky fishing has definitely picked up as our local weather has not had such wide swings. Some turbulent weather can be a good thing but we had such a wide range of up and down temps and weather changes it made it hard to pattern anything. Our guides and many customers have been catching and seeing a lot of Muskies on deep weed edges. That is where most of the skies are holding up.
Our staff members and guide staff members Al “Frosty” Frost and Tim “The Mayor” Ives have been having very good seasons. They are always honed in on Musky locations and the best presentations to catch them. They have been doing very well using soft plastics such as Red October Tubes, Medussa's, Alpha Dawgs, and deep running bucktails such as Spanky, RJ Bucktails, Mepps Giant Killers. All of those baits tend to run a bit deeper and stay in the zone longer; thus, have been producing a lot of fish that are holding on the deeper weed lines.
There are suspended Muskies being caught casting and trolling too. Many of our main lake basins hold suspended baitfish, there is always a decent percentage of skies that will spend the majority of their life out on the basins following forage. These fish can be caught casting or trolling. One should look for baitfish and try to get baits near or just above the bait. So, depending on local weather and where the bait is at, in the water column run baits close to the forage as this can be a very good way to catch Muskies. Some good trolling baits are Supernatural Mattlocks & Headlocks, Grandmas and some very good casting baits are really anything you can get close to the forage. Sometimes even surface baits work over very deep water as the bait may be up high in the water column thus again just getting Musky Baits in the zone can be very productive.
I hope this information will help a bit if you are fishing in the Minocqua area. Our guide staff has been quite busy but there are still some openings if you want to hook up with one of them. One can learn a ton and speed up that possible learning curve. If you want to save on travel costs and possibly the hassle of towing your boat you might consider leaving the boat at home and hop on with a few of our guides and have some fun chasing Muskies.
In any case, please let us know if we can be of service to you, as it will be our pleasure. 715-513-7700 or Musky Shop Guide Service
God Bless and Good Fishing, Jim Stewart