Living the dream

mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:35 pm

The warmer temperatures of late have turned on the shallow water bite here on Tomahawk area flowages. We've been targeting cabbage weeds in the 2-3 foot depths and finding nice perch. On windy days the walleye action has been good with some nice legals being caught. Fish the windy shoreline! The gills have started to move up on the shorelines to spawn and some giant ones have been caught in recent days - select harvest and release the big females so they can spawn. These areas are also producing some nice crappies and plenty of smallmouth bass that are also getting ready to spawn. All fish have been caught using a chunk of crawler a foot or two below a bobber. The only slowdown in activity we noticed this past week was when a mayfly hatch occurred one evening and it slowed the bite. With the great walleye and panfish action of late we have yet to chase any muskies. But the itch is getting under my skin, so it won't be long before we are back out chasing skis. This Friday is the first full moon phase of the season. Time to bust out the Suicks and the Nimmer Swimmer Wolly Pog and let the fun begin. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:18 am

Got out for a bit yesterday and fished from shore to avoid the rain and found the shallow water bite is still going pretty good on Tomahawk area flowages. Caught some big gills and was surprised to catch a few nice perch mixed in considering the big mayfly hatches that have occurred this week. We were using a slip bobber and piece of crawler set about a foot deep. The cool down didn't seem to affect the bite as much as I thought it would. Water temp is still at 71 degrees. This Friday is the new moon, so the three days before and after should provide a good window to get out and get on the good bite. Couple this with a major or minor or a storm system moving in could really get the musky action going. During a similar scenario last summer about this time of year, I boated a 40" fish and lost two more in a short window of time right in the middle of the day fishing weed edges. The current on the Wisconsin River is back on the upswing with three more inches of rain in recent days. More rain is in the forecast, so expect good flow on the flowages heading into this weekend. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and coming weekend. Make sure to pack the bug spray and rain gear. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:43 am

After releasing a nice 43" fish following my first time out musky fishing this season a couple days back, I got a taste of reality yesterday as no fish were seen in couple hours out on Lake Mohawksin before threatening clouds chased us off the water. We tried similar waters to where I stuck the fish on a Suick a couple days back in shallow weeds but no success this time. That full moon last weekend really had fish active as a number of nice fish were registered in the first ever Tomahawk VFW Post 2687 musky tournament. Congrats to the Tomahawk husband and wife team of Travis and Amanda Bartz for their first place finish that included Travis' beauty 48" fish. This Saturday, July 15 The Happy Snapper will play host to the 2nd annual Jiggin' for Jayden fishing contest from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tons of prizes to be raffled with prizes awarded for biggest gamefish (no musky) and panfish caught. Proceeds to benefit the Children's Heart Foundation. Cost is $20 per angler. Register on morning of tourney or in advance online at http://weblink.donorperfect.com/jaydenmemorialtournament. Good luck to all anglers taking part. And good luck to all anglers wetting a line this week and upcoming weekend. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:56 am

Just like the weather, the smallmouth bass and walleye action has really heated up as some trophy size fish were caught yesterday below a Tomahawk area dam. The walleyes we caught were running mostly on the smaller size, but the many bronze backs caught and released were fat and some of the fish were pushing the 20+ mark. We were fishing the middle of the day using large leeches for bait. At times the fish were hitting so fast a battle would be on almost as soon as the bait hit the bottom. The walleyes and smallies were caught on a simple hook and sinker rig. A half crawler and slip bobber also worked to catch some fish. This new moon phase should only serve to make fishing better heading into this weekend. Lures in the crayfish pattern like the Cotton Cordell also would likely work good to catch these fish. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and coming weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:53 am

The recent cool down and rain has caused the bite to slow a bit on Tomahawk area flowages, but fish continue in a summer pattern making them more predictable where they will be and can be caught. We've been targeting below Tomahawk dams and finding plenty of walleye and smallmouth bass - the 20" fish we were catching with pretty regularity have seemed to have slowed a bit as a result of the cool down. The larger walleye also seem a bit trickier to come by since the drop in temps, but still plenty of fish are being caught using a simple hook and sinker and large leech or nightcrawler. The trick to fishing these areas with moving water and plenty of snags is to use a wire hook that can easily be bent and to tighten the sinker just enough on the line so it can still move and be pulled out of snags. Using this style of rig saves a lot of gear and time retying that can be spent fishing and catching fish. These areas have also produced some musky action in recent days as two were battled after grabbing on to smallmouths while being brought in. This full moon phase should continue to provide good musky action through at least mid week when some chances of storms passing through could provide another good trigger for the fish to feed. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and upcoming weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:28 am

After getting detoured away from the Willow Flowage (Hwy T was shutdown for culvert repair) and not being able to launch the boat on the Spirit Reservoir (water level being held six feet below full so dam work can be completed), we headed for another Tomahawk area flowage yesterday afternoon in search of a panfish bite. The same summer pattern that had been producing walleye and big smallmouth bass the past couple weeks was applied on this flowage, targeting deep water where there was some current and deep wood. The first spot we tried had too much current. After moving a bit to get out of the fast moving water, we found the fish in about 13 feet of water and the action was nonstop. We used small leeches and caught big perch, gills and some tanker smallmouth bass using a simple hook and sinker dragged along bottom. When the leech bite slowed, we switched to using a piece of crawler and continued to catch fish the entire day. A few nice perch were kept for a meal while the majority were put back. Surprisingly, this action came on a day with a wind out of the east, which typically means the fish bite the least. I suspect that might have been the reason we did not catch any walleye as the unfavorable wind might have given them a case of lockjaw. Either way, the rest of the fish provided plenty of action and made for a fun day on the water despite the setbacks experienced earlier in the day. This summer pattern technique should continue to produce fish leading up to this fall when the fish again start to move shallow to put the feedbag on before freeze up. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and upcoming weekend. Have fun, respect others and enjoy your Northwoods water time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:44 am

The fall colors are starting to emerge here in the Tomahawk area and the Fall Ride activity is really starting to pick up outside the office this Thursday morning as the four-day motorcycle rally to raise money for veterans and MDA gets underway. Those attending the 2017 Tomahawk Fall Ride for MDA are really in for a treat this weekend as the hues of red, orange, yellow and purple are the best they have been this time of year in over the past decade. So spectacular are this year's autumn colors that I will not be at my typical location at Kings Dam - getting in a little extra walleye fishing - to take pictures of Friday night's Thunder Parade, but instead, have found a spot out along the 18-mile route where the fall colors are on full display and will make for a gorgeous backdrop. We are quickly approaching that time of year when the fishing action really begins to heat up on Tomahawk area flowages as all species put on the feedbag to get ready for the cold months that lie ahead.Recent outings have shown this warm up after last week's cold spell has done little to help the bite. Three trips out musky fishing produced nothing but northern pike. The one musky moved was found in the thick weeds and quickly lost interest after the bait became fouled. The panfish and smallmouth bass were active but running on the small side with only a few nice sized fish caught each time out. The front moving through Sunday and the new moon phase next week will really help improve the bite heading into this weekend. Good luck to all heading out this week and upcoming weekend. Be safe, have fun, watch for motorcyclists and enjoy your beautiful fall Northwoods water time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:33 am

While still waiting for the water to cool a bit more before turning full attention to targeting musky, we headed out yesterday on a Tomahawk area flowage to target panfish and walleye. With air temps in the 50s and a strong wind gusting to over 20 mph, we started out checking a crappie hole around 10 a.m. It produced only two pike that were caught on a jig and minnow. Moving on, we then set up on a channel edge searching for walleye and found a few small perch and crappie. The next spot we tried would give us insight into where we would catch fish this day, in about 15 feet of water around wood. While the perch and crappie were a bit more reluctant to bite for us following cold front that had passed through the night prior, hence the strong winds, the bluegills and sunfish were more than willing to bite around the downed timber. Some very large gills were found mixed in with the smaller fish, and multiple places we tried around wood produced the same results. Half of the fun was fishing new water and catching big gills that were biting pretty aggressively. The other part was being out on the water with family on a beautiful fall day (I think that freeze the other night brought another round of fall colors to the trees as the forest are once again stunning like they were back during Fall Ride). Almost all the fish were caught using a piece of nightcrawler fished off the side of the boat with a hook and sinker. A few were caught on slip bobbers, but the strong wind made this method hard to control. Was a bit surprised we didn't see a single walleye during the day, as this was where we found them only a couple weeks earlier, but perhaps we needed to fish shallower structure to find the eyes. Regardless, when the big gills are biting it is a blast. Kept a few for a meal and put the rest back for another day. My last two times out targeting musky in unseasonably warm weather produced nothing but a pair of dead suckers and a couple small pike, so it was nice to get out and catch some fish yesterday. The extended forecast looks like the fall musky fishing season is finally here as high temps are forecasted to top out in the 50s and 60s for the next couple weeks. Musky Time! Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun with many hookups and enjoy your Northwoods water time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:00 pm

We pretty much went right from summer to winter as we woke to a white landscape here in the Tomahawk area this a.m. From air temps in the 70s not that long ago to skim ice out on the Spirit Reservoir the other morning, we did not see the gradual drop in temps and eventual turnover that normally occurs. Instead, we basically skipped right over the fall musky bite that I had been waiting for all summer. I guess I learned my lesson! Still hoping to get out in the boat one last time this weekend to try and land a pig musky before my season is over. Will be trying smaller pike sized minnows in the deeper walleye holes. Almost time to start getting the ice fishing gear ready! Good luck to everyone heading out this week and upcoming weekend. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods open water time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:59 am

I hadn't planned on going ice fishing when I got home from work yesterday, but when a friend called and said he had tip ups set out on the Spirit Reservoir Monday afternoon, I took the bait. A couple cold nights last week had many back bays on Tomahawk area waters frozen and I had seen a few anglers trying their luck on Sawdy's Pond across from Nelson's County Market, so I thought I would at least check the ice and see if it was safe enough for me to venture out on - I typically wait a week until after my friend starts ice fishing because he is frankly nuts! This was actually his second time out on the ice already this year. When we arrived he informed us there was a good inch and half of ice and his tip ups were set in about four feet of water. He had already caught and released a pike while waiting for the walleye bite to begin. Stepping out on the ice I heard it crack as my confidence began to fade. Checking the ice with the spud before each step, I made my way out to where I thought there was enough water for me to set my tip ups, which this time of year I'm good with two to three feet. A short time later I had my first flag of the season and landed a fat pike of my own that was released. My buddy landed another pike and had five more flags and a bite off from what was likely another big pike. We fished until dark and caught no walleyes. I suspect we would have done better if we could have gotten closer to the channel edge, but neither of us was crazy enough to try and test the ice to make it clear across the bay. Instead, we stayed where it was safe and had some fun fishing together for the first time this winter. The warm up and rain in the forecast will put an end to any ice fishing until things cool back down. Maybe by the Sunday of the opener of the gun deer season. It will depend on how the ice holds up over the next couple days. Always take precautions when fishing the early ice. Know the area you plan to fish and take a friend. Take a rope with a flotation device attached and carry ice picks in case the ice does break. Good luck to everyone heading out for the gun deer season opener this Saturday. Remember, free venison burgers this Friday starting at 11:30 a.m. as the Tomahawk Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts the 52 annual Venison Feed. And good luck to everyone venturing out on first ice once safer conditions return. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice fishing time!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:29 am

I'm thankful to live in a place where I can fish from shore and limit out on walleyes when the ice isn't safe enough yet to venture out on. That was the case last Thanksgiving, as just before sitting down to a very tasty meal, I hit one of the walleye holes accessible from shore here in the Tomahawk area and had my limit of three legal walleyes in no time.This time of year a larger minnow can be the key for catching bigger fish as they will be feeding aggressively to put on the weight before winter. I'm still using just a simple hook and sinker and dragging the presentation slowly along the bottom (use wire hooks that can bend out of snags without breaking the line to save a lot of time and gear). We were hoping to get out on the ice last night (Monday) but multiple places checked still did not have safe ice. The cool down today and tonight will go a long way to help, but in case there isn't fishable ice by Thanksgiving, you can bet I will be hitting up one of the walleye holes accessible from shore here in the Tomahawk area come turkey day. Walleyes this time of year are aggressive and can be caught in the deeper holes, where I will be targeting if I can't get out on the ice, to as little as a couple feet of water during the low light periods.Good luck to everyone heading out in the woods or getting in some last open water fishing time. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you to all our veterans and those currently serving who allow us all the opportunity to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and celebrate our freedoms in the outdoors!
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mrbrowns
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Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:30 pm

Just a quick update on my last post. I took a ride by Lake Alice this afternoon and there was two guys out on the ice off Horseshoe Road. I walked out a ways on Anglers Lane and there was good ice - didn't go through with a good hit with the spud. Be safe if you do hit the ice in the coming days. Happy Thanksgiving!
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