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Re: Living the dream

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 1:57 pm
by mrbrowns
After spending the past couple weeks trying to get caught up at the house after a very short spring season, we finally managed to get out on a Tomahawk area flowage Wednesday and found crappie, bluegills, bass and pike in the shallows. Some of the gills were very nice sized and put back to finish spawning. The crappie also are in the process of spawning and can be found around shoreline wood. One thing that really surprised me was just how far along the weeds have grown already. I would say they are at mid summer growth already as the cabbage is fully up and weed beds already look fully developed. Should make for some fine water to check out as the musky season opener is set to get underway across the Northwoods this Memorial Day weekend. It is going to be a warm one as daytime highs are expected to be in the 80s and it sounds like there might be a chance of a storm or two. Get out ahead or after one of these storms or fish the late afternoon hours (avoid some of what will likely be heavy boat traffic). I will be working weighted jerk baits and switching to topwater if things start to really pick up. Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Up North Memorial Day weekend.

Re: Living the dream

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:15 am
by mrbrowns
Heavy rains this past weekend have Tomahawk area flowages full and running at a pretty fast clip. We targeted a flowage Thursday and found currents running much faster than normal. The fast moving waters prevented us from targeting deeper wood where panfish would typically be found this time of year. Instead, we found perch and some hefty gills up in a shallow bay where they were hiding amongst the lily pads. Just a simple slip bobber rig tipped with a chunk of crawler or wax worm a couple feet down worked well for this. A good number of wiggler carcasses were spotted floating on the surface. While I suspect we have not reached the peak of the hatch, when mayflies can be spotted littering the parking lots of gas stations in town, I would think it won't be long now before the big hatch occurs. We are also back in this pattern where the wind is regularly blowing from the east, meaning unfortunately, the fish usually bite the least due to the high pressure (Hudson High). While we started the day throwing for musky, bass and pike it didn't take long to figure out we needed to change plans if we were to avoid going home skunked. While not jumbos, some of the perch were in the nine-inch range and could have been kept for a nice meal. Instead, all were put back to swim again. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and coming weekend. Keep in mind the water might still be running a bit high on the flowage you plan to fish. And if the wind is out of the east, maybe consider a "Plan B" to put some fish in the boat if the toothy critters do not want to cooperate. Have fun and enjoy your beautiful Northwoods water time.

Re: Living the dream

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:15 am
by mrbrowns
Took a youngster out fishing on some Tomahawk area flowages the past couple days and had a blast catching some pretty big smallmouth bass that have been very active of late. We fished below a dam and caught smallmouth. We fished under a bridge when the daytime sun became too much and caught smallmouth. We fished a weed line and caught smallmouth. We fished right on the bottom and used bobbers and caught smallmouth. If you want to get a youngster excited about fishing, now is the perfect time to take them out on an area flowage and get them hooked as the smallmouth are bitting big time. We caught fish using leeches and a half crawler would also work.
Some nicer musky are also being caught on Tomahawk area waters as of late. This action should continue heading into the weekend with the warmer weather sticking around. Try fishing low light hours to avoid the heat of the day.
We are finally seeing some rain in the Tomahawk area this Thursday afternoon! Take every drop we can get after a very long stretch of dry weather. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and upcoming weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

Re: Living the dream

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:07 pm
by Old Scout
You haven't had fun until you catch Small Mouth Bass on a Fly rod with a large popper. Now that is exiting. :D

Re: Living the dream

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:59 pm
by mrbrowns
And just like that there was a nice musky in the net. The day prior had provided a buddy fishing with me a couple opportunities as multiple fish came cruising in following his Topraider but tailed off as they neared his bait. That daytime activity on top of a full moon phase and storms in the forecast had us excited to get back out on the Tomahawk flowage the next day. After waiting out an early morning storm Sunday, we headed back out to where we had had the action the day prior. The only action this time was from a small northern. With storm clouds building off to the west, we headed to a more popular stop on the milk run and again were unable to move a fish. I was throwing Suicks and Bulldogs while he continued to throw the topwater. On what was very likely to be one of the last cast before calling it a day to avoid the approaching storms, my friend set the hook while exclaiming "Fish on" and there was little doubt he had connected with a nice fish. A short battle with some impressive runs pursued at boat side before the 45" fish was slipped into the net. Some photos were taken and the fish was released to fight another day. The thunder was getting louder as we made the tough decision to play it safe and call it a day. Regardless, a last cast musky is not a bad way to finish up a weekend fishing trip.
This writer has spent a good bit of his time on the water this summer taking youngsters out fishing. The bass bite has continued strong with plenty of nice smallies biting just about anything thrown in the water anywhere. The panfish bite has also been hot and has provided plenty of action to keep the youngsters interested and entertained. The deal has been keeping it simple with a slip bobber rig and a chunk of crawler. We've even been catching some real nice gills in the flowages in as little as two feet up along the weedy shores.
Whatever the target, good luck to all those heading out this week and upcoming Labor Day Weekend. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods holiday weekend water time in God's Country.

Re: Living the dream

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:32 am
by mrbrowns
It was anyone's guess what the fishing conditions would be like following a gully gusher of a storm that dropped 3.5 inches of rain Tuesday night and a cold front passed through. The Tomahawk area foliage we were targeting Wednesday had produced some very impressive bluegills a few days prior, and it turned out the change in conditions didn't seem to matter much, as the gills, crappies, perch and bass were all pretty active. We started out targeting the same areas we had had success a couple days prior. Not nearly as many dinner-plate gills were caught this time, but a number of nice-size eaters were found to start the day off. A simple slip bobber rig with a chunk of crawler set two feet down was used to catch these fish. Areas targeted were shorelines and weedy points. Some additional crappies, perch and even some hefty smallmouth bass were found holding tight to the weeds. All the big gills were put back to help sustain a healthy fishery. Just an FYI, the flow rates on flowages will fluctuate following big rains. We were on a different flowage following a big storm in the spring and could not fish the areas we wanted to target due to strong current. Despite a very impressive panfish bite that should remain strong heading into the fall, we are getting ever closer to that magical time of the year for targeting musky. This steady pattern of weather in the forecast and a new moon phase should get the bite going heading into Fall Ride weekend Sept. 13-16. Local guides say that is about when they typically start dragging suckers. That full moon phase around the weekend of Aug. 22-23 should be a great time to be out on the water. Fall is really fun out on the Tomahawk area flowages whether targeting panfish, walleye or musky. We're getting close to that first frost, as a fall-like crispness was in the air stepping out the door this morning. Even a few trees have started to change colors in God's Country. Good luck to everyone heading out this coming week and weekend. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

Re: Living the dream

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:57 am
by mrbrowns
I typically don't winterize the boat until it is covered with a couple inches of snow and the extended forecast shows that winter has arrived. Unfortunately after a cold and breezy fall, the inevitable occurred yesterday, as the boat was put in storage to not be heard from again until next spring. Fortunately, this by no means the end of the fall fishing season, as the Tomahawk area offers some really good fishing opportunity right from shore. The obvious places to target are below area dams. Other places like below bridges and from abandon railroad trestles also offer good places to check out this time of year. Use bigger minnows to catch bigger walleyes, as the big girls really put on the feedbag in the fall. Typically we see the first ice of the season in the coming weeks. Based on the latest extended forecast, it might be a while before anglers start venturing out this season. I will once again be reporting on early ice conditions and feel free to reach me if you want to know what the ice looks like where you plan to fish in the Tomahawk area. For now, try some of the shoreline fishing opportunity available in the Tomahawk area. Some nice eaters as well as some true lunkers can caught this time of year. Good luck, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

Re: Living the dream

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:11 am
by mrbrowns
Saw on the way in to work this morning that McCarthy Lake had shoreline ice and Sawdy Pond on Lake Mohawksin had some skim ice. With lows forecasted in the teens and highs not getting above freezing in the coming days, I'm expecting freeze up to happen pretty quick this season. Time to start getting those tip-ups and jigging rods ready!

Re: Living the dream

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:31 pm
by mrbrowns
Just took a drive around the Tomahawk area to check on ice conditions. Using the spud bar, I chipped my way out about 10 feet at Bradley Park and had about 1.5 to two inches of ice. Another cold night and the ice should be looking pretty good. Went out to Lake Alice and off Horseshoe Landing a big area of open water still remains (due to the wind and waves) so didn't bother checking ice conditions. Forecast calls for single digit lows once again tonight, so this angler is planning to hit the ice for the first time tomorrow and will report back on how it goes. Always remember safety first when fishing first ice. Use the spud to check the ice depth as you go, fish with a friend and have a pair of ice picks along just in case. Walleyes will be up along shallow water rocks and weeds, so no need to get out any deeper to catch these hungry fish. Good luck to everyone hitting the woods this weekend for the gun deer season and those getting out for a little early season ice fishing. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods woods and ice time.