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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:27 pm 
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Well it looks like we'll have one last weekend of cooler than average temps before the gamefish season closes statewide this Sunday. The walleye bite may slow down a bit as the cooler temps are forecasted to move in on Friday and last through the weekend. I like to downsize my bait to large fatheads when fishing walleyes on area flowages after these cold fronts set in. I stick to the same areas, in seven to ten of water with structure off the deeper channel and just run tip-ups. Usually the feeding period will be shorter, but at least the walleyes still move through and a few can be picked up before and just after dusk.
The panfish bite remains exceptional, and I suspect this weekend's cool down will do little to slow it down. The big gills are moving out of the deeper water and the crappie action has started to heat up. Using Tip-downs and rosies can work great for crappies in stump fields. I've also been catching some nice slabs and gills using grubs. Perch action has been great on wigglers and crappie minnows. Start deep and work shallower to find the bigger fish.
Driving conditions couldn't be better on area waters for this time of year. I haven't come across any slush and haven't been using my four wheel drive as only a few inches of snow are on top of the ice. One point of interest is the ice is getting pretty thick on some area flowages. Last week I was hitting the power auger handlebars on the ice while drilling holes on Lake Alice. After these past few cold days the extension or an ice pick might be needed to finish off the job. Area lakes have a little less ice.
Another interesting factoid to keep an eye out for is eagles are now taking part in their spring mating rituals. Last weekend I saw two birds from a flock lock talons and nearly crash to the ice as they wrestled for the upper hand - or wing. What an added bonus to a great day on the ice.
There's some new fishing regulations set to take place upriver from Kings Dam this spring, including Lake Alice and 22 miles of Wisconsin River north. Unlike past years where the game fish season remained open all year, this year the season will close effective April 1 and reopen with the statewide opener on May 2. Next year the season will be realigned to coincide with regular inland water season for game fish - closing after the first Sunday in March.
No new regulations have been established to protect Lake Mohawksin's game fish population, but a question that will be posed to statewide voters during the Spring DNR hearings will ask anglers if they would like to see Lake Mohawksin and the Wisconsin River below (Grandfather Dam??) closed during the spring spawning period - the question already passed the Conservation Congress portion and will appear on the statewide questionnaire this spring. If approved, a similar scenario will likely be set with how the new regulations are being implemented on Lake Alice this spring.
Good luck to anglers heading out this week and weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:59 am 
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A substantial cool down is expected this week before things start to warm back up heading into this weekend. This should provide another of those great panfish bites we've been experiencing here in the Tomahawk area by Saturday.
The crappies have been on again and off again over the past week. On days when the bite is on (warmer days), you can usually just stick to roasies on tip-downs fished in stump fields. On days when they are finicky (east winds and colder days), I like to entice the bite with a jig tipped with a grub. I hook the grub as far as possible on either side without the barb showing to produce better action when jigging. I use a lot of jigs that are worked horizontal, so after each fish I catch, I make sure to realign my line so the jig sits horizontal (at a 90 degree angle from the line). This is a small detail, but when the fish need a little extra enticing, this trick can add more action to your bait and produce more fish.
The best perch bite lately has been on area lakes. I'm continuing to target deeper weeds and I'm finding numbers of good sized fish that can't resist the wigglers and crappie minnows. The perch on area flowages should move into the shallows soon.
A sign that spring is just around the corner appeared while fishing on Lake Mohawksin Saturday. A lone goose came flying overhead as it headed up the Wisconsin River. If I'm not mistaken, migrating geese will send out a scout bird to look for open water as the rest stay behind. It might be awhile before geese return as ice conditions are holding up pretty good (two-plus feet still) in the Tomahawk area. Boat landings also are in good shape and only two-wheel drive is now needed to get around on the ice. However, it won't be much longer before the loons return and walleye run begins.
This is a great time of the year to get rid of the cabin fever, forget about the 401K and stock market and just go fishing. And the best part is you can usually find some tasty fish to take home for a meal.
Just a reminder, permanent ice shacks need to be removed from Northwoods waters this Sunday.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:27 pm 
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The v-shaped formations of geese that serve as a sure sign spring is at our doorstep started to dot the skyline over Tomahawk this past weekend. After months of only the occasional call of the eagle or crow breaking the evening silence, the growing chatter is a certain welcomed indication of what is to follow. Soon the call of loons and spring peepers will join in on the nightly chorus. How fortunate are we who are able to visit and call the Northwoods home. Let nature's concert begin!
Many anglers have already started to fish open water for walleyes on the Wisconsin River. Some are fishing below Kings Dam using jigs tipped with fatheads, and a number of boat trailers can now be seen stacked up along Herb Mitchell Road off Hwy. 107.
Other anglers, myself included, have been focussing our attention on panfish and the remaining ice. The warm weather experienced here in the Tomahawk area over this past weekend didn't equate into the amazing bite you often read and hear about. Yes, the water was running into the holes. But more importantly, a lack of barometer change and coming off a peak, post full moon period kept the fish from really turning on. The bite improved a lot yesterday and should continue to get better through tomorrow as a small cold front prepares to move through. The temps are forecasted to warm into the weekend, which should make for some enjoyable fishing conditions by Saturday.
The bite for all species of panfish should get even better as the ice continues to deteriorate. Jump around to the many fishing holes that now remain open until you find active fish. Let a few females go while your out there, and make sure to use caution as ice thickness is varying greatly (18 to 30 inches) on area bodies of water.
Good luck and enjoy your Northwoods ice and water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:03 am 
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If you're going to be targeting the big, bull bluegills in the shallow weeds on flowages in the Tomahawk area this weekend keep in mind fish this time of the year can be right under the ice. I like to use a jig with a little shine to it and grubs. Try not to move around too much as these fish can spook easy, and make sure to hold on to your diddling stick because these bulls can be aggressive and have shoulders to them. I've been finding them in as little as couple feet of water.
Use caution when traveling on area waters. I've heard of trucks still heading out in Minocqua area, and I also heard about a four-wheeler going through over by Rhinelander.
Good luck and be safe this weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods ice and open water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:41 am 
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Ice conditions have taken a real pounding after the past few days of rainfall here in the Tomahawk area. Many of the boat landings are now in tough shape, although most south landings should still provide good access by foot and ATVs. All others I would consider using a plank to access at this point.Flowages in the area have really started to open up. Use caution if fishing on the back bays. Area lakes are still holding good ice. At last check there's still a good two feet.
The boat ramp near the North Fourth Street Bridge is open now and providing access to King's Dam. Boat ramps south of Tomahawk along Hwy. 107 are also free of ice.
That old saying the fish really bite when the water's running into the holes held true over the past few days. Although this time the drainage was caused by rainfall and not by very warm air temps. Tip-downs can be a lot of fun this time of year. Set them a little deeper and catch perch on rosey reds. Raise them up a little higher and catch crappies. The fish were feeding so aggressively Monday night a buddy told me he had to switch to bigger minnows because bluegills were actually hitting the smaller minnows. Talk about aggressive fish.
We're coming off Tuesday new moon and some good fishing conditions heading into this weekend. The weather pattern looks like it will be pretty stable - a storm is expected to move through on Sunday to the south.
Good luck and be safe if you plan on heading out. Enjoy your Northwoods ice and water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:56 pm 
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After a nice day here in Tomahawk on Saturday the cold temps and wind returned. Fortunately a warming trend is expected to take place heading into this weekend. Couple the melting that will occur with a peak lunar (full moon) phase that will be happening and fishing should be very good by Good Friday.
Most bodies of water are still covered with around 20 inches of ice - use southern access points as a lot of the other landings are now in bad shape. You'll likely need boot kreepers as the ice will again be very slippery. Use caution.
The panfish bite should be very good over the weekend. Rosey red minnows on tip-downs work great this time of year for jumbo perch and slab crappies Bull bluegills also have been active in the shallow weeds and stumps. A small jig and waxies works best for these fish.
Those who've retired their ice fishing equipment for the year are finding some success on open water. Repots are coming in of walleyes being taken below Kings Dam on Lake Mohawksin (walleye fishing is now closed on Lake Alice north to Rhinelander). Jigs or a simple hook and sinker rig tipped with a fathead work good for these fish. Jigheads and twister tails are another presentation that can produce. Slow your presentation down if the fish are sluggish during the day. Best bites are in the morning and before dusk. Keep an eye on peek fishing periods throughout the day (majors/minors) as these can also trigger action.
The great blue herons made their return to the Northwoods over this past weekend. I saw my first of the year while fishing near Minocqua on Saturday, and then saw another land in a large pine near Kings Dam on Sunday. Now we just need the loons to return and we'll be all set for summer here in the Northwoods. How wonderful is springtime!
Good luck and be safe to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods ice and open water time and have a great holiday weekend.
Side note: Just 18 days remain until the start of the 2009 gamefish season. Remember to make your voice heard during the DNR's annual statewide Spring Rules hearing April 13. The meeting for Lincoln County will take place at the Tomahawk School District at 7 p.m.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:10 pm 
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Does anyone know if the Perch are bitting below the Bradley Dam ?

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:11 pm 
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From what I've heard and seen they are not. Was down at Bradley Dam last night and nobody was catching perch. Some people I've talked with think it got fished out. Others think the water hasn't warmed enough yet. I don't think anybody knows for sure.
The walleye run appears to be in pretty good shape now on the Wisconsin River. I've heard of a lot of fishing pressure down off Hwy. 107 as Lake Alice is now closed. Kings Dam seems to be getting its usual fishing pressure.
I'd like to post more, but its Friday and I have to get out on the water.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:31 am 
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The last time I fished for perch below the Bradley dam was in the mid 70's. The first time was, well lets just say it was a wee bit earlier then the 70's.

But back to the last time in the 70's...

I was back there on vacation form California and was very anxious to show my California born wife what real "perch" looked like. I asked my brother if they still caught perch at the Bradley dam and he said not so much anymore, it was pretty much all fished out.

But we went there anyway...

Needless to say it was far form fished out and gave us a day to remember. That day we used small, yellow, lead headed jigs. But others there were doing fine on both red and black jigs. I never liked perch for eating so we released everything that we thought would survive and took the rest home to my skeptical brother.

I sure hope they are wrong about it being all fished out... I have fished all over California; lakes, streams, ocean, reservoirs and rivers. But nothing compares to fishing back there in Wisconsin. Well maybe the salmon fishing up on the Rouge.. that was awesome! Haven't been up there in a while though.


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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:11 am 
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Things are shaping up nicely here in the Tomahawk area with just one week to go until the 2009 fishing season opens. Unlike last year, all area lakes are free of ice at this time.
Up until the last few days, which included strong winds and even snow, the walleyes were pretty active out on Mohawksin. Below Kings Dam is a good bet this time of the year. Light jigs or a hook and sinker tipped with fatheads have been producing a lot of fish. Fishing around trestles is also producing walleyes and some nice crappies have been mixed in.
Make sure to slow down your presentation if the fish aren't very active. Try dragging your presentation across the bottom very slowly or even just letting it sit.
There's a new moon phase taking place this weekend, so get out on the water if you get the chance. I suspect the minor cold front passing through tonight will do little to slow down what should be an aggressive walleye bite.
Loons are calling, lilac bushes are starting to bud and the walleye action is hot on the river. I can't imagine a better place to be than in Tomahawk this weekend.
Good luck to everyone heading out and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:10 am 
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Just two more times to lay the head down on the old pillow and opening day will be upon us. The excitement always crescendos for me until I'm kicking back watching slip bobbers at my favorite walleye spot Saturday evening. Of course, prior to that I'll likely have tried to target some active eyes in a little deeper water with jigs, and I might just hit a trout stream if the water warms during the afternoon.
Its Saturday night of the opener, however, that I really enjoy. Some loons will likely be calling, a few bobbers might slip under the water, and the Swine flu and recession will be the farthest thing from my mind. Likely the only thing I'll be thinking about is how fortunate I am to share another opener with family and friends, taking stock on what is important in life.
There's a few uncontrollable circumstances that will be playing into this year's opener. The good news is recent rainfalls have brought up water levels on area flowages and streams - the Spirit is full and Nokomis is only foot or two down. Trout streams should also be in good shape by now. Another benefit is the solunar charts show major feeding periods aligning with sunset Saturday and Sunday nights. You can check the times at another location on this site.
The bad news is a cold front is expected to push through Saturday. Make sure to slow presentations down as the fish will be less aggressive.
Over my last two outings I've seen the walleye run coming to an end on area flowages. About half the fish I caught near Kings Dam on Sunday were still milking. All the walleyes I caught while fishing perch at Bradley Dam last night (I didn't catch any perch) all appeared to have spawned out - the suckers are in now. I suspect the walleyes I'll be targeting on a deeper, clear lake this weekend will still be spawning.
If the walleye action slacks off this weekend, try targeting some pike in shallow bays. Crankbaits and shiners rigged on slip bobbers can provide a lot of action when things slow down.
Good luck to everyone heading out this opener. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Now is a great time of the year to target panfish in the shallows. Find a muck and stump field bay and chances are its holding an assortment of crappies, perch and bull bluegills. Crappie minnows have been working for the crappies and a piece of worm on a bobber has been producing perch and gills. Be as quite as possible when fishing shallow water. You may have to move around a bit until you find an area that's holding the most or biggest fish. Also, if a cold front passes through, as was the case this past weekend, try moving out to some nearby deeper water.
In addition, shallow muck and weed filled bays hold pike. Try casting shallow running rapalas or floating a shiner under a slip bobber for a little added action. I've also been seeing bass (largemouth, I believe) up in the shallows near my dock on Lake Mohawksin. Remember until June 20 it is barbless catch and release only for these fish.
Trestles and the rocky areas under bridges have also been producing crappies along with some walleyes.
I haven't yet heard of anybody seeing any muskies getting ready to spawn. It shouldn't be too much longer though, as some warmer weather is in the forecast for this week.
Good luck to everyone heading out. Enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:42 pm 
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Fishing has been surprisingly good here in the Tomahawk area over the past week or two despite the several cold fronts and nearly nonstop gail-force winds that we've been experiencing.
Saturday I realized things were bad when my buddy turned to me and noted the weather was actually nicer the last time he was up here ice fishing in March. Despite the snow and constant wind, we were able to catch a number of walleyes, even a few keepers that were released, in just an hour of fishing below Kings Dam. I've noticed these fish are preferring different presentations at times, so make sure to try 1/8 or 1/16 ounce jigs or a simple red hook and sinker until you find what they want. Slowly dragging either of these rigs tipped with a fathead should lead to some fish.
The crappies have been moving with the weather. When the temps were nicer they were in the shallow weeds and wood. The cold weather has moved them back out, where I've been picking them up on deeper wood structure. Again a small jig or hook and sinker tipped with crappie minnows has been working in the deep. When the fish move back in the shallows it will be slip bobber time again.
Hopefully we'll get some stable weather heading into this Memorial Day weekend. If not, keep in mind these above mentioned tips and you should be able to stay on top of them.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week. Enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 12:27 pm 
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Got a report last night from a guy on Lake Alice who recently caught two musky while fishing from his dock for pike. One he said was 40+ while the other was in its mid-30s.
Sounds like the muskies might be done spawning and fired up by this weekend.
There's one I've been watching near my dock on Lake Mohawksin over the past few days. I suspect he'll be seeing a bucktail or slowly retrieved suick when the season gets underway this Saturday.
A lot of musky anglers recommend going small early in the season, which I have bought into over the past couple years. Last year a large blue rapala got me on the board with two fish the first time out.
Good luck to those getting their 2009 musky season underway this weekend. Practice catch, photo and release (CPR) and we'll have many more enjoyable openers to look forward to.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Started my 2009 musky season out on a small lake in Lincoln County Monday evening. If the cold front that passed through Sunday night wasn't disheartening enough, when I got to the boat landing I spoke with a guy loading up who said he hadn't moved a fish all day. After a couple hours on the water, I ended my first time out with similar results. Regardless, it sure was nice to be back out chasing the esox.
I did hear of some big fish being caught in the Tomahawk area over the Memorial Day weekend. One was a 49 and the other was an amazing 54-inch monster. Talk about getting off to a great start.
Depending on fishing pressure, I'll be frothing shallow weeds this weekend with small suicks and bucktails. If the water is being fished hard or a cold front passes through, I'll be moving out a little to fish the deeper weed breaks.
The walleye action has really picked up. We've been catching some decent size fish on the weed breaks in the five to six feet in stained waters and deeper in lakes that are clear. Jigs tipped with fatheads.
There's a lot of fishing options for those in the Tomahawk area this weekend. The gills and crappies should be in the shallows getting ready to spawn, the trout streams should have nice flow thanks to the rain we are getting, and somewhere out there lurks a world-record musky that could likely challenge Louie Spray's.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:18 pm 
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There's the trying different lure sizes, colors, presentations, locations and a certain sense of accomplishment that comes with catching a big musky, even if you're just the one holding the net and snapping the photos.
This was certainly the case this past weekend as my buddy, Andy, boated his largest fish to date on Lake Mohawksin Sunday.
Even beforehand he was off to a pretty good start after boating a 38-inch fish on a small lake just north of Tomahawk Friday afternoon. Being that he had to work for the opener, it was actually just his third cast of the season. The fish took an orange-bladed black bucktail in shallow weeds. And I was under the impression these were the fish of 10,000 casts.
Saturday was humbling, as a brutal cold front packing strong winds pushed through the area. After 10 hours of fishing we had not had a strike, much less seen a fish.
Things certainly didn't look too promising for Sunday as the temperature had dropped the night prior to around 30 degrees. After waiting for the air to warm the water temperature sightly, we decided to head out at around 10 a.m. The plan was to fish at least through a solunar minor that was taking place from noon to 1 p.m. We had tried a wide-range of tactics and presentations in various structures and depths in an effort to find an active fish.
By 1:30 p.m. we had just about had enough when I suggested we try one last stretch of shallow weeds. After cruising the boat into position, I heard him grunt "fish" from the back of the boat. From the tone of his voice I could tell he had hooked a nice one. It didn't take long and the Mohawksin monster was presenting itself boat side. As many musky anglers know, this is the moment when many things can go terribly wrong. Just as he brought the fish on its side, the fish turned and made a dash for the motor. To his credit, Andy was able to turn the fish without causing it to go wild, and after working the musky back around in a large half oval pattern, I was able to easily slide the fish into the net.
Being that we didn't want to stress the fish too much, we only took a quick measurement and a few photos. At 47 inches, Andy had just landed and released his biggest fish ever.
After some celebratory high fives, we began to wonder if we had dialed in on a pattern. I switched to a topwater and within 10 minutes had a fish following up to the boat. Within the next half-hour I had another follow and missed this fish on a figure-eight boat side. The third time was a charm, as moments later I landed my first musky of 2009. It was only 32, but it sure felt nice getting on the board for the year.
Since my friend had a drive home ahead of him, we didn't fish much longer after I connected. What made this outing so unique is we were able to find a pattern that I wouldn't have tried had it not bee for his fish.
Topwaters aren't my first choice of baits to use after cold fronts, and I certainly don't turn to them in spring in cold conditions. However, this time they worked and did so very well.
They say you should learn something new every time your on the water. The lesson I took from this outing is it certainly does pay to think outside the box sometimes. Topwaters after a cold front in the spring. I guess I'll be much more open to trying knew things as the season starts to heat up.
FYI. There's full moon set to take place this weekend! Good luck fishing and enjoy you Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:19 pm 
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Will be watching for some storms forecasted to move through the Tomahawk over the next couple of days to trigger some better musky action. Hopefully some of the key factors will fall into place and a couple nice fish will be put in the boat.
We're now looking at the p.m. major lining up with dusk (check the lunar and solunar posting for each day) and a new moon phase set to begin on Sunday. Depending on weather yet to be seen, this could prove to be a pretty good week and weekend out on the water.
Tracking down the fish proved difficult for this musky hunter over the past week. After dropping $15 on a snagged bull dawg I was casting off the outer edge of a weedy bay last night, I finally was able to move a fish up in the shallows on a top water. I hadn't been having any success on the top waters as of late, but last night did notice a lot of surface action and decided to give it a shot. The fish followed into the boat undetected, and by the time I circled around on my figure eight, only saw a swirl and a view of a tail that suggested it was a pretty decent sized fish. The follow-up happened right before dark.
Hopefully the action will continue to pick up in the shallows as the water continues to warm. From the panfish anglers I've spoken with the bluegills are still up in the shallows spawning. There being caught up along shore on a hook, sinker and bobber rig tipped with leaf worms or a chunk of night crawler. This is a great way to get youngsters in on the action, and is also a good time to put a meal of fish in the freezer.
With summer here now is a great time to be out on the water. Don't forget the bug spray as the mosquitos are now out in full force. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods water time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:25 am 
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Temperatures have really bottomed out here in Tomahawk over the past few days. It's 50 degrees with a light drizzle this Tuesday morning. Temps are expected to warm heading into the weekend, which should make for another pleasant 4th of July holiday.
It goes without saying, but if you're planning to fish this weekend make sure to focus on the early and late bites to avoid the heavy boat traffic. It really started to pick up on Lake Mohawksin last weekend as we saw temperatures push beyond the 90 degree range.
Musky action has really started to heat up on area waters. Fishing over the past few days put two fish in the boat and saw many more follows and near hook ups.
The Topraider produced a number of follows and one fish. Another was caught on a Suick. Both fish were caught from downed trees hanging into the river channel. Another bait that moved fish was the orange-bladed black Bucktail. Fish off weed beds did become active at times. Friday evening I missed two fish in a matter of casts off the deep edge of cabbage weeds. Many fish were following and striking at boat side on the figure eight.
The p.m. majors will be a good time to be out over the coming days as they are lining up with sunset. If you can, make sure to be out July 6 as the rising moon and setting sun will align at around 8:40 p.m. Get your topwater and head for that big fish you moved recently, as this will be by far one of the best times to be out on the water all year!
Pike action has been explosive up in the shallow weeds and I'm still hearing of a few anglers catching spawning bluegills along the shores. Crappies have moved back out to their summertime haunts. A good place to target these fish is around bridges and railroad trestles.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have a great July 4th weekend and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:00 pm 
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Had my first action with a topwater lure in quite some time while casting the Wisconsin River system in Tomahawk last night. The musky, which gave off a wake that was comparable to that of a Russian submarine surfacing, was sitting off a weed edge with some deep water nearby. Unfortunately for me, the fish saw me as I went into the figure eight with the Hog Wabbler and booked tail. The good news is the hog musky came in high, which hasn't been the case with the past several follows I've had on topwaters. This fish will be seeing me again soon as it appeared to very "turned on."
I like to return to fish like this when conditions are best, and hopefully she'll stick around long enough for me to get a hook in her. Last night the fish came in during a solunar minor right before dark. Before a good storm would be the most ideal time to again cast the spot. Otherwise, I'll be looking to cast the hog during morning and evening hours, preferably during the major and minor phases. However, I've learned not to wait too long as the next cold front could show up here in the Northwoods tomorrow.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:00 pm 
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Good luck Jed!!

I went fishing below a spillway in Stevens Point last weekend & played a hunch. The water level was low, but relatively fast. I put on a shallow diving Rebel crawfish bait that I'd purchased about 20 years ago, but had never fished. Two northerns, a nice largemouth, & countless bullheads later I wondered why I hadn't tried the lure sooner.

Fellow fishing addicts, dig in that tackle box. Try a lure or two that you may have purchased that "caught you" in the store, but hasn't seen the light of day since then. You might be pleased with the results!

Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:20 pm 
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Jeff,
Gongrats on the great day of fishing. Hopefully you were able to spend some time with the son and maybe even got the chance to crack one of those "Specials" they make in Point.
I'll have to take you up on dusting off and using some of those "old" lures that have collected in the dark recesses of the tackle box. I have about 100 of them in my musky box just waiting for water.
I also got into some decent fishing recently just up the river from Point. After some trial and error on Lake Mohawksin Monday afternoon, I noticed the walleyes were really preferring leeches. The leeches produced a 21-inch eye and several smaller fish. I had another break my hook that could've been much larger than the nice fish I landed. We also caught some decent gills on leeches and crawlers. The fish were found on the edge of deeper moving water. Also saw some nice perch and crappie being caught by a few anglers on Sunday.
Hoping to get back on the water musky fishing tonight after some equipment malfunctions over the weekend.
Good luck Jeff and everyone else heading out this week. Enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:49 pm 
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Yes, was able to "hook up" with C.J & Kandice. Point "specials" & brats make a fine combo, but we grilled by the river & saved the "adult pops" for later. I'll be returning to the Wisconsin River around Point with C.J., his friend Tim, & Tim's Dad on Friday.

It's positively amazing how many lures "caught me" in the bait shop & now reside in my tackle box waiting to get wet. I guess I'm a tackle maker's dream. I plan to try a few other dust collectors along with a favorite or two & whatever Tim's Dad recommends. (His boat, his hot spots) However I will make sure we have some leeches on board!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:15 pm 
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Jig & leech = 2
Old dust collecters = 0
The gap could have been even greater, but I missed several bites on the leeches.

I'd like to blame the slow day on today's cold front, but I think it had more to do with yours truly. So much for that experiment!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:40 pm 
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Just the other day I was ranting to a friend about how I've never accidentally hooked a musky in all my years of summer and winter fishing. I'm not sure quite how, but I think the conversation came up after one of us read about another walleye or bass angler catching a trophy-sized essox by mistake.
Because of the cold front that passed through the Tomahawk area this past weekend, I decided to give the musky rod a rest and join a friend who had been telling me about some killer crappie action that he had been experiencing. By Saturday afternoon, I was happily landing slabs on the Wisconsin River just south of Tomahawk.
The next day I decided to apply the same technique of small jigs and red hooks and sinkers tipped with crappie minnows fished near wood structure on Lake Mohawksin. At first the crappie and perch were abundant. Then a period of time passed without a hit. I was slowly retrieving my 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a crappie minnow when I set the hook into what I thought was a snag. As I went to dislodge the hook, I saw my line racing along the side of the boat, and thinking a walleye or pike had grabbed the bait off the snag, I again set the hook. This time I knew there was a nice fish on as I could feel it making a dart toward the surface. Before I had time to react, the musky exploded just a few feet off the front of the boat in a full out-of-water-body display. Suffice to say the fish shook the small hook. I estimated she was around 40 to 42 inches long.
I'm not sure if this is what the local guides mean when they say to downsize after cold fronts, light jigs and crappie minnows, that is, but I must say it was nice being invited to the prom, even if I didn't get the chance to dance.
The weather has been warming and I'm back to throwing topwaters for musky. Last night saw another musky follow up in close proximity to where I had another follow before the cold front moved in. I'm going to complain to my friend about how I never get these following fish to hit. Maybe in this roundabout way I'll be able to put one in the boat sometime soon.
FYI. A guy I was talking with earlier today said he dropped his hearing aide in Mohawksin last night. He said if anybody catches a musky wearing it to please let me know and I can get it back to him. Don't worry, I scolded him for giving the fish an unfair advantage. I'm going to keep my sense of humor even as these fish make a fool of me.
This week looks like it is shaping up to be a great one. A new moon phase is taking place, some storms are forecasted to move through, and from what I've seen it doesn't look like the temperature is expected to drop off the charts anytime soon. There will be some beasts caught. Work the topwaters and speed up presentations as the water temps continue to warm.
Jeff, good to hear you caught some walleyes in the Point area this weekend. Let me know the next time you're in Tomahawk and we can put some in the boat. Don't give up on the old dusters!
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:49 am 
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A couple conditions aligned to make for some intense musky action here in the Tomahawk area over the last week.
Along with wind and somewhat stable air temperatures, the two most import factors that had fish moving were the new moon phase that peeked on Wednesday and some storm systems that passed through nearly every day. Fishing topwaters became literally explosive when a system moved in around dusk.
I got a good reminder of why they call it fishing and not catching. Even as the action cooled off as the new moon phase weened, I was still bringing fish to the boat, although not nearly as many, on follows that I felt could've translated into fish. However, by the end of it all I only had one fish to show for the 14 muskies I'd seen. It wasn't the estimated 42", 45", 48", or the esox that was so large it left me shaking in my boots. Instead, it was a 36" musky caught near some lily pads on orange and black bucktail on Saturday.
The larger muskies were certainly showing interest in the topwaters. When the fish were active I was throwing faster moving lures like the Tally Whacker. As the action cooled, I switched over to slower moving bates like the Hog Wabbler and lures like the bucktail that can be worked under the surface. The problem I ran into was many of the big fish I brought up to the boat spotted me as I went into my figure eight. The slightest turn of my body and the fish were gone.
The areas I've been targeting include the cabbage weeds and lily pad stands. I heard local fishing and musky guide, Julio, who also updates our weekly fishing reports, make reference to the fact last year that if you aren't pulling weeds off your lures, you're not fishing in the right spot. That certainly proved true over this past week.
This coming week should provide for some prime opportunities. A couple storms forecasted for later in the week will provide the trigger that will again get these fish moving. No major air temperature drops should also help keep the fish interested.
Despite the dreary conditions, Tomahawk Fishing Unlimited Inc. again had a decent turnout for its annual Summertime Kids' Fishing Contest on Saturday. A couple of big events will be taking place in Tomahawk this weekend. The 30th annual Tomahawk Antique and Classic Outboard Motor Show gets underway tomorrow at SARA Park and runs through the weekend. This is a really fun event to attend if you want to take a stroll down memory lane (I think my old Johnson could qualify), plus this year the show serves as a International gathering, so big crowds are expected. The Tomahawk Lions Club is also hosting its second annual Thrilla on the Grilla rib cook-off in the downtown on Saturday. For just $12 you get a side of ribs and all the side fixings you can consume.
Some nostalgia, a full belly and even a good shot at putting a trophy musky in the boat. I don't think you can ask for much more than what Tomahawk will have to offer this weekend.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

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