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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:26 pm 
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The good news is the recent cold spell has taken care of much of the slush problem that that we've been experiencing on many lakes here in the Northwoods over the past couple weeks. The bad news is it's been cold, so like many anglers, I've ended up not fishing or hunkered down in my heated shack much more than I prefer.
The forecast for this upcoming weekend is again calling for single digit highs. When facing these conditions, I like to use my tip-ups with fatheads to target perch in different areas. An example would be placing my portable shack on the edge of a weedy bay, running a tip-up in the weeds and setting up a tip-up outside the bay in deeper water, if it is close by. This allows you to cover ground and find active fish while staying comfy in your portable ice shack. For this to be successful, you need to set your tip-ups as light as possible and use small treble hooks. I also like to use bobbers to mark depths, and will take a jig pole along when I get a flag because other active perch are often nearby and will usually take a grub or wiggler.
The walleye and pike bite has remained pretty consistent in the shallows. Over the holidays, some family and I were kept pretty busy chasing flags set up over weeds for pike and along rock points for walleyes after dark. I've also been hearing some good reports of walleye being caught near the channel in stump fields on the Wisconsin River system here in the Tomahawk area.
Another tactic I've been implementing this winter is focussing in on daily bag limits and recent fish surveys done by the DNR. The amount of information out there is really quite astonishing, and it can give you a good starting point when exploring different lakes. If you're thinking about getting out and trying a new body of water it's a good idea to google the "lake" and "DNR fish survey" before heading out. Also look at the number and size of walleye that you can keep. This information along with a lake map can give you a great advantage in exploring new waters.
With the recent cool down that converted the slush into ice, I suspect we'll begin seeing vehicles on many more bodies of water this weekend - I drove out for the first time on Lake Alice last weekend. I would strongly advise having an idea of what the ice conditions are like before driving out on any body of water at this time. From what I've seen so far ice conditions can still very greatly, and putting your vehicle through the ice is one sure way to get off on the wrong foot in the new decade.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:25 am 
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From the involuntary twitch in my jigging arm I can tell that the weekend is almost finally here. The warm temperatures and a pretty good bite forecasted for the next few days should make for some very enjoyable conditions out on the ice here in the Tomahawk area. For this angler it means continuing to target a pretty active perch bite that has been going on along with some walleyes thrown in as an added bonus.
While each lake is different and the fish in them prefer different baits, I can't stress enough how important it is to hole hop during the winter. As a case in point, last week a buddy and I were targeting a clear lake north of Tomahawk and within the first few minutes I had a dozen perch on the ice compared to his one. He was only fishing about 20 yards away, and I had tried a few different holes (all in about 10 feet of water) before I started catching fish. The difference was I had found a small sand flat in the large weed bed we were targeting. This spot continued to produce the next day even after conditions worsened and bite moved into the poor category. Those who fish the flowages near Tomahawk already know the importance of hole hopping, as fish can often be found concentrated around stumps in shallower water and along channel edges.
As for this weekend, I'll again start by fishing the weed flats, and if the fish are small, I'll move out to nearby mud flat in deeper water. Small jigs tipped with wigglers, and using fatheads and small trebbles on tip-ups have been producing. I've been fishing the same areas until after dark using fatheads and suckers to catch walleyes.
The warm weather forecasted for this weekend should provide a prime opportunity to get out and do some hole hopping. Truck travel has become pretty common on the ice since last weekend, but anglers should still keep in mind current and that all ice might still not be safe.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:38 am 
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The January thaw was nice while it lasted over the past couple weekends, but stepping out the door this morning it was obvious that old man winter has made a return to the Tomahawk area. Forecasters are expecting the cold temps to stick around through at least this weekend. Action should begin to pick back up in the next few days, as a cold front pushed through Monday night and conditions are expected to start to warm some heading into Saturday.
Expect travel to be a little rough around boat landings and on ice roads as the slush we had is now frozen and has created ruts. Otherwise, there's little snow on lakes so travel isn't bad once you get out on the ice.
For those having a tough go at the walleyes this winter try mixing in some large fatheads along with the suckers or shiners. On a number of lakes this winter large fatheads have far out produced other presentations I've been using.
Crappie action in deeper water has been decent at times, but the best bite I continue to experience is the perch and walleye. Depending on the lake, wigglers have been working in the deeper water - 20 feet in the lake I fish. Crappie minnows have continued to produce nice-sized fish once located in the weeds.
Just a reminder: the 11th annual Alice in Winterland ice fishing tournament gets underway on Lake Alice next Saturday (Feb. 6). Participants can register the night prior at Pine Pointe Resort or the next morning at the Anglers Lane registration booth starting at 7 a.m. Cash prizes are being awarded for the largest three fish in five categories, and many nice prizes (auger, generator, fish camera and portable shelter to name a few) and raffles prizes will be given out throughout the day. Food and refreshments also will be available.
Despite the cold weather, it should be a nice weekend to get out and enjoy some time on the ice on one of the many lakes or flowages here in the Tomahawk area. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:52 pm 
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Light snow is falling here in the Tomahawk area this afternoon. Only an inch or two is expected, which shouldn't hamper travel on area lakes this coming weekend. Good luck to all our friends in the south, and remember to bend with your knees and not your back.
Was out of town this past weekend celebrating a birthday with family, so I'm really looking forward to getting out and exploring some new water soon. Of the several new lakes I've fished in the Tomahawk area over the past several weeks, I can say that I've been pleasantly surprised with the results.
Here's a couple tactics I've been implementing when fishing new water this winter.
The first step I always take when considering a new lake is to gather information. By googling the lake and WDNR fish survey, you can usually get a pretty good idea of what the lake has to offer. Also check regulations, because a lake that has slot limits on walleyes typically means there's many in the system. Also check out the WDNR's webpage for a map of the lake. These can be a little tricky to read at first, but once you get the hang of them, they can provide invaluable information about the body of water you want to fish. Another great source to check out is Lakelink. Here you can find updates on how other anglers are doing and can also gather additional information on how to fish the lake. A Wisconsin Gazatteer Map also helps locate boat landings and other access to the many lakes in the area.
As far as bait is concerned, I typically run large fatheads and suckers on tip-ups to determine what the walleyes want. Some lakes wigglers work great for panfish, while other on lakes, a grub or minnows might be the bait the fish prefer. Then it comes down to locating the fish on the lake. Here's where electronics really come into play. I'll typically look for structure and explore different depths until I locate the active fish.
Winter is great time to get out and explore new water. Being mobile and having the right information at your disposal can go a long way in finding that new secret fishing hole. Give it a shot this weekend and have fun. With 900 lakes in Lincoln County and another 1,100 in Oneida County, there's a nearly endless supply of new water to check out.
Just a reminder to all parents and grandparents: Tomahawk Fishing Unlimited will be hosting its annual Kid's Winter Ice Fishing Contest this Saturday (Feb. 13) at the Bradley Park boat landing. There's no cost to take part in the contest, holes will be pre-drilled and bait will be provided, and grab bags including fishing merchandise and snacks will be given out. Refreshments also will be available. The contest is being held to promote fishing and to keep youth involved in the sport. Stop by and say hi, as I'm sure I'll be untangling a few lines during the afternoon. No registration is required. The event gets underway at 9 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. For more information, contact (715) 966-6185.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:05 pm 
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While the warm weather we've been experiencing here in the Tomahawk area has made for some great fishing conditions, it has also made ice conditions on Lake Mohawksin a little "iffy" in certain areas.
Last Friday I headed out on Mohawksin in search of walleye and decided to try a stretch near the trestle located next to SARA Park and Box Island. Usually this area has little ice because of current, but I had seen someone had cut holes in the area previously, so I thought there would be enough for myself to venture out on. I parked my truck about a hundred yards away and made the short walk over near the trestle. As I got close I could see the area I wanted to fish wasn't covered in snow like the rest of the lake, but instead, looked to be crusted over with a snow and ice pack mix. Being mid February, I wasn't really concerned about there being a lack of ice, but as I drilled the first hole, my stomach dropped as the auger punched through after making only a few rotations. I didn't stick around to check the ice depth, but based on how quickly my auger cut through, I would guess that it wasn't much more than an inch or two, if that.I should point out that much of the rest of the lake still has around two feet of ice and is safe to drive a vehicle on, but just keep in mind warm weather and water current can change ice conditions quickly.
As far as fishing on Mohawksin has been concerned, a good perch bite has been had by many this winter that continues to produce. Tomahawk Fishing Unlimited's recent Kids' Ice Fishing Contest saw a good number of jumbo perch registered. A few crappie, bluegill, pike and even a nice walleye was brought in by youngsters during the day. Much more important than the fish caught and trophies handed out, the afternoon provided a great opportunity for parents to bond and make great memories with their children out on the ice. A great job and congratulations goes out to all Tomahawk Fishing Unlimited volunteers who put on another great event.
I've been targeting perch on a few lakes just north of town and have continued to experience some good success. While the fish have remained active, the bite has been much more aggressive lately during the morning and evening hours. I continue to use Polar tip-ups tipped with large fatheads on the weed edges in around 10 feet of water. Typically I can catch a few walleyes at the end of the day using this technique, but as of last week, the walleye bite for me has really dropped off considerably. Some anglers are also having success targeting mud flats with wigglers for perch. Look for the wood filled bays on area flowages to start really producing some nice perch when things start to get active in warmer, shallower water in the coming weeks.
This is the time of the year many start chasing crappies on area flowages and lakes. The few hours before dark last night produced some beautiful slabs for this angler using tip-downs and rosy red shiners on one area flowage. Look for action to only get better as we near the sprig thaw.
There's a couple of neat encounters people might come across now in the Northwoods. Last weekend a strong smell of fox scent was noticeable on a lake I was fishing. These little critters are really active as they are mating this time of year. Typically during the evening, I can hear them yipping and see them running around in the back yard. I just sit back and take it in the sight. They don't seem to mind. Eagles are also in the process of mating. Last winter a buddy and I were fortunate enough to see this astonishing ritual while we were out fishing, which involves locking talons and plummeting toward the ground in a free fall spiral. After watching the birds drop in this fashion for several hundred feet, we actually became concerned they might crash on the ice. Fortunately they didn't. There's also been some sightings of what appears to be a very rare albino deer in the Tomahawk area. If you're fortunate enough to get a view of the Lake Alice Albino, consider yourself very lucky, as the odds of seeing one in the wild are as likely as being struck and killed by lightning, or a 1 in 30,000 chance.
The Somo Fish and Game Club will be hosting its annual ice fishing contest on Somo Lake this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food and refreshments will be available and prizes will be awarded for the biggest catches in a number of fish categories. Door prizes will also be awarded and raffles will be held. They're forecasting highs in the 30s this weekend, so it looks like conditions will be great to spend a day out on the ice. The registration booth is located next to the boat landing located next to the Tomahawk Lodge and Somo View Resort located on County Road CC.
What a great time of year to take in an evening on the ice in the Tomahawk area. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:56 pm 
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The light rain that moved into the Tomahawk area last night is expected to stick around over the next few days. Coupled with the precipitation, the warm weather we've been experiencing will cause ice conditions to continue to deteriorate in the coming days. Ice on inland lakes shouldn't be impacted much, but keep in mind, moving water on area flowages could make conditions iffy as we head into this weekend. Boat landings are also taking a hit, as water running into lakes is causing them to get pretty sloppy. Just as a reference, the ice below the North Fourth Street Bridge appears ready to break up any day now. From what I've seen and have been hearing, we're about two weeks ahead of where we typically would be concerning weather conditions and ice melt this time of year.
The good news is the warmer weather has really turned on the crappie bite - the water is running in the holes! The morning and evening have provided the best action on flowages when bluebird skies and high pressure have been around. Tip downs rigged with a jig and crappie minnow or rosy red have been producing decent and at times very good action. Start searching for crappies in the deeper water and try to find the fish before the night bite begins. Remember, only take what you need and put the rest back for seed.
This is also a great time of the year to begin searching the shallows for large bluegills and perch on area flowages. These fish will start to move in once the conditions change and the water warms. Look for bays where weeds are present. Punch several holes and begin searching until you come across the fish. Just a note: the bluegills might be right below the ice, so make sure to jig the entire water column.
Out on the Willow this past weekend, I saw my first scouter geese out searching for open water in the area. Soon the flocks will follow, and before we know it, spring will have returned and we'll be getting the boats and spinning rods ready. Take advantage of the remaining remnants of winter this weekend, because if the changing of the season continues to roar in, we might be looking at a very condensed spring thaw. Two years ago I ice fished seven months out of the year (November through May). This one looks like it will be much shorter. We'll have to wait and see, but right now I'm hoping the ice will hold up into next month so the tally will be at least five months for the season.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:49 pm 
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Open water anglers have been running boats up the Wisconsin River from the boat landing near the North Fourth Street Bridge the past few days. It's hard to imagine, but this spring will likely go down as one of the strangest on the books, as the ice melt is around a month or more ahead of where it should be this time of year.
I'm not sure how the walleye run is at this point, or if it has even begun, but I took a drive past Kings Dam earlier today and several boats looked like they were targeting the perch spawn. I haven't checked at Bradley Dam, but I would suspect anglers are also starting to target perch there as well.
Being one who really enjoys ice fishing, I have yet to give up on the hard surface, even though the shorelines are melting quickly and I can't remember the last time I had to use the ice chipper to open a hole. Suffice to say, but I would use caution on any ice this time of year, especially on flowages where moving water can quickly change ice depths. From here on out, It looks like ATV and foot travel will be the only way to go.
I've been targeting bluegills in the shallows on Lake Mohawksin the past few days. So far, I have yet to see the bull gills come out of the deep and move into the muddy bays. Hopefully this will change before the big cool down takes place heading into this weekend. These fish can be caught using jigs and a grub. Usually they'll be right under the ice, which can make for a lot of fun when they're active. The perch bite in these areas has been very active at certain times of the day.
Regardless if your heading out in the boat or taking to the ice for one last outing, this is a great time to take in a sunset and view the growing abundance of waterfowl that is now arriving daily in the Tomahawk area.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods water and ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:33 am 
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The walleye run is heating up on the Wisconsin River here in Tomahawk. Was out for a short time last night before dusk and managed to land five from shore dragging small jigs tipped with fatheads. No keepers but still fun to catch. Along with jigs, a simple hook and sinker presentation also works well this time of year. I like using a wire hook, because they bend and can be pulled out of snags, and as little weight as possible to hold the bait in place. Another presentation a lot of people use is a simple jig and mister twister body. A slow retrieve works best when the action is slow. Speed things up a bit when the action starts to pick up. Fish below the dams if you don't have access to a boat. Kings Dam in town and Grandfather and Grandmother on Hwy. 107 are good bets this time of year.
They're actually forecasting rain tonight and for tomorrow, and hopefully it pans out because we need every drop. There's a ban on fire permits. Small, supervised campfires are still allowed but the DNR is recommending no burning at all. The Spirit Flowage is full for the time being. Nokomis is down seven feet and the Willow is starting off the open water season 10 feet below full.
What a strange spring we've had. Even the nightcrawlers seem a bit confused, as they've been out the past several nights despite the very dry conditions.
Hopefully everyone has a great Easter weekend and has an opportunity to get out and enjoy. This front passing through should make for some great action.
Good luck and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Some warmer weather forecasted for this weekend should increase the fishing action. Anglers in the Tomahawk area are now focussing on a number of species that have been getting active.
Along with the walleye run on the Wisconsin River, crappie action has been heating up on area flowages. A crappie minnow under a float is all that is needed to catch these fish. Look for areas with downed timber, rocks, or in areas below bridges or trestles that are shaded. Anglers are also reporting mixed bag catches of bluegills and perch. Mud bottom bays where the water is the warmest is a good bet to start searching for these fish.
Hopefully the walleye run on the Wolf River begins to heat up, as I'll be heading south to join a buddy for a day on the water near Shiocton. Good luck to everyone hitting the water this week and weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:18 pm 
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Hi Jed,

First of all, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your fishing updates. They are always informative and educational, too. I check often and look forward to your updates. I'm a frequent visitor to the Tomahawk area and have been so for over 40 years.
Secondly, I was just wondering if you had any idea what the water temperatures presently are. Seems like with the warm spring things like spawning and weed growth may come early this year...right?

Thanks...and keep up the good work!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Thanks Jim,
Great to hear you enjoy reading the updates. I can tell you I certainly enjoy doing the research.
The water temps have been fluctuating in the upper 40s to lower 50s over the past couple weeks , which is a good month ahead of where they typically are this time of year. This is certainly going to change how and what many anglers will be targeting come opening weekend. I've been discussing this with others quite a bit lately as the May 1 opener draws near, and the overwhelming plan has been to move up presentations that would typically be used in late spring or early summer.
I'll be doing the same on the large, clear lake that I annually fish on the opener. Typically the perch are in a post-spawn mode and won't bite. I plan on targeting them with wigglers in the weeds this year. The walleye run will be well in the rearview mirror - the sucker run was already going strong at Spirit Falls late last week, which is a good sign that the walleye run is now complete. I suspect the walleyes might be more active where I'll be fishing as they also can get tight lipped after the spawn.
Depending on the weather over the next two weeks, the bluegill and crappie bite might be going strong in the shallows as they prepare to spawn. I was hearing of some really nice catches by the trestles on Moahawksin a while back and have even been hearing of people catching the big gills in the shallows already.
No doubt this will be an interesting opener. Hopefully we'll get some much needed rain in advance to bring up area trout streams and flowages.
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: Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:00 am 
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Time to go over that mental list, or written one if you're like me, of all the supplies needed as the much anticipated 2010 fishing opener gets underway Saturday. Mental note: start list and include rain jacket as there's a chance of rain in the Tomahawk area this weekend.
Looks like we'll be dealing with a cold front that is expected to push through the area Friday night, so presentations might have to be slowed down some on Saturday - the air temps are only expected to drop back into the mid 60s. Depending on if it is cloudy, panfish now in the shallows preparing to spawn will likely move out into a little deeper water. Slip bobbers and a piece of nightcrawler used in weedy bays and along sandy shorelines should produce bluegills. Weedy bays can also produce pike and bass this time of year. Try a big sucker or chub minnow under a bobber if you're looking to have some fun - remember the bass season is only catch and release this time of year. If the walleye action slows because of the cold front, try using a simple hook and sinker tipped with a fathead and dragged slowly across the bottom instead of bouncing jigs. Usually the fish will tell you which one they prefer. Mental note: get an assortment of weighted jigs in case the wind is blowing hard. Look for structure, like wood and weeds near deep water and target these areas before dark. Slip bobbers work good in these areas as well to prevent a lot of snags. Unlike previous years when the walleye have been in post-spawn mode, this year they should be much more active and willing to feed as we're now a good three weeks ahead of schedule.
While making mental notes, it's also a good idea to make sure the boat batteries are charged, the life jackets are stowed away and the net and all other equipment is on board. Nothing like starting the season off having to wait a couple hours for the battery to charge or having to run to the bait shop to pick up a boat plug that was left at home.
One last mental note: make sure to get fish batter, frying oil and tartar sauce. Here's some simple altercations I've made to frying fish that you might want to try when cooking up a batch this weekend. Use Canola oil instead of regular vegetable oil, as it browns the fish up better. I also like to crush up crackers with a rolling pin and it to the Shore Lunch (about 50/50). It makes the fillets a little crispier and also makes them a little less salty.
Good luck to everybody heading out for the 2010 opener. Be courteous to others and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 11:32 pm 
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Tie to Tomahawk: vacation
Mr Browns,
Don't forget the Mann's B1- for the 0 to 1 ft stata. Hope it works as well for you as it has for Nancy & I!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Hi Jeff!
I was hoping to bust out the Mann's B-1 while on an extended opening weekend vacation that just came to an end, but the nonstop wind we've been experiencing has pretty much kept me off the water.
While I say I was off the water, it doesn't mean I haven't been fishing. The great and unique thing about Tomahawk is, even if the wind is howling or storm clouds are threatening, there's still a lot of places an angler can go to fish from shore. After being blown off the water Saturday and Sunday, this angler hit some of the area dams and bridges and was able to catch several species of fish. From walleyes and crappies, to bluegills and smallmouth bass, all species were caught using a simple hook and sinker tipped with a fathead or nightcrawler. I'll switch over to using leeches and crawlers almost exclusively as summer arrives.
The crappie bite has been going strong as the lilacs start to bloom here in Tomahawk, but I suspect some cooler weather coming in for this weekend will slow things down some. Bluegills that had been up in the shallows over the past few days will likely push deeper at least until the sun begins to warm the shorelines again. The walleye bite has been pretty good before dark. If the wind hadn't been so bad, I would have situated the boat off to the side of where a deep holes meets a mud and weed filled bay and probably would have caught several fish. Unfortunately, opening weekend is notorious for less than ideal weather, and my best evening was a respectable 8 walleyes caught from shore in a couple hours.
I also tried trout fishing and found the water in some area streams far below where it should be this time of year.
In an example of how far ahead we are weather wise, I did for the first time I can remember catch perch during the opening weekend. Typically the water in the deep and clear lake I fish is far too cold, but move things forward a month, and several 8-9 inchers were caught using crawler pieces in a shallow and weedy bay. The bite occurred right before dark. The next day I could see the fish and they weren't interested.
Hopefully the day will come when I can bust out the fly rod and get the boat out to cast the shoreline with that Mann's B-1. If not, at least we still have the dams and bridges that provide easy and sheltered places to fish.
Jeff, hopefully you had the chance to get out and wet a line over the opener. Any luck, if you did?
Good luck to everyone braving the winds and cool weather this upcoming weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:23 am 
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Looks like we'll have one more day of windy conditions before nice weather makes a return to Tomahawk for the weekend.
With highs around 70 and plenty of sun in the forecast, the water will warm up nicely over the next couple days, which should result in a much improved bite. Look for the bluegills to return to the shallows and the crappies to resume spawning. I've been hearing about some pretty good walleye action on area flowages around the deeper water during the day and up in the shallower water before dark.
This angler has spent the past week chasing trout on area lakes and the many great streams that are spread across Lincoln County. From the Prairie to the New Wood River and the upper tributaries of the Spirit, a wealth of Class A trout streams exist in the county that can often be overlooked. Make sure to have an inland trout stamp and give one a try the next time the wind is blowing or the weather isn't cooperating. They can be a lot of fun and a great way to spend an afternoon. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a few of these fish. But remember to photograph and release some to keep the native population healthy.
Area trout fishing should only continue to improve as the rain and warm weather brings out more hatches. Make sure to check for wood ticks if you venture in the woods. They’re awfully thick out there this year.
An evening below Pride Dam last week also produced crappie, smallmouth and some very active pike. Try a simple slip bobber and fathead if you’re looking to have some fun from shore.
Looks like it will be a terrific weekend to get out and enjoy the splendor of the Northwoods. Good luck to everyone heading out. Enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:09 pm 
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The shallow waters of Lake Mohawksin came alive this past weekend as the bluegill and largemouth bass returned with the nice weather.
Those looking to take children out for some fun, or to get a meal of fillets will want to take advantage. The high pressure overhead and warm weather that came with it will keep the fish shallow through the weekend.
Some very nice-sized gills were caught using a simple hook and bobber rigged with a chunk of nightcrawler. Another fun way to target these fish is with poppers on the fly rod.
To find these fish look for lily pads in a couple feet of water. This is also where the largemouth bass are now as they prepare to spawn.
It’s still “catch and release season” and you can’t use barbed hooks, but these bucketmouths can still provide a lot of fun along the shorelines on warm and sunny days. Look for the bass in some of the thickest shoreline slop that you can find. Weedless, plastic worms are a great lure to use to get to where these fish are.
This angler targeted trout on area streams early last week when the wind kept the boat in the driveway. The fishing was a blast. When the flyrod couldn’t be used because of the wind, a simple white rooster tail did the trick. Nightcrawlers were also soaked to catch some nice brookies and browns.
That's one of the great things about living in the Northwood's Play Land. There's always some sort of fishing that can be done.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Have fun, soak in the nice weather and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 9:26 am 
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Make sure to sharpen those hooks and lube those reels as the 2010 musky opener here in the Northwoods gets underway Saturday.
The early spring we've experienced will certainly impact the “what and where” of tracking down a hungry lunker come this weekend.
During a typical spring, headwaters on area flowages provide a great place to target early in the year. Expect the muskies to be more spread out this spring as the spawn on most area waters took place a while back. Early reports from walleye fisherman and from what I’ve seen indicate the muskies already have their feedbags on, which should make for some great action. Saturday and Sunday are also the end of a full-moon phase and they're talking a chance of rain Sunday night. Active and unconditioned muskies combined with these other factors, I wouldn't be surprised to hear about a few nice fish being boated, photographed and released right off the bat.
Cabbage bed edges will be a great place to target come opener. Keep in mind it will be Memorial Day Weekend, so boat traffic could be heavy. Plan accordingly. Water temps are already climbing into the low 70s. Fish early and evening. Night fishing on some of the clear lakes is another option that could produce. Keep it in mind if the boat traffic is unbearable.
Bigger and faster moving lures will be a definite option this spring. Twitch baits are a mainstay for many during the opener, but don’t hesitate to throw a topwater to start the season. A buddy boated a beautiful 47-inch fish on a topwater last opener. It was part of a multi-fish day we had on Mohawksin using topwaters. All were caught, photographed and released for another to later enjoy.
Those not targeting the “fish of 10,000 casts” should continue to find decent action in the shallows. This angler targeted perch on a clear, area lake this past weekend and found active fish in the new and old weeds. All that was needed was a simple slip bobber rig tipped with a chunk of nightcrawler. Give it a try if you’re looking for a tasty meal and to have some fun.
Along with the grilling, fishing and spending time with family and friends this Memorial Day weekend, please remember to take some time to remember the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Thank a veteran. It's because of them we are able to enjoy freedom.
GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE HEADING OUT THIS WEEK AND MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. ENJOY YOUR NORTHWOODS WATER TIME!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:15 am 
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Boat engine problems kept this angler from taking part in the 2010 musky opener this past Memorial Day weekend. I heard of a 47-inch fish and some others that were caught in the Tomahawk area. A buddy is coming up tomorrow and we'll be pursuing the esox over the next several days. Hopefully will have good news to report. The unstable weather pattern and resulting storms should help make the fish active.
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: Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:05 pm 
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It could've been a record-setting weekend chasing muskies on Tomahawk area waters over the past several days, but as fishing goes, it turned out to be just pretty good.
On Wednesday evening, this angler got on the board for the first time for the year with a 37-inch fish on Mohawksin. The fish hit a Top Raider on a woody channel edge in about six feet of water. The musky struck the lure on the outside turn of a figure-eight, and the boat side battle that pursued was a blast.
A buddy arrived for the weekend, which was just in time for some hot action that unfolded Saturday afternoon. In a matter minutes right before the rain moved in, we brought two nice fish to the boat using topwaters. The first followed my lure but spooked at boat side during the figure-eight. We found out it was a 43-inch fish (we think it was the same fish) since my buddy landed a musky in the same area I had earlier had the follow throwing a topwater. While a nice fish, it didn't compare to another VERY ACTIVE AND BIG (50-inch range fish) that was also brought to the boat. We later learned at the boat landing the musky hit a smallmouth bass another angler who was fishing for panfish had hooked. The big fish was relating to shoreline structure consisting of lily pads, weeds and wood. The 43 was in a bay that featured sporadic weeds.
Sunday we couldn't move a fish using topwaters. Another in our boat caught a 36-inch tiger musky while throwing spinners for bass. All fish were released after photos were taken.
The unstable weather pattern that had turned the muskies on Saturday is expected to stick around into this coming weekend - a new moon phase also starts on Thursday and runs through the weekend! Water temps have fallen back into the upper 60s. If the twitch baits aren't producing, which they didn't for me all weekend, give the topwaters a try as this can be a lot of fun. Work the lily pads and around cabbage on area flowages. Downsize lure size and patterns if the fish aren't overly active. Remember not to set the hook until you feel the weight on the other end when using topwaters.
Good luck, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:33 am 
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Rain was coming down in buckets here in the Tomahawk area earlier this morning. Hopefully we see all of the 1-2 inches they're forecasting. The Willow and Nokomis could really use it.
Got out last night for a couple of hours of muskie fishing and continued to have action on the topwaters. The fish were relating to the weed edges along the river channel. Ended up 0 for 2 but had a lot of fun out on the water right before dark. If I haven't been seeing a lot of action on the surface, I've been using bucktails and twitchbaits and trying other subsurface lures. By far the most action and biggest fish I've seen to start off the season this year have been chasing the topwaters.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Don't forget to pack the rain coat. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:39 pm 
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With a number of recent boat troubles hopefully behind me for the year, this angler is anticipating a return to the water in the next couple days.
Water temps have warmed back into the 70s, which means I'll be looking for muskies to give chase to bucktails in and around weeds. I especially like to use topwaters heading into cool downs, but when the water warms this time of year (especially this year) I'll switch over to lures I can work just below the surface. That includes Suicks when fishing high pressure and bucktails, topwaters and other baits that can be worked faster when fish are giving chase.
Heading into this weekend, it sounds like we'll continue to see an active weather pattern, which should continue an aggressive feed that will be spurred on by a full moon phase now underway. Come Saturday and Sunday muskies might need a little more coaxing as a high pressure system settles in.
The unstable weather has also turned on other species of fish from what fellow anglers have been reporting. Bass anglers are catching flowage walleyes in a foot or two of water, and I've also heard of some big perch being taken while out trolling on the Willow.
One last weekend before the July 4 boat traffic takes over area waters. Then it'll be fishing early and late and enjoying pontoon rides throughout the day.
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: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:01 pm 
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That last weather forecast I saw appears to have been off by a few days. They're now calling for storms, some severe, throughout this weekend. It should make for some great fishing. Hopefully in about two hours I'll be tangling with a big brute muskie. I can hear the top raider hitting the water now.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Have the rain coat ready, be safe and enjoy your Northwoods water time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:42 am 
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Got a fresh reminder last week of the importance to always do the figure eight when throwing for muskies. It sounds like a no brainer, but I bet I'm not alone in not doing the procedure when a bait is tangled in weeds. I was at that point in the day where the back had tightened up and the shoulder felt like it was out of socket. The topwater I was retrieving had become entangled in thick weeds, so as the seconds wound down and the lure approached the boat, I made a conscious decision to forego the figure eight. That was a mistake.
Out of the hundreds of casts I made earlier in the evening this was the one a fish decided to follow. As I pulled the lure out of the water I saw the remains of the following fish, as it looked like someone had turned on my trolling motor and pointed it at me. So if I can only offer one bit of advice from this most recent disappointment and a number of previous weed-covered disappointments, it is to always, always make sure you do the figure eight.
With this high pressure settling in, I've taken the past few days to get some of the yard work done before the big holiday weekend. I've heard of a few nice fish (40s) being taken over the past few days, and hopefully will be adding my name to that list tonight. Action should continue to get better heading into the weekend as this long stretch of high pressure prolongs. Make sure to fish early and late as the boat traffic will be hectic with the warm temps and holiday. I haven't had any action on them yet, but we're getting to that point in the year Suicks and Bobbie Baits can be really effective lures when worked along the deeper edge of weed beds.
Like many others, I was saddened to learn local fishing legend and guide Julio will no longer be providing his knowledge and insight through the Fishing Reports on the Tomahawk Leader's webpage. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he makes a speedy recovery to good health.
Good luck to everyone heading out and have a great Fourth of July. Be safe and enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:58 am 
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Sorry I failed to mention this in my previous report, but lakefront property owners on Lake Mohawksin might want to remove all items from their boats nightly this weekend. There was an incident where a number of items were taken from a number of boats during the night Friday. June 25. A $100 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information on the person or persons responsible for the theft. For more on all the details, look for the article in this week's Tomahawk Leader.
There's no saying if it will happen again, but better safe than sorry as the saying goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:02 pm 
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The holidays, work and heavy rain have prevented this angler from getting out on the water lately. Spent a couple hours on the Somo casting for muskies Monday and didn't see any action.
We've picked up some decent rain here in the Tomahawk area over the past few days. I was checking the WVIC webpage earlier and flowages are doing very well - Nokomis is down around 3 feet and the Willow is down something like 5 feet. What really shocked me was the flow rate the Wisconsin River is currently flowing at. After being at 1,600 cfs (cubic feet per second) a few weeks back, the river today is flowing at around 4,000 cfs. To start June it was at I think 900 cfs. Typically the river flows at around 2,000 cfs this time of year. If for nothing else, I share this information to keep in mind while out fishing. Someday I hope to start compiling information on flow rates to see how this impacts fish activity. Just an FYI: the water on the Somo was pretty stained Monday.
Friday starts the beginning of a new moon phase, which means musky anglers will want to be on the water throughout the weekend. Last year, this angler had a lot of action leading into the new moon (which is on Sunday) early in the summer. The pattern switched to the full moon phase being better closer to the fall. There's a fishable major on Friday at 9:28 a.m. It gets roughly an hour later each day (Saturday it starts at around 10:30 a.m.) and lasts for two hours. There's a fishable minor starting Friday at 3:43 p.m. Minors last for an hour and are about an hour later each day (Saturday 4:43 p.m.).
Water temps have remained warm (mid 70s) for sometime now, so look for fish on area flowages to be along deeper weed edges. Fish will move up in shallow "strike zones" like weeds or points before dark. If the fish are active try a topwater like a Topraider or other bait that can be worked fast. I haven't had much action on the bucktail yet this year, but buzzing these baits should also produce.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods water time.

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