Living the dream

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

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

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

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:13 pm

The good news is the lows are forecasted to be in the 20s most nights this coming week. The bad news is daytime highs in the 40s will not improve ice conditions on Tomahawk area waters. As of Sunday, the southern shorelines were starting to lose ice making access a bit of a challenge. The bay we targeted on a Tomahawk area flowage still had a good four to five inches of ice. As would be expected during early ice, we found and caught some very nice walleyes in the 18 to 19.5 inch range using golden shiners on tip ups. The best bite occurred right before sunset and we fished in depths from four to six feet deep. The northern pike bite was also pretty active right before dark with some caught in the mid 20 inch range. The panfish we caught this past week all ran small. Eventually we will be able to access better areas and hopefully find some bigger gills, crappies and perch that are willing to bite.
Will be interesting to see how this ice holds up heading into this weekend. We won't gain any, and hopefully the shorelines will hold up enough to allow access until the next cold front arrives. I've had several people tell me I'm nuts for risking fishing early ice. My response has been I've been doing this for over 30 years and know the places where the ice is and isn't safe. We also continue to use caution and chisel our way out to spots when required and carry safety gear with us just to be extra safe.
With the long-range forecast in a holding pattern, we will need to continue to use caution and might have to stop venturing out as far and fish closer to shore. Or the ice fishing might have to be put on hold for the time being. Tomahawk flowages offer some really good shoreline spots that can be targeted and the late bow season should provide plenty of opportunity to get out and enjoy. Be safe and good luck to everyone heading out this week and upcoming weekend. Have fun and enjoy your Northwoods woods and water time!
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:57 pm

These cold temps should really help lock the lakes up once this wind dies down. Drove by the Spirit Reservoir this morning on Hwy. 86 and noticed one side of the road at the fill was still frozen while the other side to the north had opened up after the rain and warm temps Monday. With the cold weather forecasted over the coming days, I would expect there to be plenty of ice come this weekend. The thing will be is how much ice there will be in certain areas depending on if they had ice prior to the warmup, when they freeze as the wind is really blowing now and how long it has been frozen heading into Saturday. Anglers who have fished the Tomahawk area flowages for any amount of time know ice depths can always very due to channels and water flow, so the same caution should be used heading out this weekend. The good news is the cold has finally arrived and it will soon be making good ice. Hopefully the snow holds off a few days so a solid base can form to avoid any unwanted slush. On our most recent outing on a Tomahawk area flowage Saturday, we found four inches of good ice in the bay we targeted, which was protected from the daytime sun by tall pines that also blocked the wind, and we caught several nice walleyes using tip ups rigged with golden shiner minnows. Fish up to 18" were caught with several others in the 16" range adding to fun night of ice fishing under a full moon. The action really picked up heading into sunset and then abruptly died down once the moon was in the sky. We stuck around till about 6:30 p.m. to enjoy the nice weather and watch the full moon rise above the towering pines before calling it a night. It certainly was a reminder why this is called God's Country. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and coming weekend. Put an extra pair of socks on before heading out as it will be cold. As always be safe and use early ice precautions, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice fishing time!
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:10 pm

A balmy 12 below zero at noon here in the Tomahawk area the day after Christmas. From what I have been hearing and reading, this cold has taken care of much of the slush that was a concern heading into the holiday break, which is great news as far as the rest of the ice fishing season goes. The ice should continue to build nicely over the coming days as the cold is forecasted to remain, and it won't be long now and good access should be available to some of the better walleye and panfish spots along channels and in deeper holes. Hoping to get out in the coming days to get a better idea of what the overall ice situation is after the cold spell. Some spots were still a bit sketchy with the slush heading into the holiday break. Stay warm and good luck to everyone heading out this week and coming weekend. Happy New Year, stay warm and enjoy your Northwoods ice fishing time!
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:32 pm

After waiting for the weather to warm up a bit following the wicked two-week cold spell, we got out yesterday (Wednesday) on a Tomahawk area flowage for a bit. There was a good 16 inches of ice where we were fishing so no problems taking the truck out. I would not recommend driving out if unaware of the ice depths where you plan to go. I just haven't been out enough lately to get a good handle on how the ice is overall. That said, there has been truck travel on the flowages heading into this next round of cold set to hit this weekend. Weather yesterday included fog and a light drizzle with highs in the low 30s and a pretty consistent wind out of the south and west.
As far as the fishing, we set up in about 20 feet of water jigging and using tip downs out of a permanent shack and found some crappies and bluegills and a bite that was rather slow. The crappies, found using flasher, were found suspended in the 10 to 14 foot deep range. Most the bigger crappies were found higher up in the walleye column and most my bites came jigging plastics. The tip downs were few and far between with only a couple smaller crappies caught and released. While the fishing wasn't the greatest yesterday, it was still nice getting out on the ice after having to wait out the cold spell.
Some very large snowflakes followed the rain showers here in the Tomahawk area this a.m. Hopefully the snow we do get is limited so this upcoming cold snap can get rid of any standing water that is out there on the ice right now. Also a reminder the ice fishing tourney season is here, with the AMVETS and NCO Lake Nokomis tourney set for this Saturday at the Lake Nokomis County N boat landing. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and coming weekend. Be safe, have fun (while staying warm) and enjoy your Northwoods ice fishing time!
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:27 pm

Besides from being free fishing weekend in Wisconsin, the busy Tomahawk area flowage we targeted on Saturday was likely the result of several weeks of frigid cold that kept many inside and not enjoying time in the great outdoors.
All the action on top of the ice on a beautiful winter day did not seem to have an impact on the bite below, as we caught fish from the time we set up in the morning till we left at sunset. The fish were caught along a channel edge in about 12 feet of water. We were looking for some submerged wood we had found while out fishing this past fall. Once we found the structure the action really picked up.
Some nice perch were caught as schools cruised the channel. We caught them jigging, on tip downs and tip ups set with large fatheads and gold shiners. Nice gills were also caught near the structure, with the best bite coming right before sunset. A 16-inch walleye was caught on a tip down, and a pretty large pike was lost after a long battle trying to bring the fish in by hand on three-pound test line. A couple very nice crappies were iced jigging waxies and on the tip downs. Even a largemouth bass was caught and released on a tip up.
It was pretty fun ice fishing a new area and having some success. The assortment of species caught kept the action going all day. Those we were fishing with had a blast and said they are already looking forward to the next time they can come up and fish a Tomahawk area flowage with us. And we can’t wait to get back out on the ice with them soon!
While conditions were really nice this past weekend with about 18 inches of ice and not too much snow, it will no doubt change as the Tomahawk area picked up about a foot of snow yesterday. Strong winds also likely made drifts that will need to be kept in mind the next time heading out. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and upcoming weekend. Have fun, pack the shovel and enjoy your Northwoods ice fishing time!
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:30 pm

Good luck to everyone taking part in the Alice in Winterland Ice Fishing Contest on Lake Alice tomorrow. Dress warm and pack some hot coffee in the thermostat. Fishing has been really up and down for us as of late on the Tomahawk area flowages. The good news is this cold front has been around for a couple days, so it shouldn't be as bad as trying to fish during or the couple days after it passed through. We managed some nice gills and crappies right before the big cold snap at sunset on Wednesday. The trick to catching these suspended fish was using electronics and a miniature presentation - those kind of ice jigs that are a real pain to tie on because they are so small. Found the fish suspended 12 feet down in 20 feet of water. Not a lot of fish, but bringing up and releasing a gill pushing a foot in length is always a lot of fun. The Tomahawk area picked up another couple inches of snow Wednesday, so the recreation trails should be in pretty good shape heading into the weekend. Good luck to everyone hitting the ice this coming weekend. Stay warm, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:13 pm

Got out on a Tomahawk area flowage for an afternoon of fishing this past Sunday and found some action with crappies and gills suspending over deep water. From those I had talked with it had been a pretty slow bite on Saturday, so with a bluebird sky and highs in the mid teens, I wasn't expecting much as I climbed into the portable shack to get out of a strong westerly wind. Tip downs would not work outside, so my buddy and I each set one up in our shacks and jigged plastics and small jigs in another hole. We were set up along a channel edge in about 16 feet of water. The fish would come through in schools and we were catching them from eight to 10 feet down. Obviously electronics helped catch these fish, as you would see them coming up for the bait and entice them to bite by slowly raising and jigging the bait. I started off jigging plastic and caught a few nice crappies and some smaller fish. When that bite turned off I switched back to a micro jig and grub and continued to pick up some nice slabs. The tip down bite never really got hot, although we did catch some fish on them, but I think it helped attract fish that were then caught on the jig pole. We set tip ups out along the channel edge but never had a flag all day. I did manage to catch one nice gill pushing the 10-inch range that was suspended high up with the crappies. I'm not sure why, but this year we are catching most our gills and crappies suspended much higher up in the walleye column than in years past. The action Sunday wasn't non-stop, but it was constant enough to make it interesting and we left right before dark with a nice meal of fish. The travel conditions out there now are pretty good. Hoping to take advantage of this warmer weather in the coming days to check out a few new spots with deep suspended wood that I have wanted to check out since finding them fishing from the boat this fall. We are entering a new moon phase, which should help improve the bite heading into this weekend. The warmer weather should make it much more enjoyable to get out and hole hop in the coming days and this weekend. Good luck to everyone heading out this week and coming weekend. Remember to only take what you need and put the rest back for seed. Good luck, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods ice fishing time!
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:09 pm

Hopefully the warming weather in the forecast for the coming days will help improve the bite and make travel much easier on Tomahawk area waters heading into this weekend. While there still is close to two feet of ice, truck travel on are lakes and flowages has been limited due to the hard pack and drifting and slushy spots. Along with limited access, an east wind the past several weekends has kept things pretty slow for us. We have been catching a few nice crappies mixed in with many smaller ones found over deep water. Fish we are catching have been suspended about 10 feet down in 20 feet of water (a flasher really helps find and entice fish). One thing I have noticed on Tomahawk area flowages is the fish really have seemed to prefer white jigs the past couple outings. I have been trying different colors jigging and also on tip downs and the white jig has been outproducing all other colors for us. The really good news is some of the best fishing of the season is about to get underway as the temperatures warm and the water begins running down the holes. Deeper bottleneck areas into shallow bays where crappies will later spawn become great places to target late ice. As insect activity begins to increase with the warming temps shallow bays become great places to find nice gills sometimes suspended right under the ice on Tomahawk area flowages. I have even heard a few anglers are getting out on open water at the Herb Mitchell boat landing on the Wisconsin River (portions of the river remain open for gamefish year round). And just a reminder all permanent ice shacks must be removed and cannot be left out overnight after this Sunday, March 18 on all waters north of Hwy. 64. After a bit of late winter lull, the fishing should continue to get better and better as we head toward late ice conditions in the coming weeks. Happy St. Patrick's Day and good luck to everyone heading out this coming weekend. Remember to pack the shovel if heading out with the vehicle and enjoy your Northwoods ice fishing time!
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:05 am

After getting out and enjoying a brief view of springtime in the Northwoods yesterday, as temps reached 48 degrees here in Tomahawk, it looks like winter is set to make a return with 3-6 inches of snow in the forecast for tomorrow night and a stretch of unseasonably cooler temps expected to follow. It was fun while it lasted, and for once after a long stretch of less than ideal fishing conditions with winds out of the east, the wind finally blew out of west/north west Wednesday and the fish responded. Not wanting to test travel conditions on a bigger flowage like the Willow, we targeted a small lake in the Tomahawk area yesterday afternoon and found crappies feeding pretty consistently. While setting the first tip down, I noticed a block of color on the flasher about eight feet down in 15 feet of water. As my white jig tipped with a crappie minnow dropped the fish could be seen racing up to about six feet where it hammered the bait and after a brief battle was flopping on the ice. This happened again setting the third tip down and before all three lines were in the water three keeper-size crappies had been caught. After a pretty good start the action cooled a bit. When this happens I like to bust out the plastic to try and entice less aggressive fish. No dice on this day, as the fish would come up and look at the plastic and then head back down without hitting the bait. After going back to using just tip downs a nice batch of crappies were caught throughout the rest of the day. A pair of Canadian geese landed on the ice nearby and appeared a bit annoyed by the ice that still covers the lake. It will be some time before they find open water outside of the Wisconsin River as the lake we were on still had well over two feet of ice and it will be some time before the water starts running down the holes. Between the melting and rainfall from earlier this week, we did encounter some very slushy areas in spots while driving off the lake, probably the last time we take trucks out, but the area we fished had just a solid area of snow and the thick layer of ice below. A good number of anglers were out on the open water at the Herb Mitchell boat launch on the Wisconsin River. With the cold and snow forecasted in the coming days, it looks like winter is planning to stick around for the foreseeable future. Conditions can and will change rapidly, but for now I would say the ice fishing season will run for several more weeks up here in the Northwoods. Ice on the opener? Too early to say. Enjoy the holiday weekend and good luck to everyone heading out this upcoming weekend. At least the persistent easterly winds have finally changed directions making for an improved bite even if travel conditions are likely about to get worse with the forecasted snow. Have fun, pack the shovel and enjoy your Northwoods ice and open water time!
Gone Fishin'

User avatar
Old Scout
Regular Contributor
Regular Contributor
Posts: 910
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2001 1:01 am
Tie to Tomahawk: Born, raised and live in Tomahawk
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby Old Scout » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:13 pm

Ice fishing on opening weekend ? :lol:
Gun Control = A steady hand and good aim !

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:24 pm

Here is the Tomahawk Fishing Report I put together from this past weekend. Tip ups might be needed on the opener on some of the bigger lakes!
With conditions outside looking and feeling more like mid February than the start of spring after several rounds of deep, heavy snow and record cold, the good news is the forecast is calling for more seasonable weather in the coming days.
We targeted a small lake in the Tomahawk area Sunday and found ice so thick that it took all the way to the power auger handlebars to bust through. Instead of talking open water and the early season perch and walleye bite, we might need to start considering adding the auger extension to continue fishing if things don’t change soon!
Conditions included all the new snow, a layer of ice on top of a layer of slush and pack snow that covered the lake. Pockets of deep slush were also in some areas. There still is almost a month to go before the opener the first weekend in May and conditions can change quickly, but I’m not putting the tip ups away as they might be needed to target walleyes on some of the bigger lakes. If it is the case, that would mean this ice fishing season has lasted seven months as we were out ice fishing first ice right after the gun deer season.
Fishing Sunday started out nice as dropping the first tip down a mark on the flasher was spotted coming up to the bait. The fish hit and a nice crappie was caught. Dropping the bait back down another mark was spotted. This time the fish was missed and then things quieted down. Three hours passed and only one small walleye was caught. It wasn’t until after we gave our catch away to another angler on the lake that we caught more crappies. An evening bite picked up for a bit but at that point the day of fishing was already done and the crappies were put back down the hole to catch another day. We were fishing six to eight feet down over deeper water.
We also tried fishing a Tomahawk area flowage on Saturday and the cold wind made it difficult to fish. The holes were freezing shut, strong gusts out of the north kept drifting over the holes, and the sting of the wind left fingers and hands cold. A lot more like a mid-February day than the start of spring.
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:23 am

Went out on Lake Mohawksin yesterday for a bit. Shoreline where we walked on was getting a bit punky but the lake itself still has plenty of ice. Just like the smaller lake we fished this past weekend, it was almost down to the power auger handlebars before busting through. The half inch of rain last night did surprisingly little to knock down the ground snow. Now we wait and see what this next round of white stuff will produce this coming weekend. Might be needing the snowblower yet again as winter continues to hang on here in the Northwoods.
Gone Fishin'

mrbrowns
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Tomahawk

Re: Living the dream

Postby mrbrowns » Tue May 01, 2018 1:46 pm

Here's an update on the conditions heading into the opener weekend here in northern Wisconsin. I suspect the large, clear water lake I will be targeting will still have ice despite the recent warmer weather, as ATVs were still driving on the lake last weekend. The Tomahawk area will offer plenty of opportunity to fish from boat or shore, as the ice is out on Mohawksin, and the boat landings at Kwahamot Park and SARA Park are now ice free. The Wisconsin River was running high this week as a result of all the spring run off.
Here is an update from the DNR's Mike Vogelsang, northern Wisconsin fisheries district supervisor.
"As of April 29, lakes north of Highway 8 still have very solid ice. In northern tier counties such as Oneida, Vilas, Ashland, Bayfield, and Douglas, anglers are using extensions on their augers due to the thick ice cover that still remains. It is expected that ice will remain through next week and into the fishing opener for northern counties, and it's difficult to predict at this point what state it will be in. Small shallow lakes may be open, but larger lakes could have ice that's not quite safe to walk on, and too socked in to launch a boat. When ice-out does occur, walleye will be the most sought after species. Walleye spawning will be very active and during late ice-out years peak spawning activity occurs quickly and could be over in as little as three to five days. Walleye anglers will definitely want to focus their efforts in the shallows, particularly along rock and cobble shorelines. Live bait combos such as jigs and minnows always bode well early in the season, as do small minnow stick baits and crank baits."
Good luck to everyone heading out for the opener on Saturday. Be safe, have fun and enjoy your Northwoods water and late ice time!
Gone Fishin'


Return to “Fishing With Jed”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest