Fishing Report: A big day for smallies on the Wisconsin River
Contributed to the Tomahawk Leader
Fishing this summer has been a challenge to say the least if you are a river system fisherman or fisherwoman. The extensive rain events have made water levels rise to record levels, and especially in the rivers around Lincoln County, the rise and fall of water levels following the big rain storms have had an effect on the fishery.
With that said, smallmouth bass still seem to be active, especially if you can fish the river on the lower side of the water levels. Myself and a buddy fished a stretch of the Wisconsin River just south of the Tomahawk area last week, and we had great smallie action in the fast moving waters. Smallies love the current and the edges of the breaks, rocks and brush that may cut the current for them. In about three hours we landed over 25 smallies of all sizes. The two biggest were 19.5” and 18”, both fat and full of fight.
Plastics seemed to be the way to go for us. A simple 1/8th oz. jig head with a three-inch twister tail did the trick. I also topped the same rig with a beetle spin spinner to catch one of the bigger fish. We tried top water baits also with no success at all; they really liked the plastics in the fast moving water.
Pan fishing has also been good in the area as bluegills are out in their typical summer water depths and off the beds now. Crappies are suspended, and slip bobber fishing seems to be the common way to catch them this time of year.
We saw water temps on the area lakes this last week in the low 80s and in the mid to upper 70s on the river systems, so this tends to push a lot of fish a little deeper to find more comfortable water temps.
The extended forecast for the next few weeks looks seasonal, comfortable and drier, so here is to hoping the water levels go down a bit and allow for us to get out and get after them once again.
Good luck on the water and be safe.