Fishing Report: Eagle Lake Variety
For the Tomahawk Leader
This week’s report found us on Eagle Lake, just north and east of Eagle River, Wis., for a weekend of fishing and relaxation. The weather almost couldn’t have been much nicer with blue skies, no wind and highs in the upper 20s. Is this really Wisconsin in January/February? Call it global warming if you want, but for an outdoorsman, I will take all the winter days that we can get that are like this.
Eagle Lake is on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes in Vilas County. With its 575 acres of clear water and sand bottom, it can be a challenging fishing lake overall. We found good ice, about 16 inches and solid; however, we did notice pockets of slush on the ice, and the more holes we drilled, the worse it was getting as far as standing water in the area. The forecast for the weeks ahead looks like a cold spell is coming, so this should really firm things up again and make some more ice as well. We only had two to three inches of snow cover on top of the ice, so driving anywhere you wanted to go was no problem.
The bite again continued to be slow, slow, slow. We were able to catch a variety of fish, however, so that was the good news; the bad news was no keeper sized fish at all. We had perch, rock bass, crappie, walleye and even one larger smallmouth bass. So some action was better than none, with everything returned to the crystal clear waters of the lake. We moved around a bit and tried different areas, with similar results. We did talk with one fisherman who stated he had a couple keeper walleyes and a few nice crappies for the day, so they were there. He was jigging a small Rapala Rippin’ Rap and was not doing too bad on it, he said. It seems the active fish were responding to that motion. For the most part, all the fishermen we saw focused on fishing the 20-25 foot depths of the main basin part of the center of the lake. We tried that as well as the drop offs where the lake quickly goes from seven feet to 20 feet in the matter of 50 yards in many places.
Human activity seemed light on the lake. There were a handful of vehicles out fishing in small groups of a couple people, but not a lot of pressure or permanent shacks. Even the snowmobile trail that passed across the lake in a couple directions was being used, but much less than I would have expected for this time of year. I know the sleds we saw cruising the trails appeared to have been running on more gravel sometimes than snow. Once on the lake, they seemed to run wide open as to say; finally some smooth sailing.
Get out and enjoy this winter while you can. You know we are way overdue for snow and cold; it’s bound to come. Until then, have a great day outdoors in the Northwoods.