Fishing with the Guides - Vilas County News-Review
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  • We’re still waiting for that cooler September weather to speed along some typical fall patterns. With temperatures remaining in the upper 70s until at least the end of this coming week and nothing very cold at night yet, the fishing has remained pretty steady the past couple of weeks. We have yet to see an overnight frost. Often by this time, we’ve
  • Our summer season is “officially” over. While most all of us up here are grateful for our seasonal visitors, it’s certainly a welcomed time of the year when boat traffic slows and water sports drop off. There seemed to be a bit of an algae bloom happening on the Eagle River Chain during the last week, which will clear up as we
  • Little changed the past week as warm, sunny weather kept water temperatures in the low 70s on many waterbodies, stalling progress toward that great fall fishing that will arrive soon.

    The
  • That great fall fishing is getting nearer. We were surprised to take the water temp on the Chain and find it as high as it was, just over 70 degrees. We expected the cool nights would drop it more than it has, but the hot and sunny weather has kept the temps up. Water levels are low, with not a lot of rain in the last few weeks. That also will change. Weeds are
  • Can’t you can feel the start of fall is coming as you drive around the area? The hints include roadside ferns starting to turn brown, birch trees fading a little in color and some stressed maples showing early leaf color. On the lakes the water temperatures have peaked for the year and a few shallower weeds have started to
  • It has been an interesting year so far, with a lot of changing weather. These changes have definitely had an affect on the fishing right from the spring on. To start with, the spawn for most fish was later than usual due to the cold weather this spring. Then, after things seemed to settle down, we’ve had some cool weather interrupted by hot spells, including
  • Water temps are getting higher, but the cool nights have kept it down a little. Hot temps are coming. Even the nights will be much warmer. Weeds on the lakes are at their maximum and will be starting to fade away. After Labor Day, the water traffic on the Chain will drop considerably.

    Midsummer fishing can be interesting, as
  • This summer’s weather continues the inconsistent pattern of the winter and spring, with wild variations between cold and warm in the same week. Last week it had quite an effect on the fishing and other outdoor activities.

    For example, the
  • Midsummer fishing can be great or terrible, depending on the weather, boating traffic, weeds and water temps. In general, the lakes are in great shape, with nice temperatures for water sports. The mornings have been cool, but this can be nice on days when it is going to be hot later. As you know, mornings and evenings are the best time for fishing at this time of year. You
  • We are now finally into the midsummer part of the season, with water temps into the 70s and even 80s at the surface on warm days. This time of year can be problematic for finding fish as they seem, in some cases, to be constantly on the move.

    In general, look for
  • As the busiest water recreation week of the year arrives, and also the busiest month, anglers might want to consider fishing early and late to avoid the congestion.

    That’s not just a good idea for
  • Well, here we go with the weather roller coaster again. This has been a strange year for consistent weather of any kind. We’ll get a few nice warm days and then, some more cold weather and then, cold again. This is
  • We are quickly heading for midsummer weather and it is going to be busy and enjoyable on the water. The spawns are mostly over, with the exception of a few bass and some bluegills. Weeds are growing nicely now, with great cover for the fish and the water temperatures are rising nicely. We have had some cold nights, but
  • Despite the extremely wet weather last Saturday, the activity and fishing has been pretty good lately. Some nicer and warmer weather was expected for this week, and the fish will respond to this by finishing their spawning activities with warmer water. 

    It’s hard to believe that
  • Despite a continuation of inconsistent weather, the fishing has been normal for this time of year. It does not look like we’re going to get consistent weather this year so it will be interesting to see what the hottest part of the summer brings us. These cold nights are unusual for this time of year and it continues to be cold days for June, which is
  • We are finally done with “colder than normal” temperatures now and the fishing will improve as the water temperatures warm into the 60s. Anglers can expect to find fish in the typical late-spring patterns now.

    Muskie fishing season is  
  • Fishing conditions are staying the same as we head into Memorial Day weekend, as far as weather goes, with some rain, cool weather and of course, wind. Despite that, fishing remains pretty good. There were still some spots where some walleye were spawning last weekend despite the late calendar days, but that species is
  • There is one thing which has not changed since the winter: the wind. It has been blowing for what seems like forever and with heavy gusts. All through the winter, it mandated some sort of shelter for most anglers. Now, it’s making fishing tougher by continuing to blow us around as we try to hold on the good spots. Oh well, we
  • We got lucky. We earned it. After a miserable spring, with snow, rain and wind, we had pretty decent weather for the opening weekend. Sure, it got chilly Sunday evening, but it still was much better than the rest of the last month or so; and the fish were right there spawning for us. There might still be some vagabond ice on the biggest, deepest lakes, but
  • Well, here we are, the week of the opener on a very unusual spring. It has been a pretty solid piece of anxiety to see if the lakes will be open, but most of them are. With the possible exception of an arctic storm, things will be OK on all the small and midsized lakes in the area. The Chain is open and has a lot of current. Some of
  • Our weather is improving, but not fast enough to give us anything close to a normal opening weekend. There will be some lakes open, especially on the upper and lower chain. The lateness of that opening is going to help us some and we could get a break with a major change in that weather, but it has been
  • Now the biggest question is ice fishing on opener?
    What a miserable month we’ve had for planning fishing this year. Here it is in the second-half of April and the weekend felt like January. It surely feels like our thoughts about opening day and the perch fishing that comes before it were way too optimistic.

    There have been years that there was
  • As we get toward the middle of April, we still have considerable snow on the ground but warmer weather is coming with rain. This is not good for this time of year. This is the time usually when we can get some nice sunny days and start, reluctantly, with some yard work. We hate this yard work, but love the opportunity to do some
  • Once again there isn’t much to talk about as far as fishing goes, with weather that if anything was worse than the week before. We got three inches of new, wet snow overnight on Sunday. But
  • This hasn’t been the best late ice fishing weather, especially with the cold, high winds and blowing snow of last weekend. It seems to this writer that our weather has changed somewhat in the spring and fall. Our fall weather in late September and October has not been as cold as it was many years ago, and the spring weather is
  • There’s still plenty of ice as spring warmth arrives
    We are slowly feeling the pleasures of the oncoming spring, but know deep in our hearts that at least one snowstorm is still in the plans. We’ll be bummed out about that, but it will melt pretty quickly and we’ll be back catching some fish and planning for open water. The ice is still more than two feet thick on most lakes and on many lakes they’re
  • Not much to talk about this week, with the cold weather and game fishing season over. It has been too cold to cause any panfish to act in any way like spring is coming, but the weather is changing and this period will start in a couple of weeks. It sure hasn’t felt like spring yet, but it’s the middle of March. The first warm weather hits this week, with
  • Well, our winter game fishing season is over for this year. The results were pretty good, despite the fact that it tailed off as usual in late February. It started pretty early for the walleye and stayed strong until that midwinter severe cold front. It never fully recovered after that and stayed only “medium well” for the rest of the season. Overall we would give it a
  • Well, not much time left for game fishing, as that season ends this weekend, always the first Sunday in March. From this point on, we will have shorter reports until the open season starts later in the year. The game season seemed to kind of filter away this year, as it does every year. Now the focus will turn to March panfish and it will be a delight to do this considering
  • As our winter season winds on, it hasn’t gotten any better weather-wise. So far, February has been colder than January. Last Sunday was great, but it was just a tease for all of us and the wind this winter has been brutal. When, oh when, will at least some signs of spring arrive for more than a few hours? This is the time of year when
  • We have certainly had enough January weather here in February. While the sun is warmer, our weather for the last several weeks was too cold. We need a little spring to get out on the ice and our blood flowing a little. This is the time of the year that the winter is getting kind of long. We are seeing a lot of shacks on the ice now, which is
  • As we head toward the end of the game fishing season, the fishing can be a little inconsistent, depending on the weather conditions that pass through. All in all though, the ice conditions are fine this year for snowmobiles and our ice anglers.

    After such a poor start, who would have thought we’d
  • This recent cold weather has slowed fishing down some, all except those anglers with shacks and portable heaters. Cold weather is expected this time of year, but also that in February we’ll get paid back by getting some really nice weather; we hope. To this point we’ve had a good ice fishing season. It will be very interesting to see what the late winter and spring conditions bring us. That
  • As the winter progresses, we get some good weather at times and some bad weather. This is the time of the year that our weather seems to be on the bad side, with low temperatures and wind. Cheer up; we’ll soon be in February, with more good than bad. 

    At this time, most ice anglers are using shelters for protection from the wind, but
  • We’re now in the heart of winter and things are looking pretty good as far as fishing goes. It was such a crazy and inconsistent start to the ice season that it was impossible to say how the season would go. Luckily, no one in the area went through the ice, but that first ice was pretty bad. Repeated warm spells made it even worse, but
  • As we head toward midwinter, the ice fishing situation has stabilized considerably. There are very good numbers of ice anglers going out almost on a daily basis. We have had some snow and cold, but the ice is running from 8 inches to 14 inches thick on most lakes. You’ll see autos on many lakes now, and four-wheelers and snowmobiles on all lakes. Unless
  • Good ice, no slush a welcome change
    Thanks to a major pre-Christmas thaw followed by a holiday cold snap, we finally have some good ice and no slush on the majority of lakes. We are now seeing a good number of anglers on the ice and many of them are venturing out on snowmobiles, ATVs and even side-by-side UTVs. Many of the lakes with snowmobile trails crossing them have
  • Ice is in good shape on North Woods lakes
    We finally have some pretty good ice out there, so let’s all hope that we do not get any more “weird” weather to screw it up. We are now seeing a good number of guys on the ice and they are reporting some good action, we just hope the coming snows aren’t too severe.

    With a little more snow, the
  • Warm temps make better ice formation
    What a bit of weather we experienced last week, with a nasty piece of wind to add to the mix. We’ve lost the balance of snow that we had, but that was not a bad thing for the ice, as the ice is now forming well on the area lakes. The warmth and the rain knocked the snow down on the ice and it has made for much better ice fishing conditions out there. The snow turned to water and
  • We continue to get just awful weather for ice development, with the certainty of a lot of slush developing with this snow. Our only hope at this point is that this warm weather coming will cause the snow cover on the ice to thin significantly. With the weird weather we’ve had so far, who knows?

    Much to our surprise, there were a number of ice fishermen getting out last weekend for
  • Need more cold to improve lake ice
    There’s not a lot to write about this week in the ice fishing world, as the ice is still thin and we had another snowstorm over the weekend.

    This second early winter snowstorm is not what we as ice anglers hoped for. It looks like it could be another slush season, as the ice we do have is cracked due to
  • The snow over the weekend and on Monday is sitting right where we don’t want it — on the ice. At this point, we are worried about ice development with all that insulation on top of the lake ice.

    This is beginning to resemble
  • Ice fishing nears here as lakes freezing up
    We are so close to ice fishing now that the hard water anglers can taste it. If it will stay cold now, the ice will form fast. Small lakes and bays already are covered with a thin layer of ice.

    This is a good time to remind everyone to
  • There is not a lot going on in the fishing world at this time, just a few diehard muskie fishermen and one or two walleye anglers out there.

    Open water is almost done for the year and many anglers are now seriously looking forward to the ice fishing season. With the cold temperatures, the water is looking more and more like