Some consistent and warm weather has finally arrived in the North Woods. This is normal for this time of year. We feel that the fish will react to this consistent weather in a positive manner. 

The water levels are good and the water temperatures are generally in the high 70s. Weed growth is good, providing nice areas to fish. Summer boating fans are happy with the conditions, but boat landings can be crowded.

Walleye fishing has been good on the Chain, with these tasty fish in both the weeds and in deeper water in the holes. The fish will hit on minnows, but many anglers are reporting the best action on large leeches. Cranberry Lake on the Chain has been one of the best for action in this pattern. On the Chain, as in many lakes, the mornings and evenings have been the best. On the larger lakes, the best pattern is to fish in 10 to 14 feet on the deep edge of the weeds. One-eighth ounce jigs with crawlers are working well. Look for muskie cabbage or coontail weeds for best results. Try slip bobbers in or near these weeds with minnows. 

Northern action has been pretty good, with some nice-sized fish being caught recently. Look for the deeper weeds for bigger fish. Lakes with deep grass weeds can be great fun at this time of year with minnows under slip bobbers. Artificial baits, like Mepps Spinners, Daredevils and Johnson Silver Minnows, work well in the shallower weeds. 

Bass fishing has been great. The fish are in their summer habitat, so you’ll find largemouths in the shallower water for the most part and smallmouths usually deeper. Look for largemouths using cover for their ambush feeding style under piers, weeds and in bulrushes. They have been hitting plastics very well lately. Smallies, on the other hand, are usually deeper over harder bottom. Try some red or brown crankbaits drawn over rocks, hitting the rocks during the retrieve. Leeches are the best bait for these smallies. Lakes like Big Portage, Butternut and Franklin will produce good smallie fishing.

Muskie action has improved with the rise in water temperatures. Anglers will get fish using bucktails and surface baits over the weeds. The deep water, suspended fish will hit plastics or crankbaits. The Eagle River Chain is great muskie water and larger lakes like North Twin and Big Sand are producing some big fish.

Panfish action has been a little spotty. Very heavy pressure last winter has been a factor in the population of these fish. You can still find some, with small Cubbie jigs being the best bait. Bluegills are hitting well as usual in the weeds. Worms or waxies are best for them. Perch action has been good in the mid-level depths, with leeches producing best.

Take some suntan lotion along this week!

Good luck and good fishin’.