by: Steve Suman
Forecasts show highs in the 30s/40s and lows in the 20s for much of this week, with chances for “mixed” types of precipitation. However, there is a warming trend at the end of the week and through the weekend. Dress for the occasion and you should be comfortable while pursuing your outdoor activities!
The whitetail rut is starting and the DNR is reminding motorists to be on the lookout for moving deer since this time of year has the highest rate of deer-vehicle collisions. Most deer activity is during sunrise and sunset, though they can – and do – move at any time. For more information and tips to avoid deer-vehicle collisions, search “car killed deer” on the DNR website.
Reminder: Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, November 5, so turn back your clocks and regain that hour!
“Another week and another change in the weather,” says Pat at Happy Hooker.
“The musky bite is improving, water temperatures in the 50s have fish in a feeding mode, and anglers are catching some nice fish. Jerkbaits and big minnow baits are best for casting and suckers are catching more fish every week.
“Walleye fishing is good on live bait fished around the edges of holes and humps in 15-18 feet, but the fish move shallower in the evening. Anglers trolling crankbaits also report some success.
“Crappies are schooling and action is best in 15-18 with minnows and small tube jigs. Perch fishing is good on worms and minnows in deeper weeds.
“Bowhunters report seeing scrapes and rubs and some bucks already starting to follow does. Some waterfowl hunters are having great success, taking limits of ducks and geese. Grouse hunters are finding a few, but not in quantities as in the past. Now with the leaves off the trees, hunters will have better shots.”
Erik at Hayward Bait says fall is here in full force, with dropping temperatures, high winds, and even some snow.
“Not too many anglers are on the water, except for musky anglers, and the bite is solid, with suckers on quick-set producing most of the catches. Focus in 15-30 feet on steep breaking points and humps that drop quickly into deep water. Casting large jerk and swim baits can get some action as well, or try vertical jigging Fuzzy Duzzits or Bondy baits to probe the depths.
“Crappie anglers report success fishing deeper water, 20-35 feet, with small minnows and plastics.
“Many bowhunters were hunting last week. They reported good deer and activity and have already takes some nice bucks. This should be a great week to spend some time in the stand.”
Mike at Jenk’s says the Chippewa Flowage water level is down about 3 feet and water temperatures are dropping with the cold fronts.
“Musky action is almost exclusively on live bait, with medium to large suckers the ticket. As the month progresses, expect trollers to start seeing fish again, but right now the key is suckers!
“Walleyes are starting to move deep so try fishing holes in 20-30 feet with walleye suckers. This time of year there is no substitute for live bait. Key areas to target are the deep 25-30 foot holes west of Popple Island, the hole off Menard’s shoreline, and by the CC Bridge. Anglers report much bigger fish with the cold fronts and deeper walleye fishing will only improve throughout the month.
“Crappie fishing is slower than usual and anglers catching fish are using crappie minnows. Target crappies sitting close to the bottom, as suspending fish seem very inactive.”
Carolyn at Anglers All in Ashland says that for anglers who can sneak in a few hours between windstorms, Chequamegon Bay fishing has moved to fall patterns with the slowly dropping water temperatures.
“Smallmouth bass are schooling around the channel drops and the rock pile. For best success, slowly drift sucker minnows on the bottom or try ripping jigging spoons.
“Near-shore brown trout fishing, with some splake mixed in, is good for anglers casting or trolling X-Raps or Scatter Raps, and casting Cleos, Krocodiles, and Jim’s casting spoons in custom colors. The bite is active around the Washburn, Bayfield, and Island shorelines.
“Steelhead are slowly moving into the tributary streams.”
This week, DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter discusses musky stocking in Lac Courte Oreilles.
“During October 11-12, the DNR delivered approximately 3,500 fingerling muskellunge to their new home in Lac Courte Oreilles. These fingerlings hatched from eggs collected in Lac Courte Oreilles and its connected lakes and Governor Thompson Hatchery in Spooner raised the fish. Hayward Lakes Chapter-Muskies Inc. donated funds to keep these fish in the hatchery longer, give them more feed, and get them to a larger size before stocking. Previous research has shown that stocking size is an important determining factor in survival of stocked musky.
“Each fingerling received a PIT (Passive Integrated Transponder) tag that will allow DNR crews to track these fish throughout their lives. The tags will generate useful data on survival, growth, and movement of these stocked muskellunge.
“The tags will also tell us how fish distribute throughout the lake after stocking and which stocking locations on Lac Courte Oreilles work best. The stocking crew divided the fish evenly among five different locations that included Musky Bay, Anchor Bay, Chicago Bay, Angler’s Haven Resort, and Trail’s End Resort.
The DNR is encouraging hunters and wildlife enthusiasts to check bating and feeding regulations before participating in deer hunting season or placing feed for wildlife. Current regulations for baiting and feeding placement are still in place, including timing, location, quantity, and other requirements. Restrictions remain in place for 28 CWD affected areas/counties, but 15 counties previously subject to deer baiting and feeding prohibitions reverted to regulated baiting and feeding. Individuals may still feed birds and small mammals if devices are within 50 yards of a human dwelling and with a height/design preventing access by deer. For more information, search “baiting and feeding” on the DNR website.
The Hayward Lakes Chapter-Muskies Inc. invites the public to attend its general meeting Tuesday November 7, starting at 7 p.m., at Grid Iron Pub and Grub. The meeting will include the election of officers and a lure/fishing equipment swap. Anyone attending the meeting who is interested in joining Muskies Inc. can purchase an annual membership for half price. For more information, call Mike Persson at (715) 634-4543).
There is still time to register for the November 3-5 2017 Fall Musky Bash at Treeland Resort. Learn how to put trophy muskies in your boat consistently from local guides Steve Genson, Pete Rich, and Tom Boley. Morning and evening discussions and seminars will detail trolling, casting, jigging, and live bait presentations. Weekend packages include two nights in a motel suite, Friday night fish fry, Saturday night lasagna feast, and Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts. The one-person package cost is $350, the two-person package is $450, and both include taxes and gratuities. For more information and/or to register for the Fall Musky Bash, call (715) 462-3874 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Muskies go on a feeding binge in late fall and now is the time for big fish. Target humps, points, and breaks adjacent to deep water. Suckers on quick-strike rigs remain the best choice for action, though some anglers are having success on large jerkbaits, stickbaits, swimbaits, and vertical jigging baits.
Walleye action is good to very good and improving. During the day, look for fish in 15-35 feet in, on, and along the edges of deep holes, humps, rock, and steep shorelines. In late afternoon and into the evening, concentrate on shallower green weeds if you can find them. Walleye suckers, minnows, crankbaits, stickbaits, and Jigging Raps/jigging baits are all catching fish.
Crappie fishing is fair to good near the bottom in 12-30 feet and deeper water. Some fish are schooling. Crappie minnows, tube jigs, Mini-Mites, Tattle-Tails, and small plastics are the baits of choice.
Oct. 28: Seasons opened: Muskrat statewide; Mink in North, South, and Winnebago zones.
Nov. 5: Daylight Saving Time ends – turn back the clocks!
Nov. 11: LCO Veterans Powwow (715-634-8934).
Nov. 16: Crow season closes.
Nov. 17: Fall turkey season closes in zones 6 & 7.
Nov. 18-26: Traditional nine-day gun deer season.
Nov. 21: Duck season closes in North Zone.
Nov. 27-Dec. 6: Muzzleloader deer season.
Dec. 7-10: Four-day antlerless hunt.
Dec. 24-Jan. 1: Antlerless-only Holiday Hunt – farmland units only.
Dec. 25: Period 1 Bobcat season closes.
Dec. 26: Period 2 Bobcat season opens.