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Dick Ellis Blog:
9/5/2019
Mourning Doves serve as door to new seasons Micah and I will walk again into a new hunting season this afternoon like we’ve walked together into eight Septembers before. Mourning doves are calling us now, more as a way to shake the dust off and welcome a new autumn than anything else. Later it will be more “serious” pursuits of pheasant and duck. Almost certainly, my brother John and his lab Dylan will join us again today as th...
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3-6-14 Ashland Area Fishing Report

~ Fishing Guide Nate Baron from Up North Guide Service and Fishing Guide Scott Bretting from River Rock Inn and Bait Shop, 715-682-3232 (http://riverrockinn.net), report the following:

Chequamegon Bay is accumulating a lot of slush and water under the recent snow cover. The ice roads on the bay have been abandoned due to heavy snow drifting, slush and water. Snowmobile travel is currently the best means of transportation on the bay. Ice thickness is 30-plus inches and an ice auger extension may be required soon. Fishing has been at a minimum on the bay this past week due to travel conditions. Inland lakes are becoming very difficult to travel due to heavy slush and water conditions beneath the snow.

Anglers have started picking up limits of coho salmon near the Xcel Energy plant hot pond and the coal dock along with an occasional brown trout at first light and a couple of hours into the day. The coho will be moving in schools high in the water column. Use smaller Buck-shots, Northland Tackle Forage minnows, Swedish pimples and panfish-size jigs tipped with Waxies or a minnow head. Vibratos in a 3/8 oz. or 1/2 oz. size with no bait, worked just under the ice, can also be deadly on the coho at this time of year. The coho fishing will just keep getting better and better as the season progresses.

While jigging, be sure to cover the entire water column for the browns and cohos that are often roaming through at different depths. Some nice brown trout have been taken this past week by anglers fishing for smelt off of the lighthouse in the bay. The smelt have really started moving into the bay this past week. Hali or Schuck’s jigs tipped with a piece of shiner fished in 20+ foot of water (FOW) seems to be doing the best. The smelt is excellent table fare this time of year and also makes for some great bait for chasing other species. Please check your fishing regulations when using smelt as bait on other bodies of water.

The lake trout fishing in the Apostle Islands has been good this past week. Some very large lakers ranging from 14-25 pounds have been caught this past week or two, with a majority of the larger lake trout coming out of 200 FOW or deeper. The ice thickness varies from 18"-26" off of the Bayfield Peninsula and in the Apostle Islands. Anglers are heading out of Bayfield and Red Cliff using snowmobiles as their primary means of transportation. The snowdrifts on the ice make travel rough and slow, though slush pockets are at a very minimum.

The bobbers that are out for the lake trout have been able to get out as far as Manitou, Stockton, Cat and Outer islands with reports of good success in 175-260 FOW. Beetles and Chequamegon Mackinaw Jigs dressed with herring strips, shiners or smelt along with Zimmer Spoons, Crippled Herring and large Swedish pimples have also been working real well. Check with the local bait shops for the availability of bait herring and fresh smelt.

Near-shore fishing in the islands for browns and splake has been good for those seeking other species of trout. Cover the depths from 14 FOW out to 40 FOW on steep rocky breaks off the shorelines with tip-ups and Automatic Fisherman rigged with a live Lake Shiner or a Golden Shiner to increase your chances on the roaming trout. Anglers have been catching limits of whitefish off of Basswood and Hermit islands in 80-100 FOW on Swedish pimples in a blue or purple ice color along with jigging Raps with Waxies when finicky.

Ice conditions can change rapidly on Lake Superior with currents and the high winds! Please have all the necessary safety equipment and check ice as you go along. If you are unfamiliar with the area you will be fishing, hire a local guide or check with a bait shop prior to venturing out on the ice.

Good luck on the ice and tight lines to all!

~ Fishing Guide Roger LaPenter from Anglers All, 715-682-5754 (http://www.anglersallwisconsin.com), reports the following:

This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay. Anglers are doing well catching fish during the daylight hours in the channel and off the coal dock. They are reporting catching a lot of perch as well as lake trout, walleye and northerns. They are having good luck in the 40 to 70 FOW out by the islands.

People are walking out from shore to ice fish and using snowmobiles. They are checking their way with a spud or ice bar. The ice is so thick now it is right up to the end of the auger, but extensions are not needed at this time. If you are thinking of venturing out to ice fish in other areas, it is very important to call ahead to ask what other anglers and guides are saying about the ice in those areas.

Fishing has been best in the 20 to 35 FOW in the channel or the major drop-offs to the channel out by the lighthouse, the coal dock and near the former ore dock. The wet spots have most likely frozen over, but anglers should always be aware that there may be some near shore.

Anglers are reporting every species of fish seem to be biting, including smelt in the channel. You never know what you will catch on any given day. For jigging, Lake Shiners and Waxies are the bait of choice, but everything seems to be working right now. Anglers are using larger minnows on tip-ups such as sucker minnows and Golden Shiners for northerns.

To catch cohos or herring, you will want to have one line set just a couple feet under the ice. Perch are being caught in the weed beds a couple hundred yards off Second Landing. A huge number of small perch are being caught so anglers will have to sort through their catch to get the larger ones. Northerns are also being caught in the shallows in the same area as the perch.

Trout and salmon are being caught over by the coal dock and by the power plant. Fishing is great right now in the shallower waters.

The walleye fishing is best either very early in the morning or right at dusk, during those low-light hours, a couple miles off Second Landing or over by the hot pond or the coal dock, in the shallower waters.

The ice roads have significant drifting snow. Be aware of numerous snowdrifts and hard-packed drifts. We strongly urge you to use snowmobiles or bring a snowmobile with you for easier access, or use an ATV with tracks on it.

The inland lakes in Ashland County have had decent crappie and pan fishing. Most of the slush is now frozen over on the inlands. For a safe and up-to-date ice fishing report, give us a call at Anglers All and we will keep you informed.

~ The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, www.visitashland.com, 1-800-284-9484, reports:

If you would like an updated ice fishing report or an updated snowmobile report, check out www.visitashland.com. Fishing is great right now in the Chequamegon Bay area!!

IMPORTANT NOTE: By law, all ice shanties must be off the surface of the lake by March 15.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website: “Anglers who have difficulty getting their shelters off the ice by the deadline due to deep snow, or shanties frozen to the ice still need to work actively to free their shelters from the ice and arrange to have the shelters removed from the ice. And what the DNR and its wardens ask you to do is call the department’s hotline, 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. Tell the dispatcher your status and if you are having difficulty meeting the removal deadline. Your information will be passed on to the local conservation warden who will use discretion in the enforcement of the deadline.”

Once the ice removal date arrives, anglers can continue to use portable ice fishing shelters daily as long as they feel the ice is safe for travel. However, they must remove their shelters daily and when not actively being used.

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Ken Mackey of Ashland caught this 25-pound lake trout while out bobbing recently in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior.

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Drew Matheus of Ashland snagged a 29-pound brown trout on Chequamegon Bay while using a Hali jig and minnow in 22 feet of water.

OWO Noah Erickson, 12 years old, displays the 27-inch brown trout he caught jigging in 36 feet of water on a gold ¾-oz. Sebile Vibrato.