Hunting and Fishing Report: Fishing remains hot as hunters prepare for the season ahead
Water temps in the Eagle River area back into the lows 70s.
Smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area are locating off of break edges in hard bottom areas. Fish 8-25 feet of water. Use a plastic tube or crawfish, or a jig and a leech or half a crawler. All day action. Bite is good to excellent.
Largemouth bass in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less, locating along shoreline structure (docks, down trees, brush piles) or adjacent heavy weeds. Use a plastic rigged weedless, Heddon Torpedo or bass style spinner bait. Bass Rats or Scum Frogs are also working. All day action with peaks in the evening. Bite is good to excellent.
Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) in the Eagle River area are in 12 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Perch are tight to bottom, with crappies and gills suspending (depth will vary by day – start at the bottom and work your way up to find the feeding depths on that particular day). Use a small leech, chunk or crawler or crappies minnow under a slip bobber or small jig. All day action. Bite is good to excellent.
Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 10-25 feet of water off of break edges. Use a jig and a minnow or a jig and half of a crawler. Walleye are tight to bottom. All day action with peaks in the evening. Bite is good.
Northern are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds in the Eagle River area. Use a Mepps #5, bass style spinner bait, or floating Rapala. All day action. Bite is good.
Musky in the Eagle River area are in 12 feet of water or less off of weed edges and adjacent break edges. Use a small bucktail, top water or crankbait. Normal retrieve, and be sure to do a “figure 8” as the lure nears your boat. All day bite, with peaks in the evening. Action is fair.
Successful hunters know that maps are a key ingredient to success in the field. One of the best map resources for the Eagle River area is the “Forest Cover Type Map.” This map can be purchased at the Vilas County Forestry Office on the north end of Eagle River, just north of county G on
State Highway 45. It can also be accessed on the web at: co.vilas.wi.us/dept/Forestry/trails/Vilas%20County%20Forest%20-%20Grouse%20Habitat%20Map%2017×22.pdf
By studying this map closely, you can pinpoint hunting opportunities by looking for the right type of cover. For example, deer and turkeys like acorns, so you can use the map to find stands of oak. Grouse and woodcock like young aspen stands, which you can also find on the map. Grassy openings managed specifically for wildlife appear as small dark green areas. Lakes, roads and wetlands are also marked on the map.