Fishing & Hunting Report: Fishing remains good, while grouse outlook positive
Water temps in the Eagle River area hovering in the low 70s.
Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 10-25 feet of water, off of weed edges and adjacent break edges. The walleye are tight to bottom. Use a jig with a minnow, half of a crawler, or a leech. All day action, and the bite is good.
Northern are in 10 feet of water or less in the Eagle River area. Fish in and around weeds. Use a small bucktail, Husky Jerk in a minnow or walleye pattern, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action. Bite is good.
Smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area are locating off of break edges and over hardbottom areas in 10-25 feet of water. Use a tube jig, plastic crawfish, or a jig and a leech or minnow. All day action. Bite is good.
Largemouth bass are in 10 feet of water or less in the Eagle River area. Fish in and around heavy weeds, or shoreline structure (docks, brush piles and downed strees). Use a spinner bait, crankbait or weedless plastic. All day action with peaks in the evening. Bite is good.
Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) in the Eagle River area are in 15 feet of water or less, off of weed edges or adjacent weed beds. Perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills locating up and down the water column (day and lake dependent ­ start at the bottom and work your way up until you find the depth that the fish are locating at on a particular day or time). Use a Mini Mite, or a crappie minnow or a chunk of crawler on a small jig or under a slip bobber. All day action. Bite is good.
Musky in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less off of weed edges of adjacent weed beds. Use a small bukcktail, topwater, or twitch bait. Always do a “figure 8” with your lure as it nears the boat. All day action. The bite is fair.
Eagle River, Wisconsin is a great place to come for a successful grouse hunt. The DNR’s Ruffed Grouse Drumming survey shows that the northern region, which includes Eagle River, has by far the highest densities of grouse in the state. This is also the only region that showed an increase in drumming activity in 2013. Additionally, the Stone Lake census area, just a few miles southwest of Eagle River, also showed a slight increase.
When hunting grouse in the Eagle River area, look for young aspen stands roughly the diameter of your wrist. The parts of these stands that border different forest types can be especially birdy. The Eagle River area has lots of public land containing young aspen in the Vilas County Forest and the Eagle River Ranger District of the Nicolet National Forest.
The season can be roughly divided into three parts. Between the opener Sept. 14 and about Oct. 5, the leaves will still be on the trees. This tends to spread the birds out as they can find cover from predators in many places. Prime is after the leaves come down and before the ground is covered with snow (roughly Oct. 5 to Nov. 10). The birds will be concentrated in brushy cover in or near the young aspen. After snow is on the ground, from about Nov. 10 to the end of the season (Jan. 31, 2014), look for birds in dense conifer stands near the young aspen.