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from some of the BEST PLACES TO FISH !

12th May, 2009: FISHING REPORT:  Wausau, Central Wisconsin Area
by Joel DeBoer of Wisconsin Angling Adventures

Smallmouth bass action continues to be excellent in the greater Wausau area as large numbers of fish are transitioning into spawning mode. Numerous fish into the low 20” range have already been caught and released on the Wisconsin River this year. Key on shallower hard-bottomed areas and explore them with lipless crankbaits or in-line spinners until fish holding sections of shoreline are located. Fan casting rockier hard-bottomed shorelines with small spinner baits such as Mini Slopmasters in the 1/4oz. size or inline spinners such as a #2 or #3 Mepps Aglia will locate areas of active fish. Once concentrations of fish are found, soft plastics have been the ‘go-to’ presentation; 3-3 ½” tubes from Mr. Twister, Berkley, and Roberts Outdoors have been the most productive. Depending on water depth and current conditions, rig the tubes with an offset VMC hook and 1/16 – ¼ oz weight and fish on a lighter, more limber line such as 6# or 8# Trilene XL.

The best walleye action has occurred from jigging or working live bait rigs either under a slip bobber or walking sinker rig. The size structure is excellent, with numbers of fish being caught on a regular basis. Deeper water areas, especially those containing structure, have been holding more fish as walleyes continue working into their summer haunts. Look for deeper wood or hard bottomed humps and spines to hold numbers of fish as well as stretches of river channel containing sharp irregular break lines, especially those containing submerged wood. Jigs in the 1/8 and ¼ size tipped with a large fathead will elicit strikes from these sought after predators. Fan casting crankbaits such as Flicker Shads and Wally Divers along deeper current breaks is producing walleyes as well as bonus smallies and pike. Slip-bobbers have also been accounting for many walleyes. Don’t be surprised if you boat several bonus slab crappies as they have been frequenting many of the same areas.

Anglers looking to target the channel catfish have also been beginning to score as well. While fresh cut bait works well, many anglers are beginning to appreciate the convenience and effectiveness of commercially prepared products such as the Doc Chumley line from Frabill. Whether fresh or prepared, rig the bait using an egg sinker slip-rig and Mustad Demon circle hook. It’s best to use a sturdy rod holder, as aggressive channel cats will pull a rod into the water if given the opportunity.

Northern pike are greedily attacking lures fished over and through the newly emerging weeds found in many of the backwaters and bays of the Wausau area. Water temperatures are such that many of trophy female specimens are still shallow and active before making their hiatus for deeper water as surface temperatures rise to summer conditions. Look for sunny days to produce the best action right now, with the bite best often during mid-day hours. Spoons, spinner baits, in-line spinners, and swim baits are all taking their fair share of fish, when worked over and through the newly emerging weed beds.

The bulk of the crappies have made their way towards spawning ground with good numbers of fish already being caught shallow. With the continued warmer weather, the crappies will continue to slide shallow, frequenting downed trees, stumps, and log jams as they look to spawn. A finesse slip-bobber and tiny jig rigged with Crappie Nibbles or 1” Power Tube will produce fish in the shallows. A slip bobber and minnow presentation has been most effective for fish receiving heavy fishing pressure. Don’t be afraid to use walleye fatheads for bait; with the darker water, Wisconsin River crappies will often prefer the larger presentation to conventional crappie minnows. Some absolute slabs are there for the catching!

Anglers looking to tangle with Rainbow, Brook, or Brown trout in one of the many area streams should have a selection of inline spinners available. Casting spinners is an excellent way to locate and catch the most active trout in a section; the Aglia Long is an excellent choice as its willow leaf blade allows an angler to effectively fish it in current. To catch more pressured or less active fish, a Berkley 3” Power Trout Worm or Power Eggs either below a tiny float or on a simple split shot rig will tempt even the moodiest of fish into biting.

Only one week away, musky anglers should begin preparing and planning for the 2009 opener, Saturday May 23th. The North-Central Wisconsin area is one of the finest in the state for producing musky action from opening weekend throughout the season. Each year we see some very impressive muskies caught and released in our area during the first few weeks of the season. Unlike many deeper, clearer lakes to the North, the Wisconsin River system in and around the Wausau area will have temperatures that should find the king of freshwater actively chasing down a variety of presentations. Good starting points are the newly emergent weed beds and shallow to midrange depth wood cover on the lakes with the aforementioned structure types adjacent to current breaks good on the Wisconsin River itself. The Wisconsin River system has produced more 40-pound class fish in the past decade than any other system in Wisconsin; several of those trophies have come from the Wausau area. Reviewing our log books from last year, and judging from the size and numbers of fish we caught and released - it looks to be a great season again in 2009!

For more information


Joel DeBoer
Wisconsin Angling Adventures
Tel: +1 715-297-7573
[email protected]
"Fishing's our business... and business is good!"




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