Eagle River Fishing Report: May 26, 2014

Musky opener slow. Northern and crappies providing good to excellent action, with walleye and smallmouth bass putting on a good bite; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps in the Eagle River area hovering in the mid 50s.

MUSKY:  With the water  cool, and some muskies still spawning, the musky opener in the Eagle River area has been slow.  Our guide sources tell us, that they would still go out, as some muskies are not spawning, some are spawning and some are done.  What that means in effect, is that the muskies may very well bite, however they’ll be lethargic.  Warmer water is needed, and a period of rest after spawning.  If you do go out, use a small bucktail, or small minnow bait and a very slow retrieve.  Your best bet for some action is to fish the shallow emerging weeds (eight feet of water or less), especially in the warmer back-bays of the lake you’re on.  What  you may see are muskies still spawning — they’ll be swimming side-by-side.  Please — protect this wonderful yet fragile resource and don’t go after these spawning pairs.  Let them be.  There are plenty of other muskies available, and as the weather continues on its warming trend, the musky action should pick up markedly in the coming days.  Stay tuned and we’ll let you know how things are going when we report next week.

NORTHERN:  Northern in the Eagle River area are putting on a good to excellent bite.  Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around new weed growth.  Use a Husky Jerk (minnow or walleye pattern), small Mepps, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber.  All day action.

PANFISH:  Crappies in the Eagle River area are providing all day action and a good to excellent bite.  The crappies are moving in.  Fish 8 feet of water or less in weedy areas.  Use a crappie minnow or small plastic under a slip bobber or on a jig.

WALLEYE:  Walleye in the Eagle River area are holding in 10 feet of water or less in new weed growth or adjacent break edges.  Use a 1/8th of 1/16th ounce jig tipped with a fathead.  The walleye are tight to bottom.  All day action and the bite has been good.

BASS:  Smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area (remember, until the harvest season opens bass fishing is strictly catch-and-release in the Eagle River area) are locating in 12 feet of water or less over hardbottom areas (sand, gravel, rocks).  Some anglers are reporting bass on their beds, and others not.  Right now it’s a transition period, with some bass having spawned, and some have not.  Use a Mepps #3 Extra Deep, or a two inch tube.  All day action, and the bite is good.

(This report based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guides “Muskie Matt” of Wild Eagle Lodge, “Ranger Rick” Krueger of Guide’s Choice Pro Shop, and Mat Hegy).

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About the Author

Ray Smith is an author, lecturer, creative director and Senior Associate at Creative Brilliance, a full-service advertising and marketing communications company. He has been involved with northern Wisconsin tourism promotion and economic development for more than 20 years.

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