As of March 31, 2008:
Weekly Fishing, Outdoor, and Event Reports for Eagle River, Wisconsin, Wausau/Central Wisconsin area; Lake of the Woods and Rainy River out of Sportsman's Lodge (Baudette, Minnesota); and Granite Peak Ski Area at Rib Mountain in Wausau.
1. This week's headlines.
2. Warnings and info for a few weeks out
-- On the south end of Lake of the Woods, out of Sportsman's Lodge, Baudette, MN, best walleye, sauger and perch fishing of the ice angling season going on right now.
-- Ice fishing patterns remain the same, with extraordinary bluegill bite, along with strongly improving crappie and perch action in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
-- Gamefishing season (walleye, northern and bass) on most of the waters in the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area remain OPEN for anglers. Both ice and open water fishing producing limit action for walleye, with crappies and bluegills on fire.
2. WARNINGS AND INFO FOR A FEW WEEKS OUT:
-- It is essential that hard water anglers be extremely cautious before even thinking about going out. Stay tuned for ongoing reports on ice conditions in each of our reporting areas. Never forget the old axiom: "There is no such thing as safe ice." Best suggestion is to ALWAYS hire a local guide, who knows the area inside-and-out. Each of our reporting areas has a wealth of experienced, capable guides who will put you on fish and keep you safe while doing so.
- - Gamefishing season on most all inland lakes in Wisconsin (walleye, northern, bass etc.) is now closed until Sat., May 3, 2008. HOWEVER, most of the waters in the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area remain OPEN for gamefishing (walleye, northern and bass) year-round.
- - Walleye season on Lake of the Woods, out of Sportsman's Lodge, Baudette, MN remains OPEN until April 14, 2008. Still plenty of time to hook up with some real lunkers.
-- Wisconsin spring turkey hunt permits: With 152,000 permits already issued for Wisconsin's spring turkey hunt, the remaining 56,275 permits went on sale March 28, 2008 by the Wisconsin DNR in Madison. Wisconsin's wild turkey population is huge - -and growing. Each one of our Wisconsin reporting areas: Eagle River and the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area can offer turkey hunters fabulous opportunities. Get your permits and make your reservations now. Contact information for each area is listed after their individual reports.
3. WEEKLY OUTDOOR AND FISHING REPORTS. (Each report is also followed by brief, current outdoor calendar and event information).
***Eagle River, Wis. (VILAS COUNTY) -- as of March 31, 2008:
(Head): Ice fishing patterns remain the same, with extraordinary bluegill bite, along with strongly improving crappie and perch action in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Lots of anglers out on the ice in the Eagle River area - -and with good reason. The ice fishing action is very good to excellent. The patterns remain same. Just remember to dig lots of holes, use electronics, and be prepared to move around.
The bluegill action in the Eagle River area is absolutely terrific ˝ both in quantity and size. Fish in and around weeds in 15 feet of water or less, using a small jig in chartreuse or orange, tipped with a waxie, spike or Gulp waxies.
Crappies in the Eagle River area are coming on stronger and stronger. Fish over and around structure, 4 feet off the bottom in depths ranging from 35 feet or less. Use a crappie minnow on a small jig under a slip bobber. Chartreuse and orange are the best colors. Some furious action is being encountered. When the bite turns off, simply move to another area.
Perch are hitting in two different areas in the Eagle River area. Fish over deeper mud flats in 35 feet of water or less, or fish around weeds in 15 feet of water or less. Use a waxie, spike, wiggler or fathead minnow.
With great fishing action, comes responsibility. Please only take some fish for the frying pan and toss back everything else. This will insure the continuation of the legendary fishing opportunities in our beautiful Eagle River area.
(Report for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce based on Creative Brilliance interview with licensed guide Mat Hegy of Guides Choice Pro Shop).
Contact info for Eagle River:
* Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
* Guide's Choice Pro Shop, 715-477-2248
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804. e-mail: email@example.com
***Some outdoor activities and events coming up in Eagle River, Wisconsin:
GENERAL: Spring is "springing" in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Beautiful weather, the renewal of pristine forest, 1200 lakes including the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes (the largest freshwater chain of lakes in the world), wild flowers, birds chirping, and a new generation of all types of animals and critters. Great time for hiking, biking, birding, picnicking, fabulous fishing, dusting off the golf clubs, and just plain relaxing. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; web: www.eagleriver.org
***Wausau/Central Wisconsin area (including the communities of Kronenwetter, Mosinee, Rib Mountain, Rothschild, Schofield, Wausau, and Weston) -- as of March 31, 2008:
(Head): Gamefishing season (walleye, northern and bass) on most of the waters in the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area remain OPEN for anglers. Both ice and open water fishing producing limit action for walleye, with crappies and bluegills on fire.
Fishing in the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area is outstanding. NOW is the time to get out! Limits of good eater sized walleyes on the open water areas of the Wisconsin River system are common, with top numbers of fish being caught daily. A simple jig and minnow worked in the deep pools of the Wisconsin River system will mean great walleye action. Anglers are even reporting a few accidental catches of musky and sturgeon, which are INSTANTLY released.
The ice fishing in the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area is on fire. Late ice is here and the bite is on. Crappies and bull bluegills are making up the main course for ice anglers, with walleyes and northerns coming in as a big bonus. Target the 8 to 10 foot flats with fathead minnows run on tip-ups and tip-down for the crappies and walleyes. Either set up will work. For the gills, go with small tear drop style jigs, tipped with waxies or spikes. Use electronics and watch for active fish, then move your presentation in front of the fish and work it until there's a strike.
A note of caution: This is the time of year when "safety first" means JUST THAT! If the ice doesn't look safe, stay off it. As the days warm, the ice will start to honeycomb from the bottom up and when this happens the ice becomes very soft and not even one to two feet will be enough to support an angler's weight! Best advice: Either go out with a VERY knowledgeable local, or hire one of the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area's excellent guides. Better safe than sorry!
Remember, unlike any number of the lakes further north, the daily bag limit for walleye on almost all the waters in the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area remains five (5) fish. AND, when the gamefishing seasons for walleye, northern and bass close in most other areas of Wisconsin, they remain OPEN on many of the waters in the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area. Come and enjoy some of the greatest fishing anywhere, any time! (This report for the Wausau/Central Wisconsin CVB based on Creative Brilliance interview with guide Phil Schweik of Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Services, Mosinee).
For more information about the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area:
*Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau: 888-948-4748, or 715-355-8788; web: www.visitwausau.com
* Fishing and hunting Info: Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Services (Phil Schweik, John Sparbel, Craig Lemmer, Justin Gaiche); phone: 715-693-5843; e -mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.hooksetters.biz
***Some outdoor activities and events coming up in the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area in the coming weeks:
-- The Wausau/Central Wisconsin's spring season is a magnet for those who seek not only the beauty and enormous breadth of nature, but also the finest hiking, biking, touring, sightseeing, birding exploring, picnicking, relaxing, and legendary open water fishing anywhere (remember, most waters in the Wausau/Central Wisconsin area REMAIN OPEN for walleye, northern and bass throughout the year, without any closed season). Wonderful tracts of forest, pristine waters, wild flowers, birds and wildlife surround visitors at every turn. The services, infrastructure, entertainment, accommodations, restaurants, and non-stop community activities, festivals and events provide something for every taste. Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau: 888-948-4748, or 715-355-8788; web: www.visitwausau.com
***GRANITE PEAK SKI AREA, Wausau, Wisconsin, 2008 Warm Weather Opportunities:
Don't miss the beauty and serenity of the Granite Peak Ski Area during the non-skiing months. Beautiful scenic rides, views, and hostings for special events such as weddings, get-togethers, meetings, and reunions. Wonderful, new, complete facilities for that treasured special event. Contact Granite Peak Ski Area for information: 715-845-2846.
***Sportsman's Lodge and Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge on the Rainy River and southern end of Lake of The Woods (Baudette, Minnesota) -- as of March 31, 2008:
(Head): On the south end of Lake of the Woods, out of Sportsman's Lodge, Baudette, MN, best walleye, sauger and perch fishing of the ice angling season going on right now.
There's no ice loss as of yet on Lake of the Woods. Temperatures continue to fall to near single digits at night. Look for good ice conditions well into April- - and don't forget that the walleye season is open on the south end of Lake of the Woods until April 14.
The Sportsman's ice fishing houses have been removed, but snowmobiling out to prime fishing areas under a warming sun, makes for a great adventure. Sledders can also access Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge and Eagle Ridge Property (40 miles out on Lake of the Woods - -like a remote Canadian fly-in destination with all the amenities). Plenty of excellent fishing reefs in the Oak Island area.
Walleye, sauger and perch are all providing super action as the fish are just starting to think of heading towards the Rainy River. Sportsman's Lodge guests are enjoying the best fishing of an excellent ice angling season, right now. Limits are common, and some real lunkers are being caught and released.
Reef fishing is the best right now, especially in the Knight Island area. Jig and minnow is the preferred bait, with a variety of jig colors working (gold, red glow, and chartreuse are favorites).
Don't miss the chance to get in on the best fishing of the season, and we'll keep you updated on the Rainy River openings, as well as ice conditions. Come up to Sportsman's and our super guides will show you exactly where to fish, the depths to fish at, and what to use.
(This report based on Creative Brilliance interview with Gregg Hennum, co-owner of Sportsman's Lodge. phone: 800-862-8602, or 218-634-1342; web: www.sportsmanslodges.com)
Highlights at Sportsman's Lodges:
NOTE!!: Due to excellent ice conditions on Lake of the Woods, Sportsmans Lodge is offering guided ice fishing as long as ice conditions allow. Limited size groups only, and fishing will be outside. Dress accordingly. Lunch is available. Guests will be transported in either a Bombardier enclosed snow-trek vehicle, or Jeep and heated trailer. Warming shelter available at all times. Cost is $69 per person, includes transportation, poles, bait, tackle, drilled holes and fish cleaning. Sack lunch available for $8. No deposit required. Sportsman's Lodge reserves the right to cancel at anytime.
-- Sportsmans' motto is: "Hookem' and cookem'." Sportsman's will be happy to clean and prepare your walleye or sauger for you after a day's fishing. This is the best way to enjoy these super-fresh and delicious fish, and still have some to take home with you.
-- Sportsman's Eagle Ridge property is forty miles out on Lake of the Woods on Oak Island. Secluded and remote, but easily accessible and served by Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge as a base camp, which has great food, beverages, supplies, gas, liquor, tackle, maps and grocery items. Eagle Ridge has two cabins with accommodations for up to16 and is available for extended stays.
-- The Beltrami Island State Forest offers wilderness lovers nearly 670,000 acres of every type of natural setting to explore. Established routes allow visitors to comfortably enjoy this spectacular, vast wilderness, all year round. Sportsman's Lodge offers perfect access to this unique opportunity.
-- Sportsman's Lodge on Lake of the Woods, Baudette, MN is proud to announce that recent creel census results conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shows that on average, the Lake of the Woods walleye catch rate is the best of any lake in the State of Minnesota.
-- Sportsman's Lodge is now offering air charter service to Baudette, MN directly from the Anoka County (Twin Cities) airport on eight passenger jet-prop aircraft from Wilderness Air Service in the Twin Cities. About an hour's fast and convenient flight.
-- Cross-border fishing (American and Canadian waters) on Lake of the Woods is available out of Sportsman's Lodges. For information about required permits. licenses and opportunities contact us. Fish for walleye, sauger, northern, bass and jumbo perch from the main lodge or at Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge.
For more information on any of the above: Sportsman's Lodge, phone: 800-862-8602, or 218-634-1342; web: www.sportsmanslodges.com
Reports compiled, written & distributed by Creative Brilliance. ę2008.
Naomi K. Shapiro or Ray Smith, Creative Brilliance
608-827-6483; 800-975-5474 (media). e-mail: email@example.com; cre8vRay@charter.net
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