Fishing Report

NAte Barron Splake January 2018October 16, 2018

Anglers All, Located at 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2) in Ashland, is a full-service tackle and fly shop offering a huge selection of baits and tackle for year round fishing. For the most complete and up-to-date fishing report, just give them a call at 715/682-5754, and they will gladly keep you informed! Luke from Anglers All reports: A chilly Fall is here and a bit of winter has been in the air at times. Temps are dropping and the leaves are falling. It’s been a little cooler this year than we’ve had in the past few years and things are happening on the water! Nearshore trout and salmon fishing has been good with water temps in the mid to upper 50s in most areas and most of the river mouths have good mudline/color breaks that have been holding fish. Good numbers of cohos around, and of course brown trout and a fair number of Steelhead hanging around as well. Trolling and casting in these nearshore areas is the best way to get after fish right now. Some days the fish are right tight to shore, others they are out over deeper water, but still up high in the water column. Smallies are starting to school up and fishing has been steady, with some days producing better than others. We’ve had lots of different weather over the past few weeks and everything from a lot of rain to snow to sunshine, with front after front coming through, so look for consistency in the weather for this bite to really line up and get going strong. Tubes, drop shot rigs and jigging spoons work best fished over rocks or mud flats in the 15-30 feet zone.

River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, Located at 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in Ashland where you can stop in and see their wide variety of live bait, fishing tackle, gear, accessories, fresh and smoked fish from Lake Superior, local meat sticks, and microbrews, and much more. Call them at 715/682-3232 for the most current fishing report. Scott Bretting from River Rock reports…..Reports have been coming in that Salmon Fishing is really good in the Streams right now. Bass fishing continues to be good with anglers having good success using sucker minnows.  The Bass are deeper in that 14 – 18 ft. Anglers are using sucker minnows and deeper diving shad raps.  Lake Trout season is closed but that doesn’t mean trolling is done for other fish. Fall fishing is fantastic for Browns and cohos. Near shore fishing and near the river mouths and also the streams for Browns and Cohos is great! Salmon fishing is getting better as it continues to cool down. With cooler nights now we are seeing fall fishing patterns.  Shore fishing is good from the docks casting for Rock Bass and Northerns using a variety of bait including dare devils, rapalas, and still soaking smelt and using crawlers. However, the Walleye bite does seems to be a bit tough right now. There have been reports of a few Salmon out in the lake! Anglers fishing the Inlands are finding that with the cooler temps Musky fishing has been great! The Musky are very active! Come and see the new tackle including a wide variety of Musky tackle by Bait Rigs, a local manufacturer.

Smelt information 2018

The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-284-9484, reports: Fishing is always a thrilling adventure in the Ashland area! Chequamegon Bay is famous for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing. The 12-mile-long bay’s rock piles and breakwater structures make for perfect bass habitat.

  • Wisconsin residents and non-residents 16 years of age and up will need a fishing license to fish any waters in the state. An annual license costs $20.  Go online at for more details.
  • Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, don’t need a fishing license. They do need to carry proof of their age when fishing, however.
  • State residents who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are entitled to obtain a free license when they go on furlough or leave.

New this year

  • Motor trolling is now legal on all inland waters with one hook, bait, or lure and – depending on location – with up to three hooks, baits, or lures, according to the DNR website.
  • Most inland lakes and rivers within the Ceded Territory (which includes Ashland County) have a daily bag limit of 3 walleye.

ALSO – To see a real-time image of Chequamegon Bay, go to Northern State Bank‘s Bay Cam.
And be sure to check out River Rock Inn & Bait Shop‘s new, awesome Live Cam overlooking the area near the Xcel Energy “hot pond”!

More on fishing in the Chequamegon Bay region

Entertaining viewing:

Check out this great episode of “John Gillespie’s Waters & Woods” from Feb. 6 focusing on ice fishing near Ashland.  Josh Teigen of Josh Teigen’s Guide Service in Iron River took the amiable TV host out on Chequamegon Bay where Gillespie said he had one of his “most enjoyable ice fishing trips of the year.”

Don’t miss this episode of “Larry Smith Outdoors” as the Berlin, Wis., guide and outdoorsman teams up with Tommy Hicks of Ashland and Beyond the Catch Guide Service to tackle Chequamegon Bay. Trout are on the menu along with whitefish when Larry and Tommy head out on the ice in “one of the prettiest parts of the state.”

Highly recommended reading:

Check out this wonderful article by Andrew Ragas of about the excellent smallmouth bass fishery right here in Chequamegon Bay!  Ragas spent a day out on the water with Ashland native Nate Baron of Up North Guide Service.

A very well-written story by Tom Hazelton about a day spent fly-fishing out on Chequamegon Bay with Luke Kavajecz of Anglers All.  Hazelton calls it “Unsalted.”

Another great article on bass fishing Chequamegon Bay saltwater-style, this one by Duluth News Tribune outdoors writer Sam Cook. Read all about “Barefootin’ the bay.”

Read about Roger LaPenter’s 2014 induction into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.

Learn more about the great fishing in Chequamegon Bay!

Chicagoans Meredith and Claire had some good fun on Chequamegon Bay this week catching smallmouth and enjoying some beach time out at Long Island. “Hard to ignore swimming when the water is 75 degrees,” said their guide, Luke Kavajecz of Ashland’s Anglers All. “It was a fun day for sure!” (Photo courtesy of Luke Kavajecz)

Chicagoans Meredith and Claire had some good fun on Chequamegon Bay last July catching smallmouth and enjoying some beach time out at Long Island. “Hard to ignore swimming when the water is 75 degrees,” said their guide, Luke Kavajecz of Ashland’s Anglers All. “It was a fun day for sure!” (Photo courtesy of Luke Kavajecz)