Fishing Report

NAte Barron Splake January 2018

Fishing Report, March 15, 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! Carolyn from Anglers all reports: Access on the Ashland side of the Bay is in good shape, except for 2nd Landing where you need a machine to access. The Bay area in general has 20 plus inches.  As it warms up approaches are getting soft.  Folks are still getting around but some are getting stuck, better off with a snowmobile for travel.   Always remember to use caution!!!! You should always call ahead for an ice condition report. Fishing has been very good but Conditions can change rapidly depending on the weather! Fishing has remained steady on both sides of the bay with a mixed bag of Browns, Splake, Whitefish, Trout, Perch, Walleye, Northerns and Smelt are being caught.  Always beware of pressure cracks!!! Conditions can change around pressure cracks. Winds and up and down temps can cause pressure cracks and they have been appearing around the landings. For safe ice fishing, bring an ice bar to check your way…Bring safety equipment, like ice picks. Call for current ice conditions before venturing out and ask what the popular baits are being used!!!!!

All permanent shacks must be off the ice by March 15, 2018

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.  River Rock now carries bait from a local manufacturing company, Bait Rigs Tackle Company in Ashland, owned by Tony and Sara Brown! Great White Fish Bait!!!!! Call them at 715/682-3232 for the most current fishing report. Scott Bretting from River Rock reports: There has been good fishing out there with a lot of Browns and white Fish being caught by Long Island. The Bay on the Ashland side has 24 plus inches of ice. (keep in mind that some areas do vary in ice depths). The Washburn side of the Bay has approximately 24 inches of ice. There is a very large pressure crack on the Washburn side so use caution when crossing it. Ice conditions change often near pressure cracks.  There are a lot of Smelt appearing around the Light House and at the end of the ore dock. They seem to be moving in closer.  If you are looking for Browns, Walleye or Perch, move away from where the Smelt are appearing. There is a big pressure crack off of 2nd landing, making it difficult to access the lake from that area.The bit has gotten better. With the warmer temps, there are slushy wet spots showing up and some four-wheelers/ATV’s have gotten stuck.
There are reports on the Ashland side of the Bay of nice Walleye, Perch and White Fish being caught. Use caution in front of Bono Creek (S-Curve) as cracks have appeared. Use your ice bar!!!! Inlands have had some reports on some nice size crappies being caught.  With the inland water being closed for Northerns and other species, the Chequamegon Bay is not closed… So try the big bay!  Just because you see tracks, does not mean the ice is safe so be sure and check the ice!!!!!  The New License are now available for the year.
Always bring your ice fishing safety equipment with you. USE CAUTION at all times!
Remember to always check your own ice conditions!!!! Bring an ice bar with you at all times!!!  Just remember…No ice is safe ice!!!!!

Note…for a Madeline Island Ice Road report check out this web site!

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)