Fishermen were out in force last weekend.
Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait in Tomah, said plenty of anglers were out catching fish this past weekend.
“It was really busy; we has the state free fishing ... this weekend, so we usually get a little busier,” he said.
The bite was good, Roscovius reported.
“It was awfully hot Saturday, but we had some real nice bluegills and bass brought into the shop,” he said.
He said a 22-inch largemouth bass and a 15-inch crappie, both caught on local cranberry marshes, were brought into the shop Monday.
“The fish have been pretty productive,” Roscovius said.
The bite has also been good at Lake Arbutus, said Chris Abbott, manager of Hatfield Sports Shop.
“Fishing has been pretty good last week,” he said. “Since the water has been down, everybody has been getting quite a few fish.”
Walleyes, crappies and bass, in particular, have been active, Abbott said.
“Crappies, guys are still getting a lot of them ... getting them shallow this weekend,” he said. “Walleyes are picking up also − guys are getting a few keepers here and there. I’m hearing they’re getting them in 4-10 feet of water.
He said “early morning and late evening” have been the most productive times for walleye fishing.
In the Tomah area, Roscovius reported that the best bait for crappies and bluegills is live bait.
“Live crappie minnows seem to be a pretty successful bait for crappies right now, but guys are still getting some crappies on artificial,” he said. “Bluegills are moving to spawning areas, and people are catching them on worms.”
Bass are mostly taking artificial bait, Roscovius said. They’re being caught on artificial worms, plastic worms and spinner baits. Rattle traps and crank baits are working best for northerns.
Walleyes and catfish are biting on Petenwell and Castle Rock flowages, Roscovius said. Both are impoundments of the Wisconsin River, and he said “the Wisconsin River system is doing well.”
In other outdoors news, Monroe County forestry director Chad Ziegler said McMullen County Park near Warrens has been busy.
“We’re very busy despite the rainy weather,” he said. “Memorial Day was really busy as well − we had probably 500-600 campers for the weekend with probably 200 camping units.”
The park got busy early this year, Ziegler said.
“I don’t know if it was a product of the weather, but we have a lot of monthly, a lot of seasonal campers,” he said.