The fishing bite has slowed down in western Wisconsin.

Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait in Tomah, said fishermen are catching crappies, bluegills and perch, but the numbers are down. He believes the decrease is due to high water and warm temperatures.

“Where the water was relatively steady, (fishermen) did get a few bluegills and crappies and perch ... Northerns and bass are still pretty active and should have a good bite yet through the fall,” he said. “The bite is not as good as it was, but they’re still getting a few ... but I would expect that with cooler weather coming in, the bigger crappies will start moving a bit and the guys should be able to catch those.”

Dennis Schnitzler, owner of Schnitzler’s Sports Store in Sparta, agrees.

“The river jumped back up, but it’s coming down. We need the water to cool down, and then I think the panfish will start to bite real good,” he said. “But over at Petenwell, guys are reporting that the catfish are biting real good.”

The typical baits are working for every species, Roscovius said. Crappies are taking crappie minnows and crappie tubes, bluegills are taking red worms and bass and northerns are taking moving baits like spinners, cranks, rattle traps and swim baits. They’re also taking live bait.

In hunting news, Roscovius reports getting a few deer heads dropped off at the CWD testing box outside his shop.

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“For those who want to get their deer tested for CWD, we have a box out here where they can fill out their information and drop off their deer head for it to get tested free of charge,” he said. “The state will get back to you in the shortest time they can; typically it’s five or six days with the results of the CWD test.”

Roscovius said hunters can drop off the heads and fill out the forms any time even if the shop is closed.

The bow deer season has started, and as of Sept. 24, 15 deer have been taken in the Central Farmland zone in Monroe County, 19 antlered and 38 antlerless. In the Central Forest zone, two deer have been taken, both antlered.

In total, 3,208 have been taken in the state − 1,259 antlered and 1,949 antlerless.

For the crossbow deer season through Sept. 24, 40 deer have been taken in the Central Farmland zone in Monroe County; 12 were antlered and 28 were anterless. In the Central Forest zone, six deer were taken − one antlered and five antlerless.

In total, 3,189 were taken in the state with 1,499 antlered and 1,690antlerless.

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at


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