The recent rainfall did not keep all the fishermen away from lakes and rivers in western Wisconsin.

Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait in Tomah, said fishermen still got out “between raindrops” to catch fish this past weekend.

Both crappies and bluegills were biting, Roscovius said.

“(For bluegills) most are still using worms; however, I’m sure you could catch them on waxies also,” he said. “Crappies − guys are not catching big number of them, but the size has been a little better. Guys have been reporting catching crappies at Eagle’s Nest by drifting crappie minnows, regular crappie plastics, crappie tubes, cubbies and twister tails on a jig head. Typical summer patterns have been working.”

The bass bite has also picked up, Roscovius reported. Fishermen are catching them on most baits including senkos, plastic worms and jigs, but worms are working best in the local ponds. Top-water baits such as artificial frogs and buzz baits have also been working.

“Bass are getting more aggressive on the top water bait,” he said. “Guys should give that a try.”

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

“Top water seems to be picking up and the bass are picking up,” he said.

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The northern pike bite has slowed, but fishermen are still catching them on minnows, Roscovius said.

“It’s hard to keep minnows alive in this hot water. Guys wanting to use them need to take precautions to keep the bait cooled out in the sun,” he said.

At Castle Rock and Petenwell flowages, walleye are biting, Roscovius said. He also received reports of algae starting to spread there and predicts algae issues to come up as the calendar flips deeper into summer.

“This always happens this time of year. With the tremendous heat we get it just blooms,” Roscovius said.

In Jackson County, ATV riders need to be aware of a pair of closed trail sections. The portion of trail that runs from Oak Ridge Road to the 7th Street parking lot is closed due to a bridge safety issue. The Department of Natural Resources is working to get emergency approval for funding of repairs.

The rest of the trail system is open except for a one-mile section that is closed due to flooding. Riders can skip the section by riding on North Settlement Road, which is an ATV route.

For those who have an interest in the night sky, Buckhorn State Park will host a Universe in the Park session Saturday, July 6 from 8:45-9:45 p.m. There will be a slide show presentation, telescope viewing and discussion of space facts. Meet at the park amphitheater.

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at


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