Fish are not in hiding, according to local bait shop owners.
Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait in Tomah, said fish were active this past week and that multiple species were biting. Bass and bluegills were the most active.
“We got quite a few bass brought into the shop; nothing huge,” Roscovius said. “A 19 ½-inch (bass) was the biggest one, but we’ve had pictures of several nice fish also brought in. Guys are catching those mostly on artificial worms, plastics, some spinner baits, some top water action, but most of it has been artificial and plastic for the bass.”
He also said lots of bluegills were recently caught.
“They’re catching most of those on red worms, but there was some top-water activity,” Roscovius said.
Northern pike were also biting, but most were below the 26-inch size limit, Roscovius reported.
“We didn’t really have too many legal northern reports,” he said. “But we did get quite a few reports Saturday that they were catching a lot of them, but they were all undersized. Most were caught on minnows under a bobber − quite a few surface baits, but the majority were on minnows.”
The crappie bite was slower than in previous weeks and was further off shore, but some were still caught, Roscovius said.
Walleyes were hit or miss on the larger flowages, Roscovius reported.
“Petenwell has slowed down, and Castle Rock has slowed down,” he said. “Maybe the local area guys have been doing better, but our guys are reporting (the bite) slowing down a little bit. Most of the guys are still fishing with minnows and a lot of jig heads.”
Matt Modjeski, Department of Natural Resources conservation warden for Monroe County, said he didn’t have much luck catching bass this weekend.
“I did go out for about the last hour of fishing at Lake Tomah, and we didn’t get a single bite,” he said.
He said a local couple in a kayak on Lake Tomah was “catching bluegills but with a special silvery lure, an artificial bait thing that came along the edge of the lake. But we were trying mostly for bass and northern and never got a bite.”
Trout fishermen are still active, Roscovius said.
“Fly fishermen or trout fishermen are still getting some pretty nice trout in a few of the local trout streams,” he said. “A guy brought in a picture of a brookie he caught.”
The Department of Natural Resources reported that river levels have stabilized at Perrot State Park and the dock has been installed. The hiking trails in the park are in good condition. The section of Perrot Ridge trail that heads up from Perrot Post remains closed, but hikers can still make a loop up to the ridge and back.