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Ashland County Fishing Report



Report, July 20…2017

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. Call them at 715/682-3232 for the most current fishing report.
Scott Bretting from River Rock reports: Small Mouth are out deeper now and looking for cool water in 12 to 15 foot range depth using sucker minnows and shad raps. We are still seeing some may fly hatches.
Trolling for Walleye’s in Chequamegon Bay at 15 foot using crawler harnesses has brought in some nice fish. The quality has been great with some really big fish being caught but the quantity has been a little tough right now.
Break out your Fly Rod because it could be a lot of fun fishing on calm days!!!!
Frog patterns have been great on the Bay. Trolling continues to be very good with lots of Lake Trout being caught in the South Channel, using spoons behind the downriggers and flys with flashers or spin-in-glows.
They are seeing nice Lake Trout in the flats.
Trolling this past week…some of the glow pattern spoons have been producing more fish with the overcast days.  Trolling is still on fire now!
Browns are being caught in shallower water of 40-60 foot depths right on the bottom and even a few Coho’s in the same area.
note…keep a look-out for commercial fishing nets within the Islands where there is great fishing! We are seeing some nice Northern’s being caught in the Bay!!
Inland fishing has been productive. There have been Large Mouth Bass being caught on leeches with slip bobbers at 10 foot on the Inlands. As the water gets warmer, you will see of lot of people water skiing and on jet skis on the Inland Lakes. The campgrounds are busy so there is a lot of water activity to enjoy. The Blue Gills, Crappies, Perch and Bass are very active on the Inlands using crawlers, and leeches. There is a wide variety of baits to use for fishing any time this summer!!!!! Shore fishing off the Marina Sea Wall, Power Plant and the Base of the Ore Dock has brought in many fish from Rock Bass to Walleyes. Anglers are soaking Smelt and catching fish! Don’t be afraid to switch up gear mid-day. There are sand flies on the tip of Long Island on the beach so dress appropriately for now.
The water is getting warmer and we are in typical summer fishing! Enjoy!!!!!

Anglers AllLocated 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!
Small Mouth Bass fishing has been good. Anywhere you have structure you will most likely catch Bass in 2feet to 30 feet of water. In the deeper water in the Bay, use sucker minnows for catching the Bass.
Anglers have been catching Walleye at the head of the Bay, Brush Point and Kakagon Slough, using crawlers, leeches, and minnows as well as stick baits. During the day look for Walleyes in the channel or the drop-offs into the channel trolling stick baits.
Northern’s have been caught at the Break Wall and along the Ashland shoreline with many Anglers casting spoons and spinner baits.
Trolling for Trout and Salmon has been very productive from Houghton Point all the way out to the Islands. Many fish are still being caught in deep depths using down riggers or dipsy divers.
Inland fishing is good with reports of pan fish and Large Mouth Bass, Musky and Crappies being caught!

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, check out Northern State Bank’s Bay Cam.
And don’t miss the really cool new Live Cam overlooking the Xcel Energy “hot pond” on Chequamegon Bay brought to you by River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive, Ashland.


Watch 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.”

You’ll want to see this fun 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.”

To read about the annual smelt run in Chequamegon Bay and the smelting rules and regulations, please go to our Smelt Report.

Here’s an 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.

Highly recommended reading: Don’t miss this very well-written story by Tom Hazelton about a day spent fly-fishing out on Chequamegon Bay with Luke Kavajecz of Anglers All.

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.”

In August 2014, Ashland fishing guide and Anglers All proprietor Roger LaPenter was inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.

Learn more about the great fishing here in Chequamegon Bay!