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Ashland County Fishing Report

NAte Barron Splake January 2018

Fishing Report, February 15.

Anglers All, Located 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!
Carolyn from Anglers all reports: There are cold temps coming this next week. The Bay area in general has 20 plus inches but be sure and check your way with the ice bar. Machine travel has been the norm.  Always remember to use caution!!!! You should always call ahead for an ice condition report. Fishing has begun out in the Island area but conditions can change rapidly with fluctuations in the weather so use caution and think safety at all times!!!!!! Fishing has remained steady with a great mix bag of Browns, Splake and Whitefish being caught off the Washburn side. Reports of Perch, Walleye and Browns and Northerns are being caught on the Ashland side of the Bay. It should be a good weekend for ice fishing. Beware of pressure cracks!!! Conditions can change around pressure cracks. Winds and up and down temps can cause pressure cracks and they have been appearing around the landings. For safe ice fishing, Bring an ice bar to check your way…Bring safety equipment, like ice picks. Fishing is really great right now!!!! Call for current ice conditions before venturing out and ask what the popular baits are being used!!!!!

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: Cold temps are in the forecast! There has been good fishing out there with a lot of Browns and white Fish being caught by Long Island. The Bay on the Ashland side has 24 plus inches of ice. (keep in mind that some areas do vary in ice depths). The Washburn side of the Bay has approximately 24 inches of ice. There is a very large pressure crack on the Washburn side so use caution when crossing it. Ice conditions change often near pressure cracks. Machines are appearing throughout the Bay. River Rock now carries bait from a local manufacturing company, Bait Rigs Tackle Company in Ashland, owned by Tony and Sara Brown! Great White Fish Bait!!!!!! There are a lot of Smelt appearing around the Light House. If you are looking for Browns, Walleye or Perch, move away from where the Smelt are appearing. They are starting to bob for Lake Trout out beyond Basswood and Hermit Island. But use extreme caution!!!! Don’t venture out by yourself unless you’ve had experience in this area or if you are with a guide!! There is a big pressure crack off of 2nd landing, making it difficult to access the lake from that area.
There are reports on the Ashland side of the Bay of nice Walleye, Perch and White Fish being caught. Use caution in front of Bono Creek (S-Curve) as cracks have appeared. Use your ice bar!!!! Inlands have had some reports on some nice size crappies being caught and a few Walleye showing up. Snow cover does make it slushy on the Inlands so be aware!
Always bring your ice fishing safety equipment with you. the Ice road is open right now to Madeline Island. USE CAUTION at all times! Remember to always check your own ice conditions!!!! Bring an ice bar with you at all times!!!  Just remember…No ice is safe ice!!!!!

Notefor a Madeline Island Ice Road report check out this web site!

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!