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Ashland County Fishing Report

Nate Barron, Trolling Apostle Islands, Lake Trout









Report, September 22…2017

Anglers All Reports, 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!
Luke from Anglers all reports: It’s Fall transition time!!!! We’re into the end of September but it sure hasn’t felt like it yet.  It’s been pretty warm and nice with some rain and not too fall-like, but that’s ok, we’ll take it.  Water temps are still hanging in the lower 60s in most places.  Coho Salmon are being caught, over deeper water 20-30 feet down.  Flicker Shads have been best.  There are for sure fish being caught in the near shore areas too, it’s just that they’re pretty spread out.  There are fish in the rivers as well, so don’t over look that option either.  On the Brule as well as the Sioux, there’s already been a nice push of early fall Steelhead and a number of Cohos over there too. That fishing will only get better.
Smallmouth have been pretty spread out lately, and are still in a late summer pattern.  Major schooling hasn’t yet to have seemed to happen.  Keep moving to find active fish and stay on the bite.
Musky fishing has been pretty decent lately as well.  Fall is the time to get after these toothy critters in our many area inland lakes and rivers.
Stop by the shop to see what we’ve got to help you get out this fall.

Lake Trout Season for Sport Fishing Only closed SUNDAY, August 20th @ 11:59pm until the opener on Dec.1st. But you can still target Brown Trout, Cohos, and Splake!
Please get involved with Public Meetings!!!!!! You can make a difference!

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.
River Rock reports: Small Mouth have been active in the 15 foot area. Anglers are catching fish on the East End of the Break Wall, The Rock Pile, Tip of Long Island, Around the End of Houghton Point, and even off of the area of Oak Point in 13 to 15 feet of water. Sucker Minnows and Dropshots with artificials have been a good choice. We have picked up an occasional Northern and a few Walleyes in these areas also. Mid-day we have even seen a few perch. Guys that have been fishing the tip of Long Island have been successful with a few Salmon with downriggers in 60 to 80 feet.
Reports are coming in that Anglers are starting to catch Browns and Coho’s in the local rivers.
note…keep a look-out for commercial fishing nets within the Islands where there is great fishing! The commercial nets at the end of Long Island are gone, so trolling in the area will improve and fall fishing will be FANTASTIC in that area. We are seeing some nice Northern’s being caught in the Bay!!
Inland fishing has been productive. The Blue Gills, Crappies, Perch and Bass are very active on the Inlands using crawlers, and leeches. Fall Musky fishing has started early. 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. We are in typical fall fishing! Enjoy!!!!!

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!