My family is getting ready for our annual trip to the Northwoods of Wisconsin for two or three weeks of fishing some of the finest waters in this country. We are all looking forward to different aspects of this yearly trip to “God’s Country”; Kyle is looking forward to finally hooking up to a big northern pike and a trophy smallmouth bass; my wife, Shelley, is planning on catching some large bluegills and crappies for our fish fries; and me, well, I am just hoping to put a few fish in the boat for dinner.

Another thing we all look forward to is that when we get up to the cottage we can “unplug.” There are no cell towers or Wi-Fi available in the area to disturb our relaxation. I will be submitting my next column by driving into town (27 miles) and using the public library’s computers and Wi-Fi.

As I do before each trip, I have contacted the local bait shop to find out what has been actively biting and where. The reports have been that because they have had a cooler than normal spring and summer, the fish have been holding in shallower water. That is unusual for this time of year. The best baits for walleyes, they said, were night crawlers and leeches. The largemouth bass have been getting caught on “wacky” worms under the docks, and smallmouth have been taken on swimbaits in 15-18 feet of water next to deep lake drop-offs.

That five-minute call to the bait shop will allow me to better use my time on a lake that is 42 mile long. I can plan on fishing probably 10% of the lake at best. Shelley will be checking out the bluegill spots with her kayak during her early morning paddles, while Kyle and I are in pursuit of his trophy smallmouth.
My next report will be from up north. Hope to have positive news about our efforts. Until next time…keep a tight line.

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