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  • Rusty and Cindy Stimmel

Wisconsin Fish: Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Red Ear Sunfish

Lake Superior Small Mouth

Wisconsin was a great place to fish.

We met Jim and Kay in Lees Ferry Arizona in April. They invited us to come see them in Grantsburg Wisconsin and go fishing with Jim. We arranged to visit them in August.

Jim arranged for us to go fishing with his friend Joe on the St Croix River. Jim told us that Joe knew the river well and could help me find a Musky. Joe met us at Jim’s and we went to a St. Croix put in near Grantsburg. Joe forgot to unhook his safety chain on the boat prior to backing into the river. The boat swiveled off of the trailer in the current. Joe and I waded into the river and with the help of two fisherman in another boat were able to remove the safety chain. We then put our fishing gear in the boat and Joe took us out into the river. I started fishing with my 9 weight for Musky. Cindy was casting for bass. Joe put me into approximately the correct position to cast to holes where there might be Musky. We did that for about an hour when Joe decided fishing for bass would be better, as we had covered all of the Musky holes in that section of river. I put a chartreuse and white Clouser about 3 inches long, Cindy used a Rapala shallow diver and Joe used a top water plug. Joe got a hit and Cindy changed to a top water plug and I changed to a slider. We heard thunder and thought we should get off of the river, but Joe did not. As we were motoring up the river, I got a hit on my trailing fly but not a hook up. It then started raining, but joe kept fishing. After a few minutes of light rain, the rain became a deluge. By the time we got back to the boat launch, we were as wet as if we had gone swimming. Jim and Kay were waiting for us at the boat launch with a warm truck as they expected that we would be soaked in the heavy rain. By the time the rain let up enough to hook up to Joe’s boat, it was almost full of water. I guess from the amount of water in Joe’s boat that we got about 3 inches of rain in the 45 minutes between the start of the heavy rain and when we were able to pull Joe’s boat from the water. That was a poor start to fishing in Wisconsin.

The next week, we went to Lake Superior with Jim and Kay to fish for walleye and smallmouth bass. Jim and Rusty went out fishing for walleye. Jim trolled a diver and Rusty trolled a blue silver black deep Clouser minnow and a pink white deep Clouser, both flies were tied with flash. Neither Jim not Rusty had any success. Jim decided to take Rusty to some smallmouth water. Rusty put on a baby bass Clouser and started fishing along a wall. A smallmouth bass hit and was landed. The fish was about 19 inches long. We moved to a rock pile and Rusty caught another small mouth bass, this one about 21 inches.

The next day, we fished for walleye and bass. Jim caught a rock bass and Rusty caught a pike.

The last day of fishing was slow. Jim caught a smallmouth bass and Rusty had caught nothing when Jim decided to try one last place for a walleye for dinner. As the flies had not had any success, Rusty changed to a deep diving lure in blue, silver and white. We were fishing in water about 35 feed deep. When we crossed a change in depth to 25 feet, Rusty hooked a fish. After fighting it in, it turned out to be a 30-inch walleye. Quite a fish for his first walleye.

We returned to Grantsburg and went fishing one last time for sunfish. Cindy and Jim were using worms on Jig heads just off of the bottom and Rusty started with a bead head woolly bugger on a floating line with a sinking poly leader. We all caught fish. Cindy caught the most fish, Jim caught the biggest fish and Rusty caught both largemouth bass and bluegill. One of the fish that Jim released, a small bluegill, was wounded and swimming on the surface. There was a bald eagle circling above the fish, but we were too close for the eagle to take the fish. Jim backed the boat off and the eagle came in and took the bluegill.

Rusty bought a fish hunter 3d fish finder and started using it in Wisconsin. On Jim’s boat, it agreed well with Jim’s fish finder. It works well when being moved slowly. When Jim increased the trolling speed to 2 mph, it had problems maintaining connection.

When we left Jim and Kay’s place we went to Patricia Lake campground. Rusty fished from his float tube. The first evening, he was fishing for walleye with a blue/silver/white deep Clouser and caught a smallmouth bass about 17 inches.

The next evening, Rusty tried to catch a pumpkinseed, which several people told him were present in the lake. He caught bluegill (the largest 7 inches), black crappie (from 10 to 12 inches) and red ear sunfish, all small. The bluegill and red ear are stunted due to over population.