Vilas/ Oneida Counties- weekend report
Was up in the Minocqua area over the weekend.
Most all area lakes are down. My parent's lake, which is a natural lake, was down at least 20" from levels in mid June. Saw the same on lakes Katherine, Gimore, Big Carr. Couldn't guage exactly how low the Minocqua chain is, but went on a bike ride on the Bearskin Trail that goes over the old Minocqua RR tressle (over the lake between BJs and Bosacki's) and then over the tressle on the Minoqua/lake Kas channel. One of the back bays in Lake Kas, that is usually good for springtime crappie & bass, had stumps sticking out of a sandy shore that is usually under 2' of water. So appearently the chain is down too.
Lake Nokomis looked to be down at leas 5-6 feet. The Rainbow Flowage....well, it looked close to 10 FEET down. I've never seen it so low. Strangly though, they are letting water out of the dam at a good clip so the River levels below the dam were actually near normal-- at least a foot HIGHER than what I saw in mid June. Strange to say the least. What really shocked me was the river's clarity....it was murky, visability only around 12-16" (Compared to 3-4 feet in June). Seems that Rainbow has a good algae bloom going and the water coming out of the dam is what supplies the river. The river looked like most of the lakes up there during turnover.
Fishing on my dad's lake was mighty slow compared to June. The recent cold front had pushed the bass out of the weeds and they were hard to find. Picked up a few the first morning but really had to work for them. Couldn't cast cranks due to the heavy weed growth. Finally started running Mepps and a floating Rapala (#11, chrome/blue with light orange belly) and starting picking up some Pike. Got a couple over 20" , but most were smaller. Couldn't find crappie anywhere. Far cry from the bass/crappie bonanza in June. My 5 yr old still came thru with at least 200 bluegill off of his Grandpa's pier. A few were pretty nice. We usually have at least one pike/musky "incident" on the pier while bluegill fishing during each trip. Not this time. Didn't even see any bass cruising the shores/weeds.
Got up early yesterday AM and fished the River from the Rainbow dam down to the tubes. I waded with two poles- a spinning rig with a black Power Leech, red mosquito hook, and small split shot....and my baitcaster/heavy action rod with a #4 Mepps (copper blade/squirrel tail). Casted the Mepps around all the downed brush, around rocks, over tops of weed bed (pretty weedy in the river right now). Didn't get a single strike or follow on the Mepps (Figured I'd at least pick up a pesty little snake). Finally got to the tubes with a skunking in hand after 2 hrs of casting. Jigged the Power Leech in the slack pockets of the tubes and picked up one powerful 18" smallie that gave me a great fight for a few minutes in the current. Released the fish, then called it a morning as I had a 5 hr drive ahead of me with the wife & kids.
Water temps dropped over the past week a good 6-10 degrees on my dad's lake. And there are already some leaves turning up there.
"How'd YOU get here??"
" I'm EVERYWHERE, Focker."