Unseasonal temperatures are keeping deer activity to a minimum but hunters are still bagging their bucks. In additional to the hunting the warm weather has savvy anglers are scoring BIG on open water.
With abnormally warm temperatures for this time of the year, hunters are reporting seeing fewer deer in the woods but they continue to be optimistic about the 2012 season. With cooler temperatures forecasted for the last weekend of the season activity levels should increase. Even with hunter reports coming in with lower than normal sightings the DNR preliminary reports have the opening weekend success numbers higher than last year. I would like to extend a big congratulations to all the hunters who were successful so far this season. Although tagging a deer is what most of us would like to do, it is the whole experience of getting out there with friends and family and the camaraderie that keeps us coming back year after year.
With the close of the 9 day gun deer season we start the opener for the 10 day muzzleloader season. The muzzleloader season runs from November 26th through December 5th. The nice thing about muzzleloader season is that the woods are less crowded and we return to a more traditional style of hunting. Deer hunters will also find that the deer have started to return to their normal patterns and can be more easily tracked and located.
Anglers hoping for some early ice have not seen it yet but…..With that said we are finding that by targeting some of our traditional early ice locations by boat or off shore is that the fish are already there and readily taking our presentations. Just this past week some of our local bluegill hotspots produced nice catches of bull nosed gills in the 8 and 9 inch range. Small jigs tipped with a piece of crawler or small plastic like a Wedge tail have been working very good for us.
In addition to the good bluegill catches we are catching a few nice walleyes by targeting some of the deeper water in the system as well as some of our traditional shallow water ice fishing locations. For the most part the fish are deeper during the day in 10 to 14 feet of water but as evening approaches we move up and target the walleyes in as shallow as 1 to 3 feet of water. During the daytime we target the walleyes with leads head jigs tipped with extra-large fathead minnows but in the evening we are tossing crankbaits right up tight to shoreline structure.
With a week of musky fishing remaining guys looking for that last fish of the season or maybe that trophy of a life time now is a great time to go after it. Target deep water and areas with little or no current on the main river system. Run 12 to16 inch suckers on quick set rigs anywhere from 5 to 10 feet down over 10 to 20 feet of water. I would also suggest throwing plastics like Bulldawgs and Big Joes as well as deep diving cranks like the Depth Raiders and Cisco Kids in natural or firetiger colors.
Good luck and have a great week,
Licensed Wisconsin Hunting & Fishing Guide
Hooksetters Guide Service www.hooksetters.biz
Ruttnut Guide Service www.ruttnut.com
Reed & Hoppe Wildlife Food Plots www.foodplotting.com