Jeff Bolander's Fishing Reports and Conditions for Minocqua,
St Germain, Lac du Flambeau, Boulder Junction, Manitowish Waters Wisconsin


Jeff Bolander, Professional Fishing Guide


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FISHING REPORTS:

After a great week of putting the hurt on crappies, walleye and northern, the weekend came and scared them all away. But alas, not is all lost. Like the terminator, "they'll be baaack..." The cold temps over the weekend, highs barely making the 40s, 15-20 mile an hour winds and cloudy skies, made a tough go of it for anglers. A few were out but not many. But the forecast looks promising. Warmer temps and more normal winds should increase the bite and put the fish back on their spawning schedules.

Remember, when fish are on their beds they aren't hungry, just protective. That's not the best time to catch them. If you do see them on the beds, and I'm talking crappies and bass as the they are the only species not finished spawning, they are protecting the beds from potential predators. The main threats are minnows and other small fish. So throw those small minnows or small plastics that resemble minnows at the beds. Throw them past the beds and bring them back to the bed. Then you have a chance of them grabbing the bait to kill it or move it away from the bed. I have watched many of fish, especially bass, pick up a piece of plastic out of their bed and move it away, drop it, and then go back to their patrol duty. It's pretty cool. The best time to target these fish is the week before and the week after the spawn. That's when they are feeding. For the crappies I think it will be sometime this week or weekend, depending on the lake. The bass are still pre-spawn and are just starting to hit the buffet line before they hit the boudoir.

Northern are still everywhere. Minnows, crawlers, leeches, cranks, spinnerbaits and plastics will get them. Just work your bait slowly through the greening weeds. Keep your bait higher in the water column cuz the northern is always looking up above for a meal.

Walleyes have been very good lately. The key to remember here is they are moving to different depths during the day depending on temps and sun light. Early and late in the day they will be shallow while during the day they will slowly inch their way down the water column to a depth that keeps the sun outa their eyes. We've have the best luck on bigger minnows lately but we've still caught them on cranks and plastics matched to the depth they are at. Keep looking for green weeds and eventually you'll find them.

Well today I turned 62 and I'm gonna treat myself to a rare afternoon of fishing by myself. It's always weird not having someone's hook to bait! I'm heading to a lake I've driven by a 100 times but never put my boat in. I wonder if there is fish in there? Hopefully I'll find a new honey hole or two. And thanks for all your kinds words on-line. It makes everything we do while guiding and at the bait shops worth while.

And as usual we always have 2 dz jumbo crawlers for $5, your 1st scoop of crappie minnows for $2 with any purchase, and the lowest leech prices around. Our jumbo crawlers are directly from Canada, leeches directly from Minnesota and our minnows are direct from trappers in central Wisconsin. We also sell bulk crawler flats, $45, and leeches by the pound. No middleman! Fresher and lower priced.
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Jeff Bolander, owner of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
Check out my Up North fishing and resort web sites at www.UpNorth.info

Jeff Bolander <jeff@deweycatchemandhow.com>
- Monday, May 20, 2019 at 09:37:32 (PDT)
Well here we go. I promised a couple of readers I'd let them know when the water temps got to 60. And on a lot of lakes they have and by looks of the forecast, they are gonna stay that way. I was on a flowage yesterday and the temps were 59 to 60 everywhere. Another lake the day before and the temps started at 55 and were rising quickly. And consequently the fishing success is rising too.

Crappie fishing is very popular this time of year. And they are popping right now. There is no one right way to get them as some guys are getting them in 10" of water and some are getting them on the 10' weed line. But they are there, schooled, and feeding. Feeding windows are still small but there are a lot of windows. Fishermen are buying two scoops of minnows at a time right now and the usual small plastics are working well as well. This is only gonna get better so can get out there and catch a few. And I know this falls on deaf ears sometimes but please let those big mamas go. You know why.

Northens are still hot. Their usual aggressiveness is a lot of fun. A brutal hit next to the boat by even a little one will put a smile on you face. Throwing crank baits, spinners or any kind or minnows will catch them. They are everywhere right now. And, of course, very tasty.

Walleyes are also starting to turn on. Many smaller males have been caught but the big gals are just starting to get active. They are getting over the spawning process and, if not already, soon will be on the prowl. Big minn0ws, big cranks, big leeches and jumbo crawlers are the ticket. As by buddy Tommy Zinda used to say, "right now they want a meal, not a snack!"

After last night's short trip out with the wifey we'll be eating northern and walleye tonight. We kept one of each. Fished with a Rapala FO7 FT and a Livingston lure. Pretty cool those Livingstons. We have them in the shop if you'd like to check them out. And as usual we have 2 dz jumbo crawlers for $5, your 1st scoop of crappie minnows for $2 with any purchase, and the lowest leech prices around. Our jumbo crawlers are directly from Canada, just had 100 flats delivered yesterday, leeches directly from Minnesota and our minnows are direct from trappers in central Wisconsin. We also sell bulk crawler flats, $45, and leeches by the pound. No middleman! Fresher and lower priced.

Get out there and have some fun!
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Jeff Bolander, owner of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
Check out my Up North fishing and resort web sites at www.UpNorth.info

Jeff Bolander <jeff@deweycatchemandhow.com>
- Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 09:42:59 (PDT)
Another anticipated Opener has come and gone. The weather was great and the fishing was pretty good depending on the body of water. Here's where we seem to be right now from my experiences and reliable reports. The darker bodies of water, like the flowages and some reservation lakes, the water temps are near or at 50 degrees. A lot of the walleyes being caught are all spawned out. The bigger clearer lakes like Minocqua, Big and Little Saint Germain, Big and Little Arbor Vitae, have just lost their ice so their water temps are in the low 40's still. The walleyes there seem to be in the middle of the spawn or just getting at it. The smaller lakes like Mid, Little John and Arrowhead, Lost and Found, the water temp is in the mid to upper 40's and the walleyes are right in the middle of the spawn. Expect these conditions to gradually move forward in the spawn over the next week or two as the water temps continue to rise. If you want walleyes now get to those bodies of water that the temps are the highest on as the males should be feeding after the spawn and they will soon be followed by those bigger females. The larger minnows and baits seem to be working the best.

In the meantime the pike have been pretty active. Small or big, they are coming on stronger each day. Today we actually caught half of them on crawlers, as well as XL Fats and Blacktail chubs. When we used the crawlers a few perch got in on the action, too.

The forecast for fishing is looking really good. The walleyes are about a week away from becoming very active on most lakes. Get out there in the evening, if you can, with a Fire Tiger Rapala, casting those rocky shorelines. Of course many other baits will work as well but the FT Original never goes out of style.

A quick note about the Dewey Catchem and How bait shops this year. We have basically shut down our wholesale bait operations and moved that pricing into the bait shops in Minocqua and Arbor Vitae. For example, you can now get jumbo night crawlers for only $5 for 2 doz and $2.75 for 1 doz. And these are all in Fat n Sassy bedding. Another example is $2 for a scoop of crappie minnows. And these are everyday prices. Plus, if you join our BAIT BUCKS program, which is free, you can save even more. For every $100 you spend over time you get a $10 credit. There are a few exceptions but not many. We invite you to take advantage and sign up today.

Get out there and have some fun folks. It's gonna get better every day now. And if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong!
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Jeff Bolander, owner of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow

Jeff Bolander <jeff@deweycatchemandhow.com>
- Sunday, May 05, 2019 at 16:20:14 (PDT)
Warmer weather is upon us. HOORAY!! This weekend is suppose to be sunny and into the 60's so if you still got the ice fishing itch you better scratch it pretty quick. I'm thinking we got another 2 weeks or less left of ice before we got open water. I just looked at the forecast and there aren't even any nights that will get below 32 and there's a lot of rain predicted. Maybe for the first time in a few years we'll have some open water a week or so before the Opener. I'm good with that.

There haven't been very many folks out there fishing lately. We are in the 'only the diehard' times of ice fishing. But there is still plenty of ice but a lot of shore lines have pulled away, a long way in some cases. As always the north ends warm up first so please be careful.

For those that have been out, the fishing has been very good. Lots of nice crappie, gills and perch are being taken in a myriad of ways. Not a lot of minnows going out the bait shop door. Mostly plastics, spikes, waxies, mousees and chena bait. And it seems that every fisherman has their own way of icing fish, and it's the only way that works. Always puts a smile on my face when 5 different guys come in and tell me that and they all fish a different way. And you know what? They are all right.

If you can get out and enjoy this weather and the good bite, be careful. And if you get time come on in the shop and see all the new rods, reels and latest and greatest fandangle baits and accessories for this open water season. There are some pretty cool stuff. Later!
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Jeff Bolander, owner of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
Check out my Up North fishing and resort web sites at www.UpNorth.info
and see piles of fish photos at Up North Fishing Photos at

www.UpNorthFishingPhotos.com.
Jeff Bolander <jeff@deweycatchemandhow.com>
- Friday, April 19, 2019 at 10:33:00 (PDT)


The cool weather slowed the fishing over the weekend as the bite windows got smaller. We actually made ice over the last couple of days. Plenty of folks out there though and conditions continue to improve. There were so many folks out on Stacks Bay that the trucks were parked out to the highway! A lot of pent up demand still exists.

A few reports I got yesterday indicate that the crust and slush are completely gone on some of the smaller lakes and should be short lived on the larger ones. That's great news. I'm guessing we should have about 2 weeks of safe ice fishing coming up. The forecast shows plenty of warm weather coming in the form of the 50's. Whether we get sun or rain or not will determine how much time we have left on the ice. Remember, the big danger this time of year is just because you got out there doesn't mean you'll get bask. Some shorelines and landings are already pulling away. Bottom line is I think it looks good for a open water Opener this year. That would be nice for a change.

As far as the fishing goes it's been a 6 on a 10 scale. For a while last week it was a 10. Like I said, folks are still catching fish just in smaller windows. The same baits are working. Bugs and minnows on a plain hook or your favorite jig are the ticket.

In the shop I'm constantly asked where the hot lake is and where the fish are at and my answer is usually the same. You never know until you get out there. There is no magic answer and never a hot lake. There are only the 'find'amentals that exist. One day I counted 10 guys that came in and told me about the "only bait" that would work and they were all different. But it's true. There are so many variables in fishing that have to be put together to be successful that 10 guys, or 100 guys, could be doing it the "only way" that works. I say that's why fishing is great. When you figure it out, even if it's only for 10 minutes, it's very self satisfying.

FYI, we almost have the whole shop turned over to summer fishing now. If you want to see and touch the latest and greatest stuff com'on in! We start work on the aquarium this week, too. It's going to be about 1000 gallons filled with local game fish. The little kid in all of us is really looking forward to that! Now we just have to figure out a reason to put in a train set...
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Jeff Bolander, owner of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
Check out my Up North fishing and resort web sites at www.UpNorth.info
and see piles of fish photos at Up North Fishing Photos at

www.UpNorthFishingPhotos.com.
Jeff Bolander <jeff@deweycatchemandhow.com>
- Tuesday, April 02, 2019 at 10:12:02 (PDT)


Wow. What a difference a week makes. Last week was warm enough but still it was a chore to fight thru the slush and crusts on the ice. For all intent and purposes this past weekend was a godsend, allowing pent up demand for ice fishing to resume. The slush is way down and only about a couple of inches below the crust. And that might be gone completely by mid week. And the best part is the fish are cooperating. Oxygen rich water is seeping down thru the holes and cracks in the ice and giving those little devils a breath of fresh air, so to speak. Many great catches on bluegills, crappies and perch were coming in the shop over the weekend. You know they're doing well when they come in for bait more than once a day!

There's no real magic in catching them. Find the green weeds, drop a small jig down there tipped with a soft plastic, bug or small minnow and you should find success. The reports I got were that each fisherman had his secret bait and they differed greatly. That told me you need to be flexible. Color mattered, from hour to hour and day to day. Many reports of one guy catching fish and the guy next to him catching nothing. So what's the difference, jig, color, line, presentation? Probably all of that. Normally, and I mean normally, I find that anything will catch fish as long as your presentation is correct. Sometimes it takes experimentation to find out what the preferred presentation is. I know, too much work, right. Well, which guy do you want to be, the one catching the fish or the other one? I thought so.

The fishing, ice conditions and weather should be improving steadily over the next week or two, barring any hurricanes. So get out there and soak up that spring sun.

Bait Shop FYI. We still have a couple of K-Drills and Pistols left and are pricing them to go away. 8"ers are $189 and the 6"ers are $169. Have fun! Later!
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Jeff Bolander, owner of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
Check out my Up North fishing and resort web sites at www.UpNorth.info
and see piles of fish photos at Up North Fishing Photos at

www.UpNorthFishingPhotos.com.
Jeff Bolander <jeff@deweycatchemandhow.com>
- Sunday, March 24, 2019 at 14:39:47 (PDT)


As we enter the last week of game fish season which closes at midnight on March 3rd, we have pretty poor ice fishing conditions. Ice thickness is great but with the almost 30" of snow we've gotten over the last week or so, the snow depth and slush are really inconvenient. Basically there is no good vehicular travel on the ice right now. Everything will get stuck, even those big track machines. Your only chance to get out there now is to go out on a well used and packed snowmobile trail and get off a short distance to fish. Water will come up thru your hole right away so make sure you are wearing good waterproof boots that can traverse at least a foot or so of water.

As far as the fishing goes, it's hard to tell. You can't move very much cuz it's just too much work. If you go out for a few hours it can take you an hour to get setup on your first hole which does make you want to move to another very often. Not a lot of folks out right now. Those that are don't seem to be catching very much consistently. A few good reports here and there but not many. The good news is I fished 5 times last week and the fishing improved each day. But I gotta be honest, not very much action.

With the thick ice and snow, light conditions are dim, no pun intended. The weeds are dying faster now and those dying weeds give off carbon dioxide. That makes the fish very lethargic, just as you and I would be if we were short on oxygen. But the fish are still there, just not moving much. One of the answers if to find deeper water and green weeds. Those green weeds will be giving off oxygen so the fish attracted to them will be much more active.

So if you see someone doing the snow dance, slap'em in the back of the head and say "enough already!" We need to start doing the sun dance and melt some of this snow pack down. We only have a little more than two months before the Opener on May 4th!
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Jeff Bolander, owner of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
Check out my Up North fishing and resort web sites at www.UpNorth.info
and see piles of fish photos at Up North Fishing Photos at

www.UpNorthFishingPhotos.com.
Jeff Bolander <jeff@deweycatchemandhow.com>
- Monday, February 25, 2019 at 11:32:10 (PST)


All in all we've had a beautiful early summer weather-wise. Catching fish or not it's hard not to enjoy a day on the water with this weather. And yes, fortunately the bite has stayed very good on almost all species. But as usual there seems to be a different dominate species each day. I never could figure out how you could catch mostly walleye one day, the next mostly bass and the next mostly bluegill, on the same lake with the same presentations. Good question. Solve that one and you could get rich.

The only weather we've had lately that affected the fishing were the storms we got that poured 8-10 inches of water on our northwoods. Those really sent the flowages into a mucky flow and a lot of lakes too! I fished one lake today that is normally pretty clear but it looked like a lake in southern Illinois, all brown and mucky. We had to have the bait right in front of their noses to get a bite as the visibility was pretty bad.

Crawlers and leeches have been the bait of choice in my boat lately. Minnows work but are hard to keep alive in the warm weather. The plastics are starting to work better too. Small twisters to large rib worms and wacky worms are producing fish. Cranks are still working pretty good but mostly for me the surface baits have been king in this arena.

Knock on wood I hope the bite continues. It's been a very good year so far and looking at the weather coming up I see no reason why it can't continue. The basic advice stays the same. Fish green weeds next to deep water, the higher the sun in a cloudless sky go deeper, the less wind there is cast out farther and for goodness sake, HAVE FUN!!!
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Jeff Bolander, also known as 'How' of Dewey, Catchem and How Bait Shop and Guide Post at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
Check out my Up North fishing and resort web sites at www.UpNorth.info
and see piles of fish photos at Up North Fishing Photos at

www.UpNorthFishingPhotos.com.
Jeff Bolander <jeff@deweycatchemandhow.com>
- Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 14:18:01 (PDT)


Bait Shops & Fishing Guides

Arbor Vitae Shop
11085 Hwy 70 E
Arbor Vitae, WI 54568
715-439-3974 Arbor Vitae Bait Shop

and

Minocqua Shop
8560 US Hwy 51 N
Minocqua, WI 54548
715-358-5130 Minocqua Bait Shop


715-892-2751 Jeff's Cell

E-Mail Jeff

Mailing Address:
Dewey Catchem and How ™
Bait Shops / Fishing Guides
PO Box 2089
Woodruff, WI 54568-2089


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