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:

The fishing has been fantastic. Then boom. What a cold front that came thru. Dropped water temps 10 degrees in two days. But all is not lost. Temps are warming and stabilizing again and the full bite should be back on soon. It's not that we're not catching any fish it's just that the bite is more timid. Today I fished with clients on a lake I fished before the cold front and we still caught fish, just not as many and not as big.

The cold front, as it always does, has sent the fish deeper if there is deeper water near where they normally eat. Reason is because that deeper water is not effected by the temperature drop like the shallow water is. Find the flats and areas they are normally in and work out to the first or second break to find them now. For example, if you were catching small mouth in 10' of water before the front then look for that first drop off from that 10' area. It may be 15' or 35' but in any case that's were they will probably be now. If there isn't any deep drop off near by the fish will bury themselves into the weeds, right down on the bottom. The weeds, being as think as they are this time of year, makes it hard to catch those fish.

Tis is why cold fronts are so damaging to shallow lakes and flowages that don't have very much deep water or weeds. The fish don't have any choice but to stay in that suddenly colder water. That puts them in a bad mood.

The baits of choice for all the species hasn't changed much. Still crawlers and leeches are king worked slowly on the smallest jig you can feel in the wind or depth you are fishing. Plastics too can work very well and sometimes out fish the live bait. Be flexible and try many different presentations until the fish let you know what they want.

That's it for today. I'm really looking forward to the fishing getting back to the high level which is was at this coming week. You can't catch fish watching TV so get out there and take the kids. The panfish action has been dynamite.
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Jeff Bolander, guide and owner of Dewey, Catchem and How at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
and 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, August 05, 2017 at 14:14:11 (PDT)
I was reminded by a reader the other day that it has been two weeks since my last report. I could hardly believe it but it has been, at that. To be honest not much has changed, just some locations. Small mouth bass are still hammering the bait. Depending on the day and lake just about everything is working. Crawlers, leeches, all sorts of plastics and crank baits. Lately they have been in the shallow grass or deeper rock drop offs. I cleaned a few for clients the other day and they were full of leeches and crayfish.

Walleye have been in the same places as the smallies and eating the same types of food but not as aggressive. Small bites on live bait seem to work the best mostly in low light periods. Although we did catch a nice mess of them the other day from 10am to Noon in 7 foot rocks. Go figure.

Perch have been in the shallower, less than 10', weeds chasing minnows and crawler bits. We also caught some on slow moving spinners, too.

Largemouth have been caught buried in the weeds in shallower water. They love these warm temps. Slop frogs and other top bait are working well when pitched right over the top of those weeds.

Crappie have been everywhere and are starting to get more active now. A small twister tail on a 1/32 or 1/16 oz jig is still working the best. Move a lot, experiment with different baits and fish for them about 2-5' down in the water column no matter how deep it is.

Also getting active again are the bluegills. Again, buried in the thick weeds they have been hitting small plastics and crawler bits. One day we hammered them on crawler bits, then they quit and when went with gulp bits and hammered them and then they quit and then we went back to crawler bits and finished hammering them. Stay flexible and try different bait and presentations.

Northerns are kinda slow right now. They don't like this warm water. Most surface temps are around 75-79 right now.

Gotta hit it. Here comes someone with a bait bucket. I'll try to report sooner next time!
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Jeff Bolander, guide and owner of Dewey, Catchem and How at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
and 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, July 28, 2017 at 13:21:02 (PDT)
What an interesting summer so far. Rain, rain and more rain and now we fight the mayfly hatches. But the warmth has returned so even though we may get rained on we aren't freezing to death on top of it, yeah! Here's what I know.

Clients have hired me to fish on lakes in Presque Isle, Lac du Flambeau, Minocqua, Arbor Vitae and Manitowish Waters this week. And it always amazes me that no matter where I go the bite is very similar. Similar lakes produce similar results. I swear the fish get their marching orders from some place every morning.

Small mouth bass have been chasing minnows towards the surface lately. It's fun to skim the water surface with stick baits and plastics and feel that SLAM they put into the hit. You can still catch them on crawlers and leeches but that surface bite is unique. I taught one lady in my boat a few days ago how to twitch a surface bait and every time I'd hear a loud OH MY, I knew she had another one on. But be careful of those treble hooks when handling the fish. If I hadn't been wearing gloves that day I would have been stuck more than a couple of times.

Perch have been a lot more active lately. Shallow rock humps, with or without weeds, and shore line weeds have been their cruising grounds. 1/32 oz jigs and crawlers are like heroin to them. They like to chase the bluegill fry at this time of year.

Speaking of gills they still have not spawned on most lakes. I hope they didn't miss their chance. I'm still finding them in up to 20' of water in the weeds. I hope they are able to do their deed and we don't lose a year class of gills.

Large mouth bass are going good. As the water warms so will the action continue to get better. They love that warm water. Crawlers are always good but it you haven't tried big plastics ya gotta do it. IKA Fats, Senko worms and Pro Tour sticks fished wacky stye and rib worms are awesome fun. Come on into the shop if you're not familiar with the methodology here and we'll show you how it's done. You'll catch bass where you didn't think there was any. And not just bass either. Pike, walleye and crappie go after them, too.

Now on to the mighty walleye. They are on the move with all the bug hatches we've had but we are still popping some nice ones just not as many. Work the mud flats during the day with stick baits behind bottom bouncers, short crawler and leech harnesses and you should entice one to bite. In lower light they are still chasing bait on rock humps and shallower transition changes, mud to rock bottom or vice versa. We've caught them on rocks in 7' of water one day and 20' the next. Find 'em.

As for northerns they will get harder to get as the water warms. Temps are low to mid 70's on most lakes and as much as large mouth bass like the warm water, the northerns don't. I still find a spinner bait tipped with a big grub tail is hard to beat. The northerns slam the crap outa those things.

I've been typing this while listening to the rain hit the roof. I don't hear it any more so it must be time to hit the water. Go fishing with the family. You'll make memories that stick for a lifetime.
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Jeff Bolander, also known as 'How' of Dewey, Catchem and How 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>
- Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 15:52:33 (PDT)


Ahhhhh! Sun and warmth! Yeah! OK, enough of me jumping up and down but it is nice not to get rained on for a few days and the weather ahead looks just as nice.

Let's do a readers digest version today.

On a lot of lakes the bass are just now spawning or getting ready. I know, really late but the ones we caught yesterday were full of spawn.

I still haven't figured out bluegills yet as they still seem to be pre-speawn but we find them all up and down the water column. 25' deep the other day.

Walleyes and the bass are TIGHT to cover. I mean tight. Find logs, trees, BIG rocks and thick weeds and you'll find fish. Get out your weedless jigs and cast right up in there.

Northern have been quiet lately but some reports of big minnows under slip bobbers or drug thru the cover are working.

Crappie are for the most part spread out and suspending. Find them on your locator and fish that depth all over the lake.

The flowages have a mayfly hatch going on right now a long with some other lakes. Some lakes have just finished up a hatch. There are of course more than one hatches that will occur per year on a body of water. The fishing is best just as a hatch starts and about a week after it ends.

Tip of the day: Each lake has a personality. If you think I tend to generalize in my reports sometimes it's because there is always an exception. For example, I said above that the crappie are suspended over deep water but if your lake doesn't have much deep water then the crappie in that lake may be somewhere else. When I'm asked in the bait shop "where are the fish biting?" I usually reply that it depends on the lake and there are no right or wrong answers, just good places to start. The only consistency in my last few guiding jobs were we found most fish in one spot but we had to try many spots to find that spot.

Have a safe holiday and celebrate the best country that ever was!
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Jeff Bolander, also known as 'How' of Dewey, Catchem and How 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, July 04, 2017 at 06:32:48 (PDT)


Again with the rain and rain and rain. Scheesh. Well enough of the that. But the fishing still is above average in the Minocqua, Lac du Flambeau, Manitowish Waters, Boulder Junction and St Germain areas, which is great! Pretty much everything is working so you can use your favorite method. Although minnows are waning a little, crawlers and leeches are picking up the slack nicely. Here's the talking points of what I know right now.

Blue gills for the most part are not on the beds but are getting close. Most seem to be suspended in 15-17' of water.

Perch are hanging in the same area as bluegills. They will go up into the beds with the gills when they go to feast on their fry.

Crappie are spread out all over about 5' below the surface. They will pick a certain water depth to suspend on. Once you find them note the depth and only fish that depth. They are relatively close to where they spawned.

Largemouth bass are very near their beds. They are very active and are hitting many different presentations.

Smallmouth Bass are also very close to their beds and on most lakes they are on their beds and protecting them. Again, any bait that threatens the safety of their bed they will hit.

Walleye are in many different places and must be searched for every day. Each lake will have it's own Walleye personality and it because of the weather it may change a lot.

Northern pike have been a little scarce for me lately. I don't know why but maybe the shallow water buffet right now is too plentiful for them so they ignore my offerings.

Musky are hitting well on smaller baits and definitely Musky Suckers. If you haven't drug a Musky Sucker, do it. Or another great way to catch a Musky is to fish for something else. That works quite often.
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Jeff Bolander, guide and owner of Dewey, Catchem and How at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
and 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>
- Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 10:52:49 (PDT)
Boy could we use some rain... NOT!!! Somebody told me that we've had 15" this month alone and I wouldn't doubt it. We got 6-8 inches a couple of days ago. I launched my boat on a lake a few days ago where my trailer tires didn't even touch the original cement landing ramp. Incredible. Well at least the fishing has been good in between the raindrops.

Bass, Smallmouth and Largemouth, are still active near their bedding areas. Some places still on the bed area and some places at the first break. Crawlers, leeches and plastics are still working along with wacky worms and stick baits.

Gills are just starting to become plentiful. They are near the beds too and crawler bits seem to work best. Plastics are ok too but not much is beating a 1/32 oz jig tipped with a crawler bit or wax worm. They just slurp it down. And if you haven't tries spikes or chena bait put it on your list. Spikes are maggots and are heartier. Smaller, tougher and cheaper. Try to put them on the hook without squirting out their inside juices.

Perch are being caught up shallow in the weeds looking for bluegill fry and bugs. Just fish for bluegills and you should find nice perch along with them.

Northern are still active everywhere. Spinner baits, small bucktails and stick baits always work well. But the half of crawler, minnow or leech will produce too.

Walleye are everywhere depending on what lake you are fishing. Mostly shallow in wood and weeds is where you can catch them with crawlers and leeches right now. I few guys have had great success on larger minnows like chubs and suckers, too. Twitching stick baits and bigger plastics are also producing. The only problem is we've had a hard time catching some smaller fish to reach our limit on some 14" lakes.

Crappie are a bit spread out now after the spawn. Most are done but now are feeding heavily. Crappie minnows, waxies, spikes or your favorite small plastic on a 1/32 oz jig are producing nice catches. Keep moving and watch the surface for them grabbing bugs up there. We were catching them on 4" rib worms the other day. They would inhale them right thru the gills. Search the whole water column for them.
Get out there and enjoy as the fishing is still good and who can resist a fresh fish fry!
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Jeff Bolander, guide and owner of Dewey, Catchem and How at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
and 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>
- Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 07:16:32 (PDT)
The fishing is awesome right now. Small mouth and Large Mouth Bass are rocking. Twister Tails and crawlers thrown close to beds and first drop offs are dynamite. I took a couple of young men out smallie fishing a couple of days ago and they boated over 100 bass! We had 75 in only 3 hours! ANd they weren't babies. They averaged 13-17 inches! That's why I love this time of year. The crappie are shallow, the Gills are shallow and the perch are near the Gill beds waiting to poach their eggs and fry. Just about everything is working very well in some way. If you think there is only one way to catch fish you're crazy. Some might be better than others but the fact is the fishing is great right now and your favorite method is probably working well.

After the 100 smallie day we went stick-baiting for walleye the following day and had success. The next day we found Crappie and bass in the shallows with 1/32 oz jigs and twister grubs in 2-5 ft of water tight to wood. Then the next day we went after more smallies with half crawlers and caught 30 and a limit of Walleye. 8 days, 9 sets of clients, 11 lakes and not a bum outing in the bunch. As always, fish shorelines that the wind is blowing into, green weeds inside and outside edges and the warmest water on the lake.

Get out now and take advantage of the bonanza the lakes are giving up. Another week or so and the fish will spread out again making things a little more difficult. There are more than a few lakes with mayfly hatches going on now but since many species are close to shore it hasn't affected success too much.

I gotta get back out there. Grab a family member and join me! Man this is fun...
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Jeff Bolander, also known as 'How' of Dewey, Catchem and How 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>
- Thursday, June 08, 2017 at 18:01:50 (PDT)


Wow, the weather in the northwoods has been terrible. Wet, rainy, windy, and cold. We have been catching fish but it has been tougher than it should be. BUUTTT, that's changing. The weather is improving by the day and good in a fishing sort of way. I expect the next 5 or 6 days to be dynamite. It seems like the lakes are just ready to pop, waiting and waiting for the water temps to go up where they should be. And all the fish are ready too.

I know I'm gonna sound like a bait shop owner here but when this happens you gotta take a variety of bait, live and artificial, with you. So many species right now are in different stages of the spawn hence you're not gonna know what mood they will be in until you hit the water. I had one guide day last week that only minnows worked and the next day only leeches worked. So be prepared.

Short report today as the shop is busy with everyone trying to take advantage of the sun we haven't seen in a week. Happy Memorial Day to y'all and be safe!
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Jeff Bolander, guide and owner of Dewey, Catchem and How at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
and 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>
- Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 10:38:57 (PDT)
The OPENER is over and on to my favorite time of year, mid-May to mid-June. This time of year it seems that every species is with every species and you don't know what fish you hooked until you get it to the boat. What fun!

I went out yesterday for my second self taught lesson in learning my new electronics. Along with the usual GPS I now have Side Imaging, SI and Down Imaging, DI. Very interesting stuff. I was able to put a way point on a crib 40 feet away from me and then have my trolling motor take me to it. Very cool but more importantly very practical. I did do a little fishing along with the lesson and did pretty good until a cold front with rain came thru. I caught a few walleye, northern and bass in 24-28 FOW. They were holding pretty tight to wood which I found with the SI.

My guess is this weekend is going to be dynamite if the forecast holds true. Highs near and past 70 and slight breezes should put most if not all species on the feed. Crappie, Walleye and Northern will be my target with clients this weekend and I'm looking forward to it. I will also start searching for those smallies in those northern sandy shores for some good fighting fun. To many opportunities to list for this weekend.

Our thought for the day. Time after time folks come into the shop and lament that they didn't catch much. When queried how they are fishing it's always the same thing, one way and one way alone. Fisherpeople, if they ain't bitin' yer way try somewhere and someway else! Just sayin'...

Take advantage of Mother's Day weekend and take her fishing, bait her hook, and then fix her a fish fry. And DON'T make her clean up afterwards!!!
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Jeff Bolander, guide and owner of Dewey, Catchem and How at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
and 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>
- Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 05:49:56 (PDT)
HELLO SUN!! Where have you been? Well you're here now so I guess that's all that matters. Hey the OPENER weekend is shaping up to be a great one. Weather and wind looks like it's going to cooperate and the fish are active. Water temps should be around 50 degrees or so. The one downside to the weekend outlook is with all the rain we've had water levels are way WAY up. Even smaller lakes are up. The flowages and the lakes and rivers connected to them are at capacity and above. This will make it hard for the minnow trappers to get the coveted red tail chubs and dace and maybe mud minnows right now. I won't know until my trapper shows up tomorrow. Hopefully that will change soon.

So what should your game plan be this weekend? I could give you 10 scenarios and I would get 10 arguments! But one thing is for sure as always. Green weeds. Find them and fish right in them and on the outside as well as the inside of them. These are oxygen producers and hold ALL fish right now. Pitch your favorite live bait, minnows or worms, on a weedless jig, as light as you can, and you should have success. This is always a great time of year to throw stick baits and spinner baits in the same areas and on shorelines for predators chasing bait fish in the warmer waters. And always find the warmest water you can find when fishing.

Well that's all for now. Live the northern Wisconsin tradition and hit the water somewhere this OPENER weekend. You don't have to be in a boat as now is some of the best shoreline fishing available all year.
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Jeff Bolander, guide and owner of Dewey, Catchem and How at www.DeweyCatchemAndHow.com
Reports at www.UpNorthFishing.com
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeweyCatchemAndHow
and 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>
- Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 08:51:08 (PDT)
How is everybody enjoying their transition time this year? I hope your getting the boat ready or have been using it by now as the ice is gone. Remember to take care of your ice fishing stuff for the summer. Get your equipment tuned up as if you were gonna fish tomorrow that way when tomorrow gets here next year you are ready to rock!

I would love to give you a fish report but since I am south tearing up the golf courses I called my buddy Tom to see what is going on. In the last three days they have had thunderstorms, 105 mph winds, torrential rains, and 4-7 inches of snow. Yikes. Trees are down everywhere, roads closed and there is still 6 inches of snow on the ground in some places. Tom said it was 22 degrees this morning. The good news is you know it will change. 50s and 60s are in the forecast so that should help get things back to normal.

I will be heading back north on the 17th and will start changing the shop over to summer inventory on the 18th. Minnows will be in by the middle of the week. It's been great to get away but I'm ready to go back, take out the new boat and start slaying the crappies! I love the northwoods!
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Jeff Bolander, also known as 'How' of Dewey, Catchem and How 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>
- Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 10:31:23 (PDT)


The regular reports will return in late April.


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