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:

Here come da ice, folks! Not much news in the fishing realm as most folks have put the boats away and started getting their ice rods and tip-ups tuned up. One good report came from a group of guys who were fishing the river with suckers and just hammered them. They put out 3 suckers under bobbers and as they went to get the fourth ready all the bobber were down. Three fish at once. All but one netted. The biggest one got away (always).

The ice report is pretty good. The mill pond in Minocqua froze over a few days ago and by tradition that means Lake Minocqua will freeze over in 7-10 days. Time will tell. We sure have the weather for it. Single digit lows almost every night now. Lots of boat landings are froze shut and a lot of the popular bays are skimmed over and thickening. I'll try to keep you updated on the ice conditions on our FB page, maybe even some photos.

Won't be long now. Our first load of Golden Shiners, Rosie Reds, Spikes and other winter specific bait will be on hand this weekend. Come on in and say hi and check out our remodeling. We're almost done. The CLAM and OTTER shelters are all setup inside, specially priced and ready for your inspection. See you soon!
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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>
- Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 11:39:33 (PST)


Dodging rain drops, snow, sleet and high winds is never a whole lot of fun. But for those that are doing it they are bagging some nice fish. Mostly musky and mostly on suckers. Nobody notices how cold it is out when your fighting a fish so to keep warm you just need to catch more, right?

I haven't been out much myself the past few weeks as we are updating the new Minocqua shop with new floors, ceilings and signage. So I can only tell you what I've been told by the few brave soles out there. Now mind you we have had some of the meanest weather I have ever seen on the northwoods. But some are ignoring it the best they can and coming up with some nice musky. All sizes of suckers on quick strike rigs are catching the toothy critters. I'm asked often what size sucker to use. I myself would use a smaller-large one but you know opinions are like bluegills -- there are a lot of them. We probably sell 5% small, 30% medium, 50% large and 15% extra large. And each fisherman swears the size they use is the best.

How are the other fish doing? Walleyes are doing pretty good right now but ya gotta go real deep. A couple of my regulars say they are at least 40' to 60' deep now. That's a long ways down. What if your lake doesn't have deep water like that? Find the deepest hole and fish in it and around it.

Panfish are ok now on lakes that don't have real deep water. Perch, bluegill and crappie are on deep weedlines near wood and rock if available. But feeling the bite of those little devils that far down is tough. This time of year I usually put a braid like PowerPro on the spinning rod with a 3-4' fluorocarbon leader. As you know braids have 0 stretch so the smallest nibble even at 40' is detectable. Watch that rod tip and line so you can detect up hits too.

One species that's going pretty good right now is whitefish. Guys are out chasing them on a few of our lakes with pretty good success. Swedish Pimples, Kast Masters, Shiver Minnows and Hyper Glides, all with small treble hooks tipped with waxies, are doing well. Ya gotta be there when the sun comes up though. The bite is usually done by 9am.

Time to get back to work. Got one more Otter Shelter to put up in the Ice Fishing area. We have a bunch of stuff on display already. Just about every Clam and Otter shack there is and all the electronis from Humminbird, Vexilar, and Marcum are in with a few more on their way. We also have the latest in electric augers and drill adapters from K-Drill, Jiffy, StrikeMaster and ION. Eventually we'll have them all set up so you can touch and feel them and see them run. Come on over! We're getting two more skids of stuff tomorrow!
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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>
- Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 16:13:36 (PDT)


After the LONG winter we had I promised to never complain about warm temperatures this past summer. It was really hard not to though as the northwoods turned into a daily windless sauna setting records for the number of days above 80 degrees and humidity above 90%. My boat set a record for number of occupants that jumped into the lake to cool off! And now fall is kicking our butts with temps in the 30s and 40s, wind and rain. I know the fish don't care but man o man has it been uncomfortable above the water line. And I'll be honest with you, the fishing has been just as tough as the weather.

But fear not my little fishing diehards, this will all change soon. Remember I always preach weather consistency helps the fish find their way to your bait. Doesn't namatter if it's super warm weather or super nasty weather, the fish will adapt and get active. By this weekend I expect the fishing to be really improved. I got a feeling the bite is gonna turn in to something more normal for this time of year. All species will start to realize that summer is gone and it's time to think about putting on the feedbag before winter chases away all those easy meals that warm water provides. Actually, crawlers are still working better than minnows but that is starting to change. But you still better take both. Even during the nasty cold weekend we just had the crawlers out fished the minnows 10-1 for all species. That surprised even me, a devoted crawler guy.

And don't forget the plastics! Ring worms and grub tails thrown right into the thick of the weeds will produce fish. The few times I dropped the camera into the water for a look-see it was visible that the fish were not only tight but inside the cover. You couldn't even mark them on your electronics but they were there. And now is definitely the time to drag a musky sucker. Even if your crappie fishing, put a sucker on a quick strike rig and you might just have the fish of a lifetime come into the boat.

FYI, we have a truck load of ice fishing equipment at the Minocqua location. We are setting up a bunch of flip-overs and tents so you'll be able to shop inside, out of the elements. We have shanties and huts from Otter, Clam and Shappell. I think we have just about every size and brand of auger out there, power and hand. Feel free to come in and browse as anything that gets purchased or ordered before the first week in November will be at special pre-season "show" prices. Oh, and I hear Santa is coming to visit us early in December! More on that later!
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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>
- Tuesday, October 09, 2018 at 16:32:59 (PDT)


Looks like that Gulf Coast heat and humidity is finally gonna leave us. Back to normal temps with highs in the lower 60s and lows in the 40s are forecast. But more importantly what does this mean for fishing. Good news of course. Crawlers are still king but a few minnows are working for some folks. Leeches were also a good bait but they are gone for the year now. Cooler air temps mean cooler water temps and that brings the fish up a little shallower and the beginning signal of colder nights and days ahead. (I just can't say the rest yet) All the same baits you have been using are still gonna work but you must make an adjustment for how deep the ACTIVE fish are. For example, crawlers will still work but instead of throwing them on 20' rock humps you'll eventually be throwing them on 10' rock humps. And now you also need to start looking out for dying weeds. If you pull up some brown or browning weeds, move on. Browning weeds use up oxygen while green weeds give it off. Where would you rather be?

I had someone suggest that I take this space to answer a few common questions I get in the shop. So here goes:

I was asked, "I see in other guide reports that they use minnows while you are still using crawlers. Why?" I know some guides will only use minnows to keep their boats cleaner. Some will only use them because they are using slip bobbers and minnows have better action under a slip bobber than crawlers do. Some folks use too heavy a jig which takes away from the crawlers presentation but not from a minnow. Some don't like to have to deal with small panfish biting their crawlers while they know the panfish won't bother a minnow (normally). All are valid points. I use the crawler because everything will bite them, they are easier to keep in the cooler in the boat, cost is lower, more versatile because you can vary the lengths so easy, and more versatile because you can throw, pitch, jig and drag them in more ways than a minnow. There are no wrong answers here. It's all about presentation which is sometimes different on a daily or hourly basis.

One more I was asked, "On a certain fishing show there is a guy who uses "XYZ" brand baits when he catches fish. Do you?" For this particular XYZ bait my answer was no. Why, because I use other types of plastic that work very well. I have used the XYZ bait but others I have used and continue to use have worked very well for me. I tried the XYZ bait but never really got the hang of it. So I go back to my tried and true. I go crazy when someone comes into the shop and says 'such n such' bait is the only thing that works. I find that very hard to believe. Over the past week my boat used 18 different baits to catch fish. 18! If I listed each bait that each type of fish was caught on during the past week the reports would be pages long. You can come into the shop, pick out a bait, I'll show you how to use it and I'll bet you 35 cents you'll catch fish with it.

Ok, that was fun. I'll answer some more questions next time. Send me some if you want them included here. In the meantime, get out there. I heard they're biting!
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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>
- Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 11:34:23 (PDT)


The weather pattern is starting to change. Sometimes we wondered if the 'Mississippi' type weather we were having was going to end. Hot, humid, blue-bird-skies and hardly any breeze became the norm in the northwoods. Well as most of you know that's not the norm for the northwoods. Water temps on almost all of the lakes got to the brink of 80 while some passed that mark. Except maybe large mouth bass not too many species like that warmth around them. So what do they do? Head towards deeper water. The main quandary in that is if they head too deep, say 30+ feet or more, and you catch a fish down there, no matter what they are you will probably kill them on their way up thru the water column. The water pressure at 30-60 feet is much much higher than it is at 10-20 feet. When you bring that deep dweller into the boat it's stomach will be in its mouth and it has a very high chance of not surviving. So my boat does not fish for them.

The good news is the surface temps are starting to drop a bit. Most lakes are now in the low 70's and those deep dwellers are starting to move up a little. I use northerns as my barometer on this. If they are active I know the water is cooling down. On one of my smallie lakes a couple of days ago we had two bite-offs in places we haven't had bite-offs in months. That's good news. Not for the wallet but for the live well!

Still the bait of choice is the crawler. Bits of crawler for panfish and a half for bass and walleye. Sometimes you need to go bigger. The other day we had to throw full crawlers to entice the bass, but that it did, in droves. Ribs worms have worked well in the deep weeds and minnows and twister tails for crappie. It's been a little of a mixed bag lately but each day seems to have its own king of baits while each day it seems to change to something a little different.

One bait that has come to my attention is a diamond jig made by one of our locals. We have them exclusively in our shops and they are pretty cool. They are a cone looking jig with a diamond looking sparkle on the head. That sparkle seems to attract a lot of fish. Jake Jacobs got first place in one tourney two weeks ago and second last week and that jig is all he used. I have not put them on a line yet but I will in the next couple of days.

Get out there and have some fun folks. Drive safely this coming Labor Day and I hope you'll find time to stop in and say hi!
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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>
- Monday, August 27, 2018 at 10:48:47 (PDT)
Where does the time go? Almost the middle of August already! Didn't we just get on the lakes after the late ice? Oh, well. The report is still better than average. Everyday I go out we catch 5-7 different species of fish in a myriad of ways. The fishing in general has slowed since last month but we are still putting great fish fries together. If you get a chance check out the Facebook page where I try to keep up with the nice ones being caught. The greatest pleasure I get is watching young and old smile and giggle while putting fish in the boat.

Walleye are a little slow but started to pick up over the past few days. A half a crawler on a 1/16 oz jig pulled slowly thru the thickest weeds has been the best presentation. Many other kinds of fish are there too, bass, perch, bluegill, etc., but you gotta get thru them to get the walleye.

Weedless jigs are sometimes necessary but small jigs can work just as well if you learn to gently pull it thru the weed stalks. Practice will teach you the difference between a weed stalk pressure and a fish bite. Once you master it you will become a weed fisherman for life. I have three kind of weedless jigs in my tackle box. Jack's jigs, Northland Weedweasels and the Slo-poke. I use them all depending on the situation and type of weeds we're pulling thru. They each have their advantages over the other. I also make small modifications to them before I use them. Next time your in one of the shops ask me and I'll show you what I do to them to make them work even better.

Crappie have been a consistent producer lately. Small Powerbait Grubtails, Mini-Mites, Crappie Scrubs, Gulp Minnows and real minnows and crawlers have all been working. One trip we got 6 over 12" in 9 feet of water. The next time out we got a bunch more in nothing less that 18 feet of water. You gotta look for them every time out. Same with the gills and perch. Different day. Different location. There is one exception to this rule. If the lake is like Little Saint Germain in St Germain where 75 percent of the lake is 10-15' feet deep, not much will change from day to day. The only thing that could change there is colors, speed and proximity to the weed line.

Large mouth bass are still in or near the deep or shallow weedlines. Top water baits like frogs, poppers and buzz baits are a blast this time of year. But when using these baits wait until you feel the weight of the bite before you set the hook or you could get a face full of top water lure.

Time to get back out and enjoy this gorgeous summer we've had so far. Remember, if you're too busy to fish, you're too busy.
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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>
- Friday, August 10, 2018 at 08:57:41 (PDT)


I was reprimanded by a shop visitor that I hadn't posted in a couple of weeks again. Sorry. Just soooo busy with both shops and guiding almost every day now. I've fished the Boulder Junction, Minocqua, St Germain, Arbor Vitae and Lac du Flambeau lakes. But not much has changed. Water temps are knocking the dust off of 80.

Weather has been pretty steady and high skies and humid almost every day. That makes for really good fishing. It doesn't matter what type of weather it is as long as it is consistent, fish like it. Winds changes in stable weather can change things but only where you fish. Fish those weed blown shorelines folks. Fish where the bait is and eventually it makes its way into the wind blown shorelines. Even if the fish are in 20 FOW they will usually be on the wind blown side.

Weed edges right next to that deep water has been key for finding fish. Find those deep weeds and grass and you'll probably find fish, all kinds. So many people are afraid to fish in those 20-40 FOW. That's where the fish might be. I see people fishing shorelines in the middle of the day with high skies and calm conditions and they're not catching anything but little ones. In the meantime my boat has been inching out into deeper water as the sun gets higher and we're still pounding the big ones. The other day with clients on a relatively clear lake we started catching fish in 6 FOW. 4 hours later we were still catching fish in 25-30 FOW.

One more tip before I close. I taught a young fellow how to wacky worm and ned jig the other day. I know a lot of folks wacky worm but ned heading is pretty cool too. It's a 3-4" piece of plastic that floats and makes you wanna order a pizza because it is garlic infused. You put it on a ned head jig and it sits vertical to the bottom. Twitching it makes it look like a crayfish or minnow nudging the bottom. Keep you line taught and you'll feel the fish suck it right up. It's a lot of fun for bass and walleyes. Com'on in the shop and we'll show you another way to have fun.

Here comes a lady with a bucket. Gotta go!
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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, July 07, 2018 at 12:26:09 (PDT)


I was reprimanded by a shop visitor that I hadn't posted in a couple of weeks again. Sorry. Just soooo busy with both shops and guiding almost every day now. But not much has changed.

Weather has been pretty steady and high skies and humid almost every day. That makes for really good fishing. It doesn't matter what type of weather it is as long as it is consistent, fish like it. Winds changes in stable weather can change things but only where you fish. Fish those weed blown shorelines folks. Fish where the bait is and eventually it makes its way into the wind blown shorelines. Even if the fish are in 20 FOW they will usually be on the wind blown side.

Weed edges right next to that deep water has been key for finding fish. Find those deep weeds and grass and you'll probably find fish, all kinds. So many people are afraid to fish in those 20-40 FOW. That's where the fish might be. I see people fishing shorelines in the middle of the day with high skies and calm conditions and they're not catching anything but little ones. In the meantime my boat has been inching out into deeper water as the sun gets higher and we're still pounding the big ones. The other day with clients on a relatively clear lake we started catching fish in 6 FOW. 4 hours later we were still catching fish in 25-30 FOW.

One more tip before I close. I taught a young fellow how to wacky worm and ned jig the other day. I know a lot of folks wacky worm but ned heading is pretty cool too. It's a 3-4" piece of plastic that floats and makes you wanna order a pizza because it is garlic infused. You put it on a ned head jig and it sits vertical to the bottom. Twitching it makes it look like a crayfish or minnow nudging the bottom. Keep you line taught and you'll feel the fish suck it right up. It's a lot of fun for bass and walleyes. Com'on in the shop and we'll show you another way to have fun.

Here comes a lady with a bucket. Gotta go!
-----------------------------
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, July 07, 2018 at 12:24:09 (PDT)


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!!!
-----------------------------
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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