Located off the south end of Lake Superior by Ashland, Chequamegon Bay is well noted for its premier smallmouth bass fishery. In addition, the area provides good angling opportunities for walleye and cold-water salmonids.
Due to its size, wind speed and direction can greatly affect conditions. Obtain the marine weather forecast prior to launching. Unmarked navigational hazards, including pilings and cribs can pose dangers to boaters. All boats must have signaling equipment for distress, including a flare gun. Ice conditions can be unpredictable during winter. Pressure cracks and currents warrant extreme caution when venturing onto the ice.
Special fishing regulations are in effect for Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior and tributaries of the lake. Check the current Wisconsin DNR Fishing Regulations book for season dates, minimum size limits and daily limits for all species.
Here are some key tips and locations for catching fish on Chequamegon Bay:
- A variety of presentations have become popular and effective for taking smallmouth bass. Fly-rod anglers often choose poppers, leech imitations or Clouser Minnows, depending on fish activity. Spinning and casting presentations include floating Rapalas, Husky Jerks, Suspending Rogues and spinnerbaits.
- Fishing the “mudlines” are productive during periods of run off. This mudline forms where clearer bay water meets murkier run off from streams and other surface water sources. Spoons, such as Little Cleos, Thin Finns and Red eyes, and crankbaits, such as Rapalas and Rebels, are widely used for shallow, early season trolling. Two-toned colored lures, such as chartreuse/yellow or orange/yellow combinations, are popular.
- Walleye anglers will often hook into northerns while trolling with Husky Jerks, Thundersticks and Bomber Long-A’s. Try alternating between casting and trolling for best pike success.
- Early ice fishing begins around the end of December. Shallow protected areas freeze first and splake are one of the first fish to attract anglers.
- Winter walleye fishing is popular and productive. Anglers focus on regions off of Ashland and Washburn. Lake shiners rigged below tip-ups is the most popular method used. Wood and weed edges in 9 to 15 feet of water will yield the most fish.
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