WI-Eagle River Chain-Vilas-16x20-coded [Converted]

Eagle River/Three Lakes PMTT this weekend!

For sheer numbers of muskies, it’s hard to beat the Eagle River Chain. Even though it is possible to catch a 30 pound plus muskie here, the chain is famous for number of fish in the 34″ to 42″ range. Cranberry, Catfish, Voyageur, Scattering Rice, Eagle, Otter, Lynx, Duck, Yellow Birch and Watersmeet are the lakes that comprise the Eagle River Chain, along with the Wisconsin River and the Eagle River.
There is more than 3600 acres of water teeming with muskies, all accessible in these relatively shallow waters, the deepest hole being 34′ on Eagle Lake. The waters warm early in this shallow, dark stained chain of lakes and the muskies turn on right from the get-go. Walleye fishing is excellent here also, along with perch and crappie.

In the spring, shoreline weeds are the focus when trying to connect w

ith muskies. Cast your lures to land in one to two feet of water. Here the water color will appear to be lighter because it has landed between the shore and the inside weed line. As your lure enters the darker waters where the newly emerging weeds are growing, be ready for a strike. A lure that lands in the darker shade of water has a reduced chance of drawing the interest of a muskie. Nickel blades on small bucktails work here in the early spring, but as the temperature rises and the boat traffic increases, quickly adapt and change your bucktail colors to brass and fluorescent blades. The choice of hair depends on the desires of the muskie. Small jerk baits and twitch baits can also produce in the shoreline weeds. Topwater baits should not be overlooked early on these quickly warming dark waters.


As summer arrives, stick to the shoreline weeds and weedy bays, but also include some of the mid-lake humps, points, extensive flats and current breaks on the rivers. Stumpy areas, especially those that contain weeds are spots that deserve several casts. Topwater baits are especially hot now until the end of September. Bright colored bucktails and jerk baits out perform other colors in the summer, with perch colored twitch baits still producing. Because of the Eagle River Chain’s heavy boat traffic, summertime nocturnal muskie angling can be very rewarding. Concentrate at night along the weed lines and weed flats and on top of the mid-lake humps.

Fall fishing on the chain is your best chance to score on a fish of a lifetime! One of the best places on the chain for big fish in the fall would be Watersmeet Lake. Use big suckers on a quick strike rig along with casting 10″ or better jerk baits for big lunges. If action is what you’re looking for at this time, jerk baits on the river where you find current breaks can have muskies stacked up and multiple fish per hole can be the norm.

Gregg Thomas

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