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Rhonda Schweik with a nice largemouth bass. / Photo by Phil Schweik of Hooksetters Guide Service

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Musky action is heating up as the water temps rise, and the walleye/panfish bite continues to be very good.

The action for muskies over the past week has been very good. We have caught some very nice fish including a giant 49-inch fish that was taken by Eric Marone, the firearms manager at the Gander Mountain store in the Wausau area. Most of the action has been from shallow backwater areas off the river and shallow weedy flats in the lake. So far the muskies have been hitting small bucktails and spinnerbaits, but jerkbaits like Mantas and Suicks are now getting some attention, too.

The walleye activity has been very good with nice catches coming in this past week. On most of the half day trips we are seeing anywhere from 30 to 60 fish caught along with a multitude of other species including bass, perch, crappies, catfish and even a few nice pike. All of these species are present in the Wisconsin River system. Most of the walleye activity has been by targeting areas along current breaks with structure in 6- to 10-feet of water. We have been using the weedless Ricky jigs by Rick Jaroch of Baitmaker Tackle to be able to get in and around the structure and pick off the walleyes without getting our baits hung up. At this time of the year the weedless jigs are priceless when it comes to working structure.

The panfish bite has been very good for both crappies and bluegills. The crappies are done spawning and have moved off to traditional summer locations. They can be caught by fishing for them with a small minnow suspended at the proper depth below a slip bobber.

The bluegills are now spawning, and for the most part can be found in very shallow water less than three feet deep. Look for shallow wood and weeds and you will find the gills. Catching them is pretty easy. All you need is a small hook suspended about eight inches to a foot below a bobber and have it baited up with a piece of crawler or a tiny worm. This combo will do the trick all day long at catching bluegills and even a few perch as they are sometimes mixed in with the gills.

Anyone looking for bass shouldn’t wait. The action for bass this past week has been absolutely unbelievable with not only great numbers of fish, but some real giants as well. Most of the activity has been by tossing plastics to submerged timber and rocks, but a few fish are hitting topwater baits as well.

Have a great week.

More on fishing: Fishing news from around the state | Your fishing photos | Build a map | Read fishing reports

Read more from Phil Schweik.

Phil Schweik writes about his seasonal hunting and fishing patterns in Central Wisconsin along with tips and tactics on how to be successful while you are in the field or on the water.

Phil Schweik is a lifelong resident of Central Wisconsin who lives in Mosinee. Phil is a fishing and hunting guide for Hooksetters Guide Service and a professional musky tournament fisherman. He can be reached by checking out the Hooksetters’ website at www.hooksetters.biz.

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