EAGLE RIVER - Some of the best kept secrets in the Northwoods are fish tales. Where to fish, when to fish, and what bait to use are among the things fisherman keep secret. But this year the secret's out! Summer has fallen on the cool side of average through July. That means the water is cooler too.
"Upper seventies isn't uncommon, even tickling eighties and a lot of times that'll put fish in a funk. They'll bury themselves in a little deeper weeds and evening, morning times, of course, are good bites," said Muskie Matt, RFRG Outdoors Fishing Guide. "But this being a cooler summer, they're hanging up in the shallows and they're a little more willing to come out after stuff. They're a little more active."
The change in temperature means a new game plan for the fisherman.
"So in a typical summer, you'd often be casting out one side of the boat, towards deeper water because the water would be warmer. But this year, since it's so cool, the water's a little cooler as well so I'm going to cast a little bit more towards the shallows. And hopefully that will help me catch the big one," said Melissa Constanzer.
While the theory didn't help us net the big one during my trip with Muskie Matt, our trip did give us a fish. But does the temperature change make the job of a fishing guide easier?
"That's the million-dollar question, and actually, this is great for my particular profession. I like the cooler summer. [It] makes the fishing a bit better, easier searching, and their willingness to bite," said Muskie Matt.
The prolonged winter made for a busy May. And after a cool July, the active biting could continue. But it's not just the temperature that changed the game. A wetter spring and early summer helped some lakes that had low water levels.
"Water weeds are permitted to grow now again where they used to. These fish are only more than happy to inhabit that. It gets busy like it is out here on the chain, they'll go and sit shallow for the day," said Muskie Matt.
While we can't predict what fish tales will come from late summer and fall, we can always count on some of the best tales to stay secret.
TOMAHAWK - Thirty-two-year-old Eric Lee Moen of Wausau is charged with shooting and killing his friend of four and a half years, Charles K. Ramp with a long gun. Moen is currently in Lincoln County Jail on a $1 million cash bond.
On Friday morning, Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins held a press conference to explain what police think led up to the shooting.
UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32. Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.
The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond. He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses. He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.
Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.
Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years. Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.
Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him. The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.
Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.
"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."
You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.
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