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Fishing in a Cool SummerSubmitted: 08/08/2014
Story By Melissa Constanzer


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.

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That's because the Plum Lake Town Board voted against opening up parts of two roads: Kurtzweil Road and Birch Spring Road. Both are on the border of Sayner and St. Germain and are shared between the two towns.

A few months ago, St. Germain asked Plum Lake to open parts of those roads as part of an ATV route. At first, the Plum Lake Town Board approved them. That was before they found out a section of Kurtzweil Road was completely in Plum Lake.

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