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.
STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point police want your help finding suspects in two possible stabbings. The stabbings happened early Friday morning and early Sunday morning near downtown Stevens Point.
Friday, four young men got into a fight on Main Street. One man said he was stabbed in the chest. Police say the suspect is a black man in his mid-20s, about 5' 9" tall, with a muscular build and short hair. The victim was treated at the hospital and released.
Sunday morning, police responded to an incident at 2nd Street and Crosby Avenue. Witnesses heard glass breaking and people yelling about a stabbing. Police don't have a victim or suspect description in that case, but they don't believe the two stabbings are connected.
If you have any information about the stabbings, call Detective Sgt. Gruber at 715-346-1518.
You can also call Portage County Crimestoppers to remain anonymous at 888-346-6600.
THREE LAKES - The DNR hopes it won't find more Northwoods deer with chronic wasting disease.
Last year, a deer on a game farm near Three Lakes tested positive for the deadly disease. Although it hopes that incident is isolated, the DNR wants more data on the health of the Northwoods deer herd.
The agency is urging hunters near Three Lakes to give their deer heads to the DNR for CWD testing.
RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander will be able to cast their November election ballots starting on Friday. It's the earliest people in Wisconsin have ever been able to vote.
The absentee ballots are stacked and ready for Friday at the Rhinelander City Clerk's office. To make the early voting process go as smoothly as possible, you will need to come prepared.
"When you come in make sure that you're registered. That is important. Make sure you're registered in the city if you're coming into us," said Clerk Valerie Foley.
Registering is easy; all you need is a photo ID and proof of residence. The registration form takes a couple of minutes, and then you will be able to fill out an election ballot.
"I think it is going to be a very busy day. I think people are pretty interested in the issues. And I think a lot of them would like to get and make sure they can vote if they're not certain they're going to make it to the polls in November or not," said Foley.
The clerk's office has already sent out about 200 ballots to people who have requested them.
Now, it is preparing for the early voter in-person rush.
If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or where to go for early voting, the clerk's office suggests voters visit myvote.wi.gov for more information.
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