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  • Writer's pictureTodd Martinson

Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report

Fishing with my Dad who came in from out of state.

What an adventures two days with my Dad, Dave Martinson. We decided to explore a new stretch of river. 12 miles of river in fact. I didn't tell him we were going to be going on a 6 hour mission to find fish but I did bring a few good micro beers to try and make the trip bearable for him.


Dad was a great sport and I really appreciate his willingness to cover this new water with me. As with any new adventure I set my expectations very high. Turns out that was a mistake. In six hours when only managed to move a few fish and catch one Smallmouth. The river was wide, big, and shallow and I just couldn't figure it out. Some days are like this and I am glad I know now this will not be an option for any of my guide trips moving forward. (until/if I figure it out)

My Dad was staying in Wausau, Wisconsin that evening so we decided to explore the town after our adventure. What a city it is. We visited two breweries for dinner and good beer. First stop was Red Eye Brewery. Wow was I floored. It had the feel of a Golden, Colorado Brew Pup or even a nice Brewery in Bend, Oregon. Both huge compliments in my world.

After dinner we tried Buffalo Falls Brewery. What a Gem. Beer was fantastic and the company was even better. A very kind and fund bartender, Amy, added to the fantastic selection of beer on hand. I highly recommend the Hefeweizen. Also had fantastic conversations with a few local folks and even got a ride home instead of taking an Uber. What hospitality, I'll be back for sure!

Life is what you make it and after a long non productive scouting mission this is exactly what we needed.


Woke up determined to put my Dad after our slow day the day before. I promised my Dad a 30 fish day so we had our work cut out for us. We fished a section of river that had been very good to me in prior trips.

It didn't take long before a mid sized Smallmouth gulped my Dad's topwater lure and we where on the board.

Throughout the Dad we found Smallmouth tight to cover and the shore. One highlight of the day was when he threw his topwater lure close to shore and a decent size fish swiped at his lure and missed. My dad than laid a well targeted cast behind where the we saw the fish and WHAM!, the fight was on and my Dad landed a near 30' Muskie.

Turns out he hand never caught a Muskie before, nor a Smallmouth, which made for an even more special day than it already was.

Largest fish of the day was an 18'' Smallmouth with numerous other's short hitting his topwater lures. A highlight/low light was when he hooked into a pig of a Smallmouth who ran towards the boat, jumped completely out of the water, and shook the hook. That fish was easily 20" and 5lbs. Unfortunately the fish ran straight at the boat creating just a touch of slack in the line which lead to him being able to shake the hook lose.

Sometimes you can do just about everything right and the fish will win. Still a blessing to see such a large fish completely out of the water and land with a humongous splash!

Finished the day with a delicious Friday night fish fry, accompanied by a refreshing Moscow Mule, at the Thirsty Giraffe before my Dad headed back home with solid memories made.

Sharing those two days on the water with my Dad reminds me of how special a day in the boat with family can be.

Do you ever wish your teen-age son or daughter would share more about their life with you? Come spend the day on the water with me and I guarantee you'll here stories you've never heard before.

Enjoy today,

Teacher Todd

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