Fishing the Turtle Flambeau Flowage


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Mercer, WI | Fishing Tips | Ranking: 8.0 | Member Section
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Turtle Flambeau Flowage:  Muskie | Walleye | Pike | SM Bass | Panfish


The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is located in Iron County Wisconsin, near the towns of Mercer and Butternut.  The Flowage consists of nine lakes, three rivers and several creeks.  The flowage offers some beautiful surroundings and plenty of water for the outdoor enthusiasts.  Boating and fishing are very popular on the flowage.  Water skiing and jet skiing are permitted in some areas, but very limited, which makes it nice for the fisherman looking to find some peaceful surroundings.   The Flowage supports a diversity of fish species including walleye, muskie, northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, sturgeon, and a variety of panfish. The roaring rapids of the Flambeau River offer a more adventurous angling experience, however, there are calm area streams for the trout fishermen.

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Turtle Flambeau Flowage Muskie Fishing

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is a very good muskie lake, but this lake is huge and there’s a lot to learn out here.  There seems to be an endless amount of wood on this lake, so wood is definitely going to be something that muskie anglers will be fishing here.  There is some vegetation and some rocks also that will hold muskie.  Anglers do come here to specifically target muskie and there are some guides that can help shortern the learning curve for you.  Muskie in the upper 40s and even into the 50 inch range are definitely possible.

Turtle Flambeau Flowage Northern Pike Fishing

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage has a good population of northern pike available.  The Wisconsin dnr has northern pike listed as abundant in this lake and while you can probably go out and target northern pike and catch some fish, this lake is definitely known for more it’s muskie fishing, not pike.  Follow some of the fishing reports on this lake and you’ll see that hardly anyone posts pictures of northern pike on this lake.  The dnr rating may be a little misleading as far as the pike fishing goes.  There are pike in this lake and you may catch some on your trip, but it’s definitely not loaded with northern pike.  Anglers do often report catching smaller pike in the 20 to 25 inch range, but there are some bigger pike in here well over 30 inches.

Turtle Flambeau Flowage  Walleye Fishing

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is known as a very good walleye fishing lake.  The Wisconsin dnr has this lake listed as an abundant walleye lake and most anglers would agree with this.  If you know how to catch walleye, you should be able to catch some good numbers of walleye on the flowage.  Most anglers do well here by fishing the endless amounts of wood, but the rock humps and mud flats have their time and place too.  Good numbers of eater-sized fish are very common on the flowage.  While the flowage is known for these smaller fish, there are some bigger fish possible also.  Walleye in the mid 20 inch range are considered a big walleye on the flowage.  This body of water is definitely one of the better walleye lakes in the state for numbers.

Turtle Flambeau Flowage  Smallmouth Bass Fishing

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is a great smallmouth bass fishing destination.  This lake is huge, so it may not always be super easy to find the smallies, but if you put the time in, you should be able to catch some very nice fish here.  In the spring and early summer, the bass fishing doesn’t get much easier.  You can just work the shorelines and look for wood and rock.  If you know how to fish the shallows for smallmouth bass, you can have 30 to 50 fish days here in the spring.  Once summer patterns set in, you will have better success fishing the deeper wood, rocks and mid-lake humps.  This lake is known for its big smallmouth bass.  3 to 4 pounders are fairly common and you may catch some bass pushing 5 pounds.  The turtle flambeau flowage is one of the better smallmouth bass fishing lakes in Wisconsin.

Turtle Flambeau Flowage  Panfish:  Crappie & Perch

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage has good numbers of crappie available.  Fish in the 10 to 13 inch range are fairly common and it is possible to catch some crappie even bigger.  The spring is usually the best time to catch them as they move into the shallows.  Bring some small fathead minnows out with you and if you find the crappie in the spring, you can catch them in bunches.  Once summer rolls around, the fishing gets a lot tougher as these fish will move deeper.  Anglers usually find crappie around the deeper wood or suspended out in open water.  When they suspend out in open water, it’s very hard to find them, so fishing the deeper wood is usually the best option for most anglers.  If you can find them when they school up in the fall, you can also catch good numbers of them, but the spring is definitely the time to get out here if you want to catch lots of bigger crappie.

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage has plenty of perch available to go along with some jumbo perch.  Some anglers do target perch exclusively while others will usually catch them on accident while fishing with live bait for walleye and smallmouth bass.  If you are looking to target the jumbo perch, the spring is the easiest time of year because there will be good numbers of big perch in the shallows.  Once summer rolls around the fishing gets tougher for the perch, but you will probably catch some nice perch while fishing deeper water for walleye and bass.

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