Go North for Fall Colors and Great Fishing

Go North for Fall Colors and Great Fishing

Back in June I took a trip to the Northwoods of Wisconsin; actually two week long trips. It was a refreshing getaway from my local fishing scene here in Illinois. Yes, I often say that here in Illinois, great fishing is not that far away, but when considering that the Boulder Junction area of Wisconsin is only six hours north of my south suburban home, it’s really not far at all.

Few people get to go fishing, hunting and simply enjoying the outdoors for a living. I do and I give thanks for that. I am grateful. But even more so I appreciate the fact that I’ve fallen in love with some outstanding destinations and this is one of them.

My summer trip to God’s Country in Vilas County began with a stay at the Wildcat Lodge located about five miles from the town of Boulder Junction.

What a beautiful area it is and it’s also known to be the “Muskie Capitol of the World.” The cabins at Wildcat offer a gorgeous view of Big and Little Kitten Lakes. Along with adjoining Wildcat Lake visitors have immediate access to Class A muskie waters with walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappies and panfish.

During my early summer trip up north, these lakes produced three muskies for my boat. One of the other visitors of the Wildcat Cabins also caught a keeper muskie within two hundred yards of the docks at the lodge. This is truly Class A muskie country and this is why I have to return this fall.

My daughter Lisa and I enjoy a week of fishing together every year. We will be returning to the Northwoods this coming fall. The colors will be spectacular and Northwoods fall festivals will be everywhere. So with this being a fall vacation for her too, it is a real treat for her when someone else does the cooking.

If you follow me on Facebook (Don Dziedzina or Illinois Outdoors TV) you’d see many photos of meals that I’ve enjoyed while traveling.   It’s something I’ve got in the habit of doing… not eating, taking food photos at the many restaurants I visit. It’s fun to see how many people have dined at the same restaurant or find the photos inviting.

Back to fishing.

With fall being the prime time for catching big muskies, I can’t wait until late September to return to Wildcat Lake to fish for them. The muskies will be active and the chances of getting a real trophy from one these lakes is very, very good. My plan now is to tape a television show while I’m up there. I am confident that we will get some big fish on camera for a show.

A couple years ago my daughter caught her first smallmouth bass there. And it was on that fish, she also caught her first muskie. A 44 incher took the smallmouth bass. Lisa did a good job handling the fish which was quickly released.

The Wildcat Lodge is situated in the midst of many, many lakes. Actually, within ten miles of Boulder Junction, there are over one hundred and ninety lakes that can be explored. Fall turn over is always a concern of serious anglers. With this many lakes only minutes away, finding one that’s producing fish is easy. Actually it’s as easy as stopping in at the bait shop in town and asking where the fish are biting.

The options are endless when it comes to selecting a lake to pursue the specie of fish of your choice. Most all have great muskie populations, good numbers of walleyes, bass and all other fish.

When I was up there earlier this summer I fished for smallmouth bass, walleye and crappie. Luck was on my side with good weather that has been stable. Good sized bass and walleyes were caught as well as the crappies. The fall fishing will be just as good if not better. With the crazy spring we experienced everyone says that the seasonal fishing is a week or two behind. This is why I’m picking late September.   I think we’ll still be fishing in shirtsleeves.

With a full week to enjoy much of the Boulder Junction area, my fishing trips can change each day. Maybe one day it will be walleye fishing; the next I may fish for bass. One thing for sure is that muskie fishing will fall into the equation often during this trip.

By having such a variety of waters from large to small lakes, it is possible hit a different lake each day. But with Wildcat, Big and Little Kitten Lakes right there were I’ll be staying, there may be no need to pull my boat out of the water at all for the whole week.

I cannot wait to return to God’s Country. Spending another week of fishing, enjoying the fall colors, and taking in ambiance of the Northwoods is a perfect way to drift into winter. It will be great. When it’s all over I’ll be working my way into the hunting mode.   I won’t hang up the rods or winterize my boat, but will dust off the shotgun. I have two German Shorthaired Pointers, Wager and Profit who are anxious to find some pheasants and quail.

For more information on fishing, lodging, dining and tourism attractions in the Boulder Junction area, visit www.BoulderJct.org. For more information about the Wildcat Lodge, feel free to visit www.WildcatCabins.com.

From the south suburbs of Chicago to Boulder Junction is a short six hour drive up Rt. 51. Leaving early in the morning can put you on the water by midday. That makes great fishing not that far away.

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