Boom Lake

Sand & Dam Chain Chain

Boom Lake

With over 2100 acres of surface water and a maximum depth of 28 feet, the Boom Lake/Rhinelander Flowage offers a quality fishery in the city of Rhinelander's own backyard. A diverse fishery of walleye, smallmouth bass, crappie, northern pike and muskies makes this body of water a favorite of the local anglers. This impoundment was formed by the damming of the Wisconsin River.

Large walleyes and quality smallmouth are often caught on the river section of this flowage complex. Although numbers of muskies can be caught here, the flowage is known more for its propensity to produce large muskies in the 40 plus pound class. The muskies grow big here due to the good genetics and the ample forage of suckers, panfish and various minnow species.

Locating muskies on the Boom Lake/Rhinelander Flowage complex is geared around fishing the shallow weedy bays and the river. The water warms up early in this dark stained body of water and the muskies are active. Fish quick moving topwater baits and bucktails over the expansive weed flats of Wildwood Bay to attract an active muskie. Should a follow occur but no strike, follow up bycasting a slower topwater bait or jerk bait to finesse the muskie to attack. Bostrom's Bay, Peggy Slough and other bays are also places to target at this time.

Taking a trip further up the river from Wildwood Bay, drifting and casting down stream with brass bladed bucktails and perch or black colored jerk baits can take some of the biggest muskies early in the season.

In summer, bays and the river remain good spots, but weed edges where the old river channel cuts in close can hold fish. Stump fields with weeds interspersed are also a hot producer. Fish cribs on Boom attract and hold numbers of panfish and walleyes, and thus attract and hold numbers of muskies. Fish the cribs for muskies using an arsenal of crank baits running over the top, spinner baits bumping the cribs and large jigs worked vertically in and around them.

In fall, Boom Lake muskies really strap on the feed bag. Muskies have fattened up and are taken deep. Use weighted jerk baits in addition to live suckers on quick strike rigs, along steep drop offs, near the old river channel and around the deep fish cribs.

Sand & Dam Chain Chain

Chances are good that you haven't heard much about the Sand/Dam Lake Chain (other wise known as the Sand & Dam Chain Chain due to the Sand & Dam Chain Creek that connects the chain), but local anglers know the potential of the chain, devoting a good amount of their angling season efforts there. For the muskie angler, the chain seems to produce muskie over the forty inch mark the majority of the time, giving the angler a better chance of landing a trophy fish. Not only can muskie hunters catch their personal best on the chain, but anglers have a real chance of tallying their biggest walleye and smallmouth here as well.

The Sand/Dam Lake Chain is a five lake chain with Dam Lake being the last lake and the biggest at 744 acres and the deepest at 32 feet. Divided by HWY D, and where there is a very accessible boat landing, the next lake is Sand Lake with 540 acres in size and 25' deep. Both lakes have wonderful structure with numerous rock humps, bars, points, and dotted with cover in the form of fish cribs, weed flats, and fallen trees. The next three lakes are Stone Lake at 188 acres, Echo Lake with 107 acres, and at the beginning of the five lakes is Chain Lake at 219 acres. The water clarity is very stained and muskies are found in all the lakes and the creek that connects them.

Spring fishing for muskie on the chain can be as good as it gets. Early in the season, concentrate your efforts in the shallow bays and flats areas that warm up the quickest. Start the season with a smaller sized bait selection in jerk baits, bucktails, and twitch baits. Bright fluorescent colors work well all season long on the chain, along with solid white or black, and gold or bronze blades being a good bucktail choice.

Entering in to the summer, many muskie will transition to mid-lake structure and suspended fishing can produce good numbers and perhaps a bonus 40 pounder also. The muskies will be relating to the structure, but most will not be right on top of it, so start your drift about 150 yards up wind and start pumping cranks baits, suicks, or soft plastics immediately as the action could come on your first or second cast of your drift. Some of the muskie population will set up shop near cover to ambush unsuspecting prey. The lakes have areas with beautiful vegetation that always hold fish that can be tempted by topwater baits. There is also plenty of fish cribs scattered throughout to occupy your day.

Fall fishing on the chain can be very interesting and heart pounding! Big jerk baits, cranks, and soft plastic are excellent choices for artificials, but live bait fishing can be a whole lot of fun here. Although all the five lakes are good fall muskie candidates, Sand and Dam receives more attention and it is for a good reason...structure. Quick-strike rigs are the way to go and setting up a drift on Sand Lake, in particular, is easy. Drift in the middle of the lake with most of your rods set up to "walk the bottom" and one on a bobber set at a depth of 8 feet, which is the depth that most of the humps top out at. The Sand/Dam Lake Chain is a real sleeper, so don't miss out.

© 2010 Professional Muskie Angler Circuit