Regional Reports-Midwest

Marengo River

May and June are excellent months for big northerns in upper Wisconsin rivers, but fishing remains good throughout the summer near woody structure, scour holes and weedy shorelines. With spinning gear, throw spoons, spinners or crankbaits on a medium-action rod loaded with 10-pound-test line. When flyfishing, toss streamers or bass bugs on an 8-weight rod tipped with a section of synthetic leader. Lure color and size aren't as important as a stealthy presentation. When the water is low and clear, approach good water slowly and quietly. River pike are opportunists, and if they're not spooked, they'll jump on a potential meal like bears on a campground garbage can. There are many pike-infested rivers in the north, but a couple of the best are the Marengo and the White. Others to investigate are the Chippewa, the Jump and the Black. These waters are best fished from a small johnboat or canoe, and you'll need to research launch and pickup spots. One excellent tool is a Wisconsin Atlas & Gazetteer published by the DeLorme Map Company, available at many sporting-goods stores. Contact: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (608-266-2621); DeLorme Map Company (207-865-4171).