The forecast for this week holds quite the mix, from somewhat chilly lows to highs in the 80s, and chances for rain. If you are fishing, try to get out ahead of the fronts, but watch for thunderstorms – and get off the water immediately if lightning is in or moving into the area.
“Walleye fishing was fair during the high water temperatures,” says Pat at Happy Hooker, “with anglers catching them in the deepest parts of the lakes. Concentrate on weed edges, sand bars, and gravel humps in 20-30 feet of water. Leeches and crawlers are best, fished on light jigs or Lindy rigs.”
At Hayward Bait, guide Steve Genson says muskie action is consistent and anglers are catching some nice fish using faster and start-stop retrieves with jerkbaits and plastics. With the warm water, fish larger systems and lakes, focusing on deeper water and baitfish. Best action is in early morning and evening hours.
“It makes no sense for this time of year,” says Randy at Jenk’s, “but there are a number of reports of walleyes caught on minnows. Largemouth are a little harder to get at due to floating weeds because the lake is dropping, but keep after them with spinnerbaits and plastics.”
Jim at Minnow Jim’s says last week was interesting for anglers catching bass.
“One woman fishing crawlers for bluegills caught a 20-inch bass weighing more than four pounds and with the biggest girth I have seen in quite some time. Another angler caught an 18-inch bass that contained a two-foot long snake!”
According to guide Dave Dorazio at Outdoor Creations, Chippewa Flowage muskie action is decent, but inconsistent.
“Mornings and evenings are best, but a few anglers are finding a mid-day bite. Hot baits are topwaters and black bucktails with green blades, but Suicks and gliders are moving some fish.”
Dan at Bay Park Resort on the Trego Flowage says it is a morning and evening bite for bass on slowly worked surface baits and rubber worms, while crappies and walleyes are hitting minnows and small jigs after 11 p.m. Namekagon River smallmouth action is hot on minnows, worms, and artificials.
Carolyn at Anglers All in Ashland says Chequamegon Bay trout fishing is excellent from the flats all the way out to Outer Island.
“Early morning and late afternoon along Long Island is producing brown and lake trout, a few coho, and an occasional king. Most anglers are using Spin-N-Glos and spoons, but some are trolling bait flies and squids.
“Fish smallmouth on the back of the breakwall, the rock pile, and tip of Long Island. In deeper spots, use sucker minnows on plain hooks with just enough weight to stay on bottom. In shallower water, use wacky worms and jigs with Twister Tails.”
DNR fisheries biologist Skip Sommerfeldt says that with water temperatures dropping back to the upper 70- to low 80-degree range, muskie fishing is getting a considerable bit of attention. Nearly all anglers report quite a few follows, sightings, and short hits, as well as catching a good number of 28- to 38-inch fish. Stickbaits, bucktails, and surface baits are the popular lures, fished on deep weed edges and less-dense weed beds.
DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter says the Hayward fisheries team assisted Notre Dame PhD researcher Patrick Shirey and his crew examine trout habitat of the upper Namekagon River and its tributaries. Shirey is looking for thermal refuges for trout, in particular where brook trout go during the summer heat. Research results could have many short and long-term implications for our local trout resources. Anyone with questions about Shirey’s research can contact him at email@example.com.
Muskie action is inconsistent, with best fishing in early mornings and in the evenings into and after dark. Cooling temperatures should improve the daytime bite. Target along and over deep green weeds, mid-lake points, bars, and humps, breaklines, drop-offs, cribs, and anywhere you see baitfish. Most productive baits include topwaters, bucktails, glide, jerk, and stick baits.
Walleye fishing is fair to good, but there is a very short bite window. Early morning, late evening into dark, and overcast days are best. Prime locations include deep weeds, gravel, sand, humps, flats, and drop-offs, with depths out to more than 30 feet. Leeches and crawlers on Lindy Rigs, harnesses, and slip bobbers, and minnows on jigs are all good choices. Trolling stick and crank baits along shallow and mid-depth weed edges in the evening is also producing fish.
Northern pike action is on the quiet side for a change. With warm water temperatures, they are probably sulking in deeper, cooler water. You can find plenty of action for small pike in shallower weeds, but for bigger pike, you will have to go with larger baits in deeper water – and northern suckers might be a good choice. Otherwise, toss spinnerbaits, spoons, twitch and jerk baits.
Largemouth bass fishing is excellent, from very shallow to the second break, including slop, structure, lily pads, weed edges, wood, docks, bogs, and brush, with topwaters, swim jigs, soft plastics, and rigged plastic worms. Live bait works well for largemouth, but during hot weather it is neither necessary nor worth the hassle.
Smallmouth action is fair to good, with fish on deep rocks and rock bars, gravel, cribs, wood, and weed lines in 10-18 feet of water. Top producing artificials include plastics, jigs, jerkbaits, crankbaits, X-Raps, and tubes. For live bait fishing, go with crawlers and leeches.
Crappie fishing is good once you find the fish. Better fishing is in late afternoon into evening. Fish are holding and/or suspending near deeper weeds, cribs, brush, and bogs in 8-20 feet of water. Check the entire water column. Baits of choice include crappie minnows, panfish leeches, crawler pieces, plastics, Gulp! minnows, and tubes under slip bobbers.
Small bluegills are providing nearly non-stop action for kids fishing off docks and around shallow weeds with waxies and worms. For bigger ‘gills, work deeper water (10-18 feet) with the same baits or leeches, crawlers, and minnows tipped on small jigs or plain hooks and under slip bobbers.
Through Aug. 31: Training dogs by pursuing bear (see regs.)