Last Call: Young anglers 10-16 years of age can still register for this Sunday’s free Hayward Lakes Chapter Muskies, Inc. Kid’s Fishing Day. Pre-register (required) at Hayward Bait. For more information, call Hayward Bait (715) 634-2921.
“We have a strong evening and night pattern going for many fish species,” says Pat at Happy Hooker, “so plan some early morning and evening fishing. Anglers fishing late in the day into night report good catches on all species and avoid the daytime heat. I feel sorry for those who go out right at the crack of noon!”
Mark at Hayward Bait says you can catch walleyes during all hours of the day – if you have low-light/twilight conditions.
“Walleyes eat every day so they are biting somewhere, at some time. Boat traffic mostly affects bait fish, but that in turn does affect the walleye bite.”
Randy at Jenk’s says Chippewa Flowage smallmouth action is decent on the east side with crawlers, small spinners, spinnerbaits, and topwaters. Fish crappies on cribs during the day and bogs in the evening with crappie minnows and tubes.
“Nelson Lake anglers should concentrate on early morning and evening hours,” advises Jim at Minnow Jim’s. “In addition to avoiding the boat traffic and hot weather, fishing is best early and late anyway!”
Guide Dave Dorazio at Outdoor Creations says Chippewa Flowage muskies are active, with topwaters productive during low-light periods and bucktails producing fish in both day and evening.
Dan at Bay Park Resort on the Trego Flowage says anglers are catching pike on spinnerbaits, smallmouth on leeches and minnows near drop offs, and panfish on crawlers in 12-15 feet of water. Namekagon River smallmouth fishing is excellent, and wading at the landings is productive if you cannot take a float trip.
Carolyn at Anglers All on Chequamegon Bay in Ashland says trollers continue to catch lake and brown trout from the flats all the way out to Outer Island. Walleye anglers are using crawler harnesses off Second Landing and smallmouth anglers are fishing suckers on the rock pile.
“This is especially good for lake trout. Fish should start showing more movement up and down the water column and Dipsy and lead core presentations with high-riding downriggers will produce more fish. High-riding spoons with orange and black seem to be the ticket.”
DNR fisheries biologist Skip Sommerfeldt says much of the north woods received up to three inches of some much-needed rain last week, but the dry ground and thirsty plants seemed to suck up most of it!
“Most rivers, streams, and lakes continue to be near mid-summer lows. Wild rice, pickerelweed, and bulrush are at typical densities, while submergent weed growth is quite variable.”
DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter says research regarding interactions between bass and walleye population took center stage at last week’s American Fisheries Society meeting in Hayward.
“John Hansen, one of the lead researchers, says the extent to which largemouth negatively affect walleye is complex and with numerous complicating factors. There are obviously major changes in many northern Wisconsin fish communities, but the cause is not clear and the answer will probably not be simple.”
You still have time (if you read this before Aug. 1) to meet the application deadline for fall turkey, sharp-tailed grouse, bobcat, fisher, and otter permits. Apply for the permits though the DNR website, at license agents, DNR service centers, or call 1-877-945-4236.
If you are interested in hunting or trapping during Wisconsin’s inaugural wolf season Oct. 15- Feb. 28, the application deadline is Aug. 31. Apply online, at license agents, or by phone (1-877-945-4236). The application fee is $10; licenses cost $100 for residents and $500 for nonresidents.
Muskie action is fair to good, with better fishing in early morning and evening hours and on days with cloud cover. Fish are holding on deeper weeds, weed edges, and structure, and suspending in open water. Trolling, where legal, works well, while casting anglers are having success with topwaters, bucktails, jerkbaits, and plastics.
Even with the warm water temperatures, and for whatever the reason, walleye fishing is good and consistent, both deep and shallow. Fish shoreline vegetation, weeds, weed edges, structure, gravel bars, brush, and sunken bogs. Best baits are leeches and crawlers on bait harnesses, jigs, and under slip bobbers, with some jig/fathead action. Trolling and casting crank and spinner baits is also effective, especially in the evening hours.
Northern pike fishing is good, but the warm water temperatures are affecting their activity. You will find them on deeper humps, weed lines, and rocky shorelines, as well as in shallower water cover, especially if it holds panfish. Deeper water will hold bigger fish. Spinnerbaits, spoons, crankbaits, chatterbaits, and live bait (minnows, suckers) are all good choices for pike.
Largemouth action is very good on most waters. Look for fish in/on/around weeds, wood, rocks, cribs, lily pads, bog edges, and heavy slop, from shallow water to the second break. Plastics, such as Senkos, worms, and frogs, topwaters, crank and spinner baits are all working well.
Smallmouth anglers are either finding great action or having a tough go of it. Fish are scattered in a wide range of depths, from 4-20 feet, on mid-lake humps, rocks and rock bars, cribs, and other structure. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tubes, plastics, topwaters, and leeches are all good choices, especially with slow retrieves.
Crappie action is fair to good, with the best success in shallower water during late afternoon hours into and after dark. During the day, look to deeper water for fish suspending and holding near cribs, weeds, brush, and other structure. Top baits include crappie minnows, Tattle-Tails, Mini-Mites, Gulp! minnows, tube jigs, and waxies.
Bluegill fishing is good for smaller fish, but it can be difficult to find bigger fish. Look for them in and near deeper water weeds, cribs, and other structure. Waxies, worms, poppers, plastics, and Gulp! baits are all effective, and small minnows can help deter the smaller fish and entice the big ‘gills.