August 1, 2017
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
This week’s forecast generally appears very good, with cooler highs and only a few chances for rain/t-storms. If you have not yet pursued summer fun, better get busy – we are now, already, in August!
“With the inconsistent weather, fishing is best in early morning and late afternoon into night,” says Pat at Happy Hooker.
“Muskies are holding deeper during the day, but move up for feeding. Hit the weeds right time and you will do well. All lure types work, from deep baits to topwaters, with night fishing good on bucktails and surface baits.
“Walleyes are also deep during the day. Drift jumbo leeches and crawlers on the bottom over mid-lake depths and mud flats. In the evening, fish weeds and weedlines with minnows on slip bobbers or weedless jigs.
“Northern pike are in weeds in 6-10 feet. Use sucker minnows under slip bobbers, flashy baits, and surface baits.
“Largemouth bass fishing is good in weeds along docks and other structure. Use rigged weedless worms, weedless plastics, spinnerbaits, and topwaters. Smallmouth are on deep, hard bottom boulder areas, feeding on crayfish, and around cribs. Red and/or brown plastics and crankbaits work well.
“Crappie anglers are fishing in 12-18 feet with small tube jigs and minnows under slip bobbers. Bluegills are in shallow weeds and biting on leaf worms and small leeches.”
“Focus on deep humps and points and the shallow bite is good during low light. Spinners, topwaters, and plastics are all good, and anglers trolling large crankbaits just off weed edges and points are catching some nice fish. Release the muskies quickly due to warm temperatures.
“Walleye fishing is decent, but getting tougher, though some good fish still use the weeds. Focus on sand grass on the fringe of deep cabbage edges in 14-20 feet during low light. Slip bobbers and leeches work best, but jigs and swimbaits get some bites. Trolling open water with crawlers harnesses on bottom bouncers and planer boards at 1-1.5 mph for suspending fish.
“Northern action slowed with the warming water, so try deep diving crankbaits and jigs along deep weed edges.
“The bass bite offers some great topwater action. For largemouth, focus on emergent weeds and docks. For smallmouth, work jigs and Senko worms on deep gravel humps and points.
“Crappies and bluegills are schooling on deep edges and leaf worms and leeches should do the job.”
Jim at Minnow Jim’s says Nelson Lake fishing is good, despite the hot weather.
“Walleye anglers should jig fatheads or leeches along rocky shorelines or cast and troll stickbaits. For northern pike, splash and flash lures such as weedless spoons tipped with double tails, buzz baits, spinnerbaits, Mepps, and surface plugs are all working well.
“Largemouth bass action is good in and near weed beds on wacky worm set-ups, poppers, frogs, and dressed weedless spinners and swim baits.
“The crappie bite is especially good on minnows, worms, small leeches, and Gulp! Alive in more than 8 feet.”
Mike at Jenk’s says Chippewa Flowage musky fishing remains strong.
“During daylight hours, troll Grandmas, Jakes, Believers, and Mattlocks over open water over cover in 13-25 feet. In early morning and evening hours, cast Creepers toward shallow weed edges from deeper water.
“Walleyes are a bit sluggish and leeches remain the bait of choice.
“Northern pike action slowed. Try ripping spinnerbaits and weedless spoons through heavier weeds.
“Largemouth bass fishing is good with spinnerbaits in weeds along shorelines. Smallmouth are active in the stumps and rocks on the east and southeast ends, with imitation craws, plastics, and crawlers the preference.
“Crappie anglers report success in weeds in 10 feet in the morning, while evening anglers target bogs over deeper water. Use crappie minnows, Mini-Mites, Kalin’s Crappie Scrubs, and Gulp! baits.”
Carolyn at Anglers All in Ashland says fishing on Chequamegon Bay was very good last week, with beautiful weather and cooperative fish!
“Smallmouth are in the shallows and on deeper drops, especially on sunny days. Northern suckers work best in deep water, while plastics work well shallow.
“Walleye anglers are trolling stickbaits such as Bombers, Flicker Shads, and Flicker Minnows over weed beds and in the channel.
“Lake trout fishing is fantastic. There is a good population of fish, with reports of numerous 20 pounders this summer, and most anglers are trolling spoons and Spin-n-Glos from Long Island to Outer Island.”
This week, DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter discusses how to hold bass for photo purposes.
“Most bass anglers in North America practice catch-and-release almost exclusively and this has led to quite a few positive changes in bass populations, though concern remains about the effect catch-and-release angling can have on bass.
“Florida researchers looked at different handling techniques to learn what anglers can do to minimize stress on bass destined for release. The study subjected hook and line caught bass to several common scenarios and compared post-catch recovery time.
“The researchers held some bass vertically, using a lip-grip device with one hand gripping the lower jaw. They held other bass with one hand gripping the jaw and the other supporting the body.
“Holding the bass horizontally with one hand gripping the jaw and a second hand supporting the body of the fish significantly reduced the recovery time.
“As a result, the researchers recommend that anglers posing for photographs hold bass horizontally with two hands.”
There is still time for young anglers 8-16 years of age to register for the Hayward Lakes Chapter-Muskies, Inc. free Kid’s Fishing Day this Sunday. The event runs from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Upper Twin and nearby lakes, with Black Iron Bar and Grill on Hwy 77 the staging point. Fishing concludes at noon for a shore lunch and prize distribution. Pre-register (required) at Hayward Bait, with a parent/guardian present to sign the registration form. For more information, call (715) 634-2921 or 634-4543.
The application deadline for hunters and trappers interested in pursuing fall turkey, bobcat, fisher, and otter this fall is Tuesday August 1. Apply now – or sit out the season.
Musky fishing is consistent, with night fishing offering good opportunities. Target deep humps, points, and weed edges during the day and shallower locations in the evening. This is a good time to test tackle, as nearly all lure types are producing, including topwaters, bucktails, jerkbaits, crank baits, stickbaits, spinners, and plastics.
Walleye action is best in early morning and late afternoon into dark. During the day, concentrate on mid-depth to deep weeds, grass, cabbage, and mud flats. In low light, work shallow weeds and rock shorelines. The most effective baits include leeches, crawlers, and minnows on jigs, slip bobbers, crawler harnesses, Lindy Rigs, and bottom bouncers, as well as trolled and cast crankbaits and stickbaits.
Northern pike fishing slowed with the warm temperatures, but there is still good action. Look for fish in and around weeds from shallow to deep, especially near panfish concentrations. The many excellent bait choices include northern suckers under bobbers, Twister-tipped spoons, spinners, spinnerbaits, buzz baits, crankbaits, and topwaters.
Largemouth fishing is good to very good in/over/around weeds, weedlines, docks, brush, bogs, downed trees, and other structure providing cover. The most productive baits include pre-rigged worms (in assorted configurations) and other plastics, spinners, spinnerbaits, swim baits, and various topwaters.
Smallmouth action is decent on deeper hard bottom areas, rocks, stumps, gravel, points, and cribs. Use crayfish colored plastics (tubes, worms, grubs, imitation crawdads, swim jigs, and crankbaits.
Crappie fishing is fair to good, with best action in morning and evening hours. Fish weeds and bogs in 6-20 feet with crappie minnows, small leeches, leaf worms, tube jigs, small plastics, Mini-Mites, Tattle-Tails, and Gulp! baits under slip bobbers.
Bluegill fishing is good to very good in shallow to mid-depth weeds and deep edges. Best baits include waxies, leaf worms, small leeches, and crawler chunks on small jigs, teardrops, and plain hooks, with/without bobbers. Try small minnows in deeper water for larger ‘gills
Aug. 1: Application deadline: Fall turkey; Bobcat; Fisher; Otter.
Aug. 4-6: Jack Pine Savage Days in Spooner (800-367-3306).
Aug. 12: Flambeau River State Forest Smokey Bear’s Birthday Party at Connors Picnic Area; noon (715-332-5271).
Aug. 14-17: Bonus unit-specific antlerless deer tags where available go on sale at 10 a.m.
Aug. 17-20: Sawyer County Fair (715-934-2721).
Aug. 22: Deadline to transfer Class A bear license to a youth hunter (see regs).
Aug. 26: Remaining fall wild turkey permits go on sale at 10 a.m.
Through Aug. 31: Training dogs by pursuing bear (see regs).
Sept. 1-3: 25th Annual Exeland Trout Festival.