Outdoor Report

June 27, 2016
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
Steve Suman

A strong storm rolled through the Hayward area Saturday evening, but this week the forecast is for moderate temperatures – mild days and cool nights – with possible rain Wednesday and Thursday.

“Water levels are high,” says Pat at Happy Hooker, “and weed growth is providing good cover for the fish.
“Musky anglers are catching some nice fish on plastics and crankbaits in deeper water. Fishing at night could improve your chances. With the rising temperatures, this is a good time to start using surface baits.
Walleye fishing is slow and not too productive during daylight hours. Try evening fishing on deeper weed edges with leeches, crawlers, and minnows. Northern pike action is good in the weeds all day long on just anything that moves, but try Mepps spinners, spinnerbaits, and spoons tipped with Twister Tails.
“Largemouth are shallow around weeds and docks. Use plastics, worms, frogs, spinnerbaits, and crawlers. Smallmouth are on hard bottoms, feeding on crayfish, so use crayfish imitations or leeches.
“Crappies are on deeper cribs, weeds, and brush. Minnows are best, but they hit small tube jigs, Tattle-Tails, and Minnie Mites. Catch bluegills around spawning areas and shorelines with worms and waxies.”
Dennis at Hayward Bait says musky fishing slowed a bit, but anglers are catching fish in deeper weeds with bucktails and jerkbaits.
“Walleye fishing is slow and you just need to keep moving until you find them. Use leeches, walleye suckers, and crawlers. For northern, work the weeds with spinnerbaits, spoons, swim baits, and northern suckers. Bass fishing is good during good weather for angler using plastic worms, bass jigs, topwaters, and rubber frogs.
“Crappies are in deep weeds and taking minnows, worms, and small plastics. Bluegill fishing is very good with worms, minnows, and plastics. Fish deer weeds for bigger bluegills.”
Jim at Minnow Jim’s says Nelson Lake walleye anglers are catching fish on leeches and Shadow Raps.
“Work the river channel and in the evening fish rock bars, sand bars, and points. For northern pike, fish shallow weeds with northern suckers. Fish largemouth bass on shallow stumps and weeds with topwaters and Chug Bugs, buzz baits, and spinnerbaits.
“Crappie fishing is best by drift fishing minnows and one-inch Gulp! Minnows and casting Beetle Spins. Bluegills are now off the beds and you can catch them on waxies, worms, and Mini-Mites.”
Mike at Jenk’s says Chippewa Flowage muskies still hit smaller lures, but action is increasing on bigger baits.
“Use a variety of styles and sizes to trigger a strike. Many anglers have fish follow several times, but not hit, then change bait and trigger a strike. Stay beyond the edges of deep bars and humps and cast into shallower water.
“Walleye fishing is fair. In the morning, fish snags and brush in 17 feet; during the day, go to deeper cover. Most anglers use crawlers and leeches or cast and troll crankbaits, stickbaits, and plastics. In the evening, work stump bars and weed edges bordering river channels.
“Bass action is decent on crawlers, spinnerbaits, and shallow crankbaits on shallow stumps, weeds, and bogs. Crappies are around weeds, bogs, brush, and cribs, with bogs the top choice in the evening. Use minnows, one-inch Gulp! minnows, and Beetle Spins using Gulp! Minnows rather than grub bodies.”

This week, DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter discusses kids fishing days at Shue’s Pond during Musky Fest.
“Musky Fest 2016 is in the books and the DNR fisheries staff would like to thank the volunteers who donated their time and expertise to help kids catch fish at Shue’s Pond.
“We believe that all kids who put in some effort to try fishing were successful at catching at least one fish – and for many kids, it was their first fish ever! While most catches consisted of bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish, the young anglers also caught black crappie, bullhead, and even a northern pike.
“Volunteers who helped at Shue’s Pond this year included Bruce Stoltenburg, Don Stover, Cory Nelson, Zach Nelson, Mike Persson, Jim Bobb, and Jim Sommers. Thank you, volunteers!”

The 43rd Annual LCO Honor the Earth Pow Wow July 14-17 is an authentic Ojibwe homecoming tribal tradition and celebration that includes music, dancing, crafts, and food. For more information, call (715) 634-8934.

The 63rd Annual Heart of the North Spooner Rodeo is July 7-9. Pro rodeo contestants from around the country will vie for points and prize money, and how well they compete at Spooner may ultimately affect their ability to qualify for circuit finals, other rodeo competitions, and the National Finals in Las Vegas. In addition to the great fun, great food, and great memories, extras include special happenings at each show, prizes, great music, and the Spooner Rodeo Parade with more than 100 units, bands, floats, horses, fire trucks, politicians, prizes, kids, and more. For more information, visit www.spoonerrodeo.com or call (800) 367-3306.

Musky action is fair to good depending on the weather, lake, and time of day. Target mid-depth to deep weeds, bars, and humps with various sizes of bucktails, jerkbaits, crankbaits, plastics, and surface baits.

Walleye fishing is slow, with best action at night and during other low light conditions. During the day, fish deeper (more than 20 feet) weeds, brush, and stumps. In the evening and after dark, work shallower weed edges, bars, and along the river channels. Top bait choices include crawlers, leeches, and minnows/walleye suckers, or cast/troll crankbaits, minnow baits, stickbaits, and Rapalas.

Northern pike action is good to very good in weeds, both deep and shallow, and around congregations of panfish. Baits of choice include northern suckers, Mepps spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, swim baits, and minnow baits. Go deeper with bigger bait for trophy pike.

Largemouth Bass:
Largemouth fishing is good and offers some of the best chances for success at this time. Concentrate on shallower weeds, stumps, brush, bogs, docks, and other cover and structure. Top producing baits include plastics (worms in various configurations, frogs, tubes, etc.), swim jigs, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, buzz baits, crawlers, leeches, and minnows.

Smallmouth Bass:
Smallmouth action is fair to good on rock, gravel, and other hard bottom areas with leeches, crawlers, and crayfish imitation plastics, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and tubes.

Crappie fishing is fair to good around weeds, cribs, brush, and bogs, with best success in the evening hours. Favorite offerings include minnows, waxies, plastics, tube jigs, Tattle-Tails, Mini-Mites, and Gulp! baits bobber fishing and/or drifting, and casting small Beetle Spins and spinners.

Bluegill fishing is good to very good around weeds, spawning sites, and shorelines. Best baits include waxies, worms, small minnows, plastics, Mini-Mites, Tattle-Tails, and Gulp! baits. Fish deeper weeds for bigger bluegills.

Upcoming Events
July 7-9: 63rd Annual Heart of the North Spooner Rodeo (800-367-3306).
July 14-17: 43rd Annual LCO Honor the Earth Pow Wow (715-634-8934).
July 27-30: 57th Annual Lumberjack World Championships (715-634-2484).
July 30: Flambeau River State Forest Campfire Cookout; demonstrations, samples, Connors Lake (715-332-5271).
July 31: Hayward Bass Club open tournament on Chippewa Flowage (715-699-1015).
Through July 31: Illegal to allow dogs to run on DNR lands and FWPAs (see regs).
August 6: Flambeau River State Forest Smokey Bear birthday party, Connors Lake picnic area (715-332-5271).
August 7: Hayward Lakes Chapter Muskies, Inc. Annual Kids Fishing Day 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (715-634-4543).
Through Sept. 7: APG Species Master fishing contest (715-718-6438).

For more information on area events and activities, visit the Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau website, view its Calendar of Events, or call 1-800-724-2992.