Outdoor Report

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]July 17, 2017

Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report

Steve Suman


The start to this week includes strong chances for rain and/or thunderstorms, but from Wednesday on, it appears to bring warm, dry (or drier) weather, with mostly slight chances for precipitation. Let’s face it – if you get a little wet at 80-some degrees you are not going to suffer from frostbite. Put on a rain jacket and go fishing (or whatever)!


“Last week, my son and four grandsons spent some time on the lake and caught every species in the lake,” says Pat at Happy Hooker.

“Using small surface baits and bucktails, they found muskies just off shallow weeds into drop-offs. They found walleye around deeper rock and weed bars by using crawler rigs and small crankbaits. Other anglers report success on jig and minnow combinations. Early mornings and later afternoon/evenings, the cooler times of the day, are best.

“Northern pike are in shallow weed areas, hitting spinnerbaits, spoons, and bucktails. For largemouth in and around shallower weeds and structure, use crawlers, surface baits, and small spoons with Twister Tails. Smallmouth are on deeper rocky points and gravels bars and Beetle Spins and crawlers work well.

“Catch crappies in weeds in 5-8 feet with crappie minnows, tube jigs, and Beetle Spins.”


Loren at Hayward Bait says musky fishing is finally in full swing.

“Green blade spinners/bucktails, gliders, and topwaters late in the day work well. Make subtle changes, such as blade color, rather than abandoning a spinner for a glider.

“Walleye fishing is steady on Mimic Minnows and jigs, Lindy Rigs, and large leeches on jigs.

“Northern pike are in weedlines in 8-10 feet. Use bucktails and pre-rigged swimbaits, letting them sink to about 6 feet, then alternating retrieves between slow-rolling and burning baits. Again, make slight rather than drastic lure changes.

“Bass fishing remains excellent for anglers willing to search shallow and deep, as fish are still very much in post-spawn transition. Smallmouth have joined largemouth in 4-8 feet on the edges of shallow water. Throw wacky-rigged finesse worms under deeper docks and heavier jigs into heavy cover/structure, topwater in weeds/pads, and poppers/walking baits in open water.

“Fish panfish around brush piles, stumps, and rock reefs in 5-10 feet. Cast small hair jigs, bare or tipped with waxies, set 3-4 feet down on slip bobber rigs.”


Mike at Jenk’s says Chippewa Flowage musky action remains solid.

“During early morning and evening hours, fish surface baits and bucktails on weed edges, drop offs, and breaks. Trolling open water for suspending muskies is effective with Believers, Grandmas, and Matlocks run 4-7 feet down over cover in 13-20 feet.

“Walleye numbers are solid, but fish size frustrates anglers. Try leeches and crawlers on deeper weedlines and breaks. Slip bobber fishing is effective, but your best bet is using the trolling motor to cover the edge of weedlines during sunset.

“Northern pike patterns do not fluctuate much this time of year. Use spinnerbaits and spoons to target weed areas with baitfish. For bigger pike, concentrate on bays on the far west end.

“Crappie fishing is consistent on bogs starting about 8 p.m., but patterns during other times change daily. Find them on cribs today and maybe in deeper weeds or brush piles tomorrow.”


This week, DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter discusses when fish species are most active.

“Anglers have different theories about what time of day is best for fishing. Some swear by early mornings, some prefer evenings, and some fish all day. Oftentimes, the targeted specie plays a role in when anglers fish and an Ohio study supports the idea.

“Researchers compared catch rates of different species to fish in nets throughout the day to understand when different species are on the move.

Bluegills of all sizes were most active between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m.in the morning. Largemouth bass were most active during midday, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The researchers speculated that bluegills might time their increased activity in the morning to avoid the most active period for their main predator, largemouth bass.

“Crappie movement patterns throughout the day varied based on size. Small crappies were more active in the morning, while large crappies were most active in the evening.

“Virtually none of the species studied were active at night. Some of the most popular fish in Wisconsin (walleye, musky, pike, smallmouth bass) were not present in the Ohio lake used for this study.”


Sawyer County Outdoor Projects and Education (SCOPE) is offering a Hunter Education course with classes meeting August 8, 10, 12, and 15. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1973 must complete a hunter education course to purchase any hunting license. Participants must attend all class sessions and pass written and hands-on tests to complete the course. Upon completion, students receive a hunting vest complements of SCOPE, distinctive embroidered emblem, and Wisconsin Hunter Education Graduate Certificate. The $10 course fee includes all materials and bonus items. The course, limited to 30 students, requires advanced registration. To register, email scope4youth@hotmail.com indicating you would like to register for the class and include your name, age, and contact telephone number. You will receive additional information at the e-mail address you provide. For more information, contact Chris Wunrow (715) 558-5371.


Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum (WCHM) in Spooner is offering a weeklong kayak building class starting Saturday July 29 and running through Saturday August 5. The course, limited to four students, costs $695 and includes all materials and instruction to build and take home a water-ready kayak by week’s end. For more information, call Jed Malischke at (715) 635-2479 or email info@wisconsincanoeheritagemuseum.org.




Musky activity is very good, increasing along with the temperatures. Target the edges of weedlines, breaklines, drop-offs, points, and bars. Best bait choices at this time include bucktails, spinnerbaits, stickbaits, gliders, and topwaters. Trolling open water over submerged cover can also be effective.



Walleye fishing is consistent, with evening into dark the most productive time, as usual. During the day, concentrate on deeper weeds and weedlines, breaklines, rock bars, and other structure. In the later, low/no light hours, move to somewhat shallower weedlines and any other cover that can hold baitfish. A variety of baits and presentations are working, including crawlers and leeches on jigs, harnesses, and Lindy Rigs, jigs/minnows, and casting and trolling crankbaits, stickbaits, and minnow baits.


Northern Pike:

Northern pike always seem to be active in weeds, both shallow and deep, as well as around panfish concentrations. Spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, bucktails, topwaters, and swimbaits will all produce action, as will northern suckers under bobbers. As always, fish bigger baits in deeper water for trophy pike.


Largemouth Bass:

Largemouth action is good to very good in very shallow to mid-depth areas containing weeds, lily pads, wood, brush, downed trees, stumps, and other structure providing good cover. The most productive baits include topwaters (frogs, Jitterbugs, poppers), rigged worms, spoons with Twister Tails, crawlers, and leeches.


Smallmouth Bass:

Smallmouth fishing is excellent in various depths, from shallow to deep, on weeds, lily pads, rock and gravel points and bars, docks, and other structure. Top baits include plastics (rigged worms, tubes, grubs, crayfish imitations), poppers, Beetle Spins, crawlers, leeches, and minnows.



Crappies are scattered and moving to deeper weeds, brush, stumps, rock, and other structure. Crappie minnows, waxies, Mini-Mites, Tattle-Tails, plastics, tube jigs, and Gulp! baits fished under slip bobbers will all work, as will small Beetle Spins.



Larger bluegills are in somewhat deeper water near weeds, brush, and bogs. Use waxies, worms, crawler chunks, plastics, and Gulp! baits on small jigs, teardrops, and plain hooks, with or without bobbers.



Fish for perch around weeds, rock, and brush in various depths with waxies, plastics, and Gulp! baits on small jigs or plain hooks under slip bobbers.


Upcoming Events

July 20-22: Lumberjack World Championships (715-634-2484).

July 29: Flambeau River State Forest “Campfire Cookout” at Connors Lake picnic area (715-332-5271).

July 29-Aug. 5: Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum kayak building class (715-635-2479).

Through July 31: Illegal to allow unleashed dogs to run on DNR lands and FWPAs (see regs for exceptions).

Aug. 1: Application deadline: Fall turkey; Bobcat; Fisher; Otter.

Aug. 4-6: Jack Pine Savage Days in Spooner (800-367-3306).

Aug. 5: Moose Lake Festival at Louie’s Landing, noon-6 p.m. (715-462-9538).

Aug. 6: Hayward Lakes Chapter-Muskies, Inc. annual free Kids Fishing Day 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Black Iron Bar and Grill (715-634-4543).

Aug. 8-15: SCOPE Hunter Education course (715-558-5371).

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. 20: Hayward Bass Club’s annual free youth tournament noon- 4 p.m., The Landing Resort (715-634-2921; 405-227-1789).

Aug. 22: Deadline to transfer Class A bear license to a youth hunter (see regs).

Aug. 24-27: Upper Great Lakes Regional Canoe Assembly; Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum (715-635-2479).

Aug. 26: Remaining fall wild turkey permits go on sale at 10 a.m.

Aug. 26: SCOPE Family Fun Day at Summit Lake Game Farm

Through Aug. 31: Training dogs by pursuing bear (see regs).

Sept. 1-3: 25th Annual Exeland Trout Festival.


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