Sunday, June 20, was the summer solstice, the “official” start of summer, the longest day of the year ‑ and the start of shorter daylight hours. Keep that in mind if you perhaps procrastinate planning of outdoor recreation. Summer is a too-short season in the North Woods, so use the time wisely! The current forecast for this week shows a mix of wet and dry, mild and warm weather patterns, so plan accordingly.
“Bite windows are important, with the best times early morning and late afternoon into dark. Tackle colors should complement water clarity, but try other combinations. Finding the recipe for success is quite rewarding.
“Some anglers continue to chase muskies, but the bite is very slow, with walleye and panfish anglers catching the most muskies. Most musky anglers think catching muskies in hot weather puts too much stress on the fish, making it hard to do a successful release.
“Walleye are on mid-lake humps or other structure and taking leeches under bobbers. Finding fish on electronics is important, but if you cannot get them to bite, seek new locations. Some anglers are finding mature fish on deep drop-off edges, but it can be a lot of time in one spot before hooking a good fish.
“Largemouth bass and northern pike are relating to panfish on shallow flats.
“Crappie and bluegill are in vegetative areas of 5-12 feet. Pitch small plastics or live bait under bobbers.”
Jarrett at Hayward Bait says water temperatures are in the mid-70s, fish metabolism is spiking, and they are active, with sunrise and dusk into dark the peak periods.
“Muskies are quiet, with most action on deep weed flats and points. The fish follow lures, but hesitate to commit. Anglers are catching muskies primarily on musky and northern suckers on quick-strike rigs under floats.
“Walleyes are on deep weedlines, mud flats, and cribs, moving shallow during peak times. Try covering weed flats in 10-15 feet. During daylight, use slip-bobbers with jumbo leeches, and minnows and leeches on jigs and Lindy Rigs. As activity increases, switch to crankbaits and stickbaits.
“Northern pike are deeper, with northern suckers, spinnerbaits, Husky Jerks, Rippin’ Raps, and even leeches tempting them.
“Largemouth and smallmouth bass are on deep weedlines, cribs, and drop-offs. Deep rocks and flats hold crawfish for smallmouth. Try drop-shotting, wacky worms, Carolina rigs, and leeches for fussy fish.
“Crappies hold tight to weeds and structure during daylight hours. Fish sit higher when feeding, so keep baits high in the water column. Move until you find fish. Use slip-bobbers over deep weed flats or run-and-gun with Beetle Spins, plastics, and small crankbaits.
“Bluegills should be finished spawning, but check shallow shorelines. Fish weedlines in 8-12 feet adjacent to deep water, and do not be afraid to upsize. Try slip-bobbers, plastics, and drop-shotting.”
Mike at Jenk’s says the Chippewa Flowage is down about a foot, with the water temperature 77 degrees.
“Musky fishing is good, especially with the dropping water temperature, which is holding around 77 degrees. That is still a little warm, but not catastrophic. Spinnerbaits and bucktails are popular choices, and quite a few anglers are trolling Mattlocks and other larger crankbaits.
“Walleye fishing is solid with leeches on weeds in about 4-8 feet, and a few anglers are trolling deeper running crankbaits with mild success. Anglers are still looking for size, as the ratio is about 10 throwbacks to one legal fish.
“Northern pike fishing slowed a bit, with most catches on spinnerbaits in the weeds.
“Smallmouth bass fishing is great and has been for several weeks. The fish are holding on stumps and rocks and hitting various baits, but Ned Rigs are the top choice.
“Crappie action seems limited to evening fishing on the bogs with minnows and plastics. During the day, try cribs, brush piles, and deep weed humps. The best tactic, however, is bog fishing around 8 p.m. in the evening.”
This week, DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter honors the memory of retired DNR employee Larry Glodoski.
“Department of Natural Resources staff in Hayward and across northern Wisconsin was saddened by the news of Larry Glodoski’s passing last week.
“Larry was a forestry team supervisor and incident commander during his DNR career spanning several decades. Larry leaves behind an incredible legacy of professionalism and lessons for anyone working in natural resources.
“For starters, Larry was a strong advocate for cross-collaboration. There are countless examples of Larry supporting plans to have his foresters work on fish or wildlife habitat projects. Similarly, Larry brought all manner of resource professionals together on the incident management team to respond to natural disasters such as wildfires and floods.
“Larry also emphasized the importance of relationships. He knew that if staff put in the time to build trust and demonstrate that we are also members of the community, we would find much more support for DNR projects. Larry was great at this and he could find common ground with anyone.
“I was lucky in that my office was right across the hall from Larry’s office for eight years. We had great conversations every day, and his door was always open if I needed the advice of a veteran and true pro.
“We missed Larry when he retired, but in his passing, we will miss him on a much deeper level. His life and career were well-lived, and he leaves behind a DNR office full of staff that will carry on his exemplary professionalism.”
Leading up to Musky Fest, the DNR Hayward Fish Team stocked 1,300 adult bluegills into Shues Pond, located on Kansas Avenue and 3rd Street in downtown Hayward, says DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter.
“The goal of planting these fish is to provide easy and safe fishing opportunities, particularly for children. In past years, the DNR had staff on hand during parts of Musky Fest weekend to assist young anglers. This year, DNR staff will not be at the pond, but we encourage youth anglers to bring their own rods and try their luck, and Shues Pond remains a public fishing destination after Musky Fest.
“Anglers younger than 16 years of age do not need a fishing license, and anglers 16 and older can visit a local license agent or https://gowild.wi.gov to purchase licenses. Remember that first-time license buyers qualify for discounted rates!”
Hayward’s 71st Annual Musky Fest June 24-27 begins this Thursday! The event kicks off with a carnival, FHNB catch-and-release fishing contest, games for children, sidewalk sales, art and craft show, live music, and food booths. It continues with a Saturday car show, and street dances Friday and Saturday nights. The festival concludes Sunday, with a 5K run/walk, 10K run, and kids’ Minnow Run for 12 and younger, finishing with the Grand Parade in downtown Hayward. For more information, visit www.muskyfest.com/events-schedule or call (715) 634-8662.
On Sunday June 27, during Musky Fest weekend, Hayward Bass Club will host its annual Round Lakes Open Bass Tournament from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For entry information, contest rules, and regulations, visit the Hayward Bass Club Facebook page or text (405) 227-1789).
The Sawyer County Farm Bureau and the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin will host the annual Sawyer County Dairy Breakfast Saturday, Jun 26, from 6:30-11 a.m., at the Sawyer County Fairgrounds on Hwy B. This event is in recognition of June Dairy Month and organizers will serve pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, strawberries, milk, cranberry juice, coffee, ice cream, and ice cream cones. The cost is $7 for adults and $6 for children 7 years and older. For more information, call (715) 296-9000.
Big Fish Golf Club is offering free youth golf clinics from 10.a.m.-11:30 a.m. Friday June 18, and 25, and July 9 and 16. These clinics are for age levels 6-8, 9-12, and 13-17 years. For more information and to sign up for the clinics, call (715) 934-4770.
Most fish species are in an early transition to their summer patterns, though their dispersal is somewhat inconsistent. Again, it is of great benefit to stop at your favorite bait and tackle shop ‑ on your way to the lake ‑ to get the most current information on baits, presentations, and fish locations. Early and late hours are the most productive times.
Musky fishing is somewhat slow, with many anglers waiting for cooler weather and better conditions for releasing fish. Look for fish on deeper weedlines, weed beds, humps, and points. Musky and northern suckers, bucktails, spinnerbaits, and trolled Mattlocks and other large crankbaits are the current favorite presentations.
Walleye action is good to very good on weeds, weedlines, weed edges, mud flats, humps, drop-offs, and cribs in depths to 18 feet. Early morning and late evening into dark hours offer the best success. Baits of choice include walleye suckers, crawlers, and leeches on slip-bobbers, jigs, and Lindy rigs, and cast and trolled crankbaits and stickbaits.
Northern pike fishing is good to very good on weeds in various depths and near panfish concentrations. Northern suckers, spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, crankbaits, and stickbaits do the job. Fish bigger baits deeper for trophy pike. Be sure to check out the Chippewa Flowage Pike Improvement Project 2.0, with illustrations and video on fileting pike.
Largemouth action is good on weeds, wood, brush, cribs, drop-offs, and around panfish. Crawlers, leeches, assorted plastics, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwater are all effective offerings.
Smallmouth fishing is very good, with fish post spawn and holding on deep weedlines, rocks, cribs, stumps, and drop-offs. Top baits include sucker minnows, crawlers, leeches, and plastics on jigs, and drop-shot, Ned, and Carolina rigs.
Crappie fishing is fair to good, with best action in the evening hours. Work weeds, weed flats, humps, brush, bogs, and cribs in 4-15 feet. Crappie minnows, waxies, worms, and plastics under slip-bobbers are productive, as are Beetle Spins and small crankbaits.
Bluegill fishing is very good on weeds and weedlines in 4-12 feet. Most fish finished spawning, though check shallow water for stragglers. Waxies, worms, leeches, and plastics on small hooks and under slip-bobbers work well.
Jun 24-27: 71st Annual Musky Fest (715-634-8662).
Jun 24-26: FHNB Musky Fest fishing contest (715-634-3185).
June 25: Big Fish Golf Club free youth golf clinic 10-11:30 a.m. Call to register (715-934-4770).
June 26: Sawyer County Dairy Breakfast (715-296-9000).
June 27: Hayward Bass Club Round Lakes Open Tournament, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (text 405-227-1789).
July 8-11: Spooner Heart of the North Rodeo (715-635-9696).
July 9, 16: Big Fish Golf Club free youth golf clinics 10-11:30 a.m. Call to register (715-934-4770).
July 16-18: LCO Honor the Earth Pow Wow (715-634-8934).
July 16-18: Birchwood Bluegill Festival (715-354-3411).
July 29-31; Lumberjack World Championships (715-634-2484).
For more information on area events and activities, visit the Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau and Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce websites, view the Calendar of Events, or call (715) 634-8662 or 800-724-2992.