Excerpts from the Aug 22, 2016 Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report by Steve Suman
Fishing on the Quiet Lakes improved steadily over the past few days,” says Pat at Happy Hooker. “Musky anglers report good action fishing topwaters, medium bucktails, and suckers on quick-set rigs on weed edges and deeper drop-offs. The key for walleye is to find transition zones such as mud to weeds, rocks to mud, sand to rock, etc., next to deep water. Use crawler halves on spinning or Lindy rigs. Northern pike action is good all day in shallow and deep weeds with spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and large minnows under bobbers. Largemouth are in weeds, hitting crawlers, rigged worms, plastics, and topwaters. Catch smallmouth in deep rock and gravel areas with tube jigs and diving crankbaits. For crappies, use minnows, tube jigs, small plastics, and Gulp! baits. Fish shallow weeds for panfish, moving deeper for larger fish.”
Guide Steve Genson at Hayward Bait says fishing keeps improving in the North Woods. “Musky anglers made some decent catches last week, with the bigger lakes providing better success, and most action on bucktails, though topwaters get the nod during low light. Focus on weed edges and rock bars in 5-20 feet. Water is still warm, so quick releases are still important. Walleye fishing is slow. Drift or troll crawler harnesses and crankbaits around the thermocline holding at about 20 feet. “The bass bite remains the best thing going. Use plastics, swim jigs, and topwaters on deeper weed edges, and throw a few frogs at the slop. For smallmouth, fish crayfish tubes, swim jigs, and jerkbaits on rocks and cribs in 10-20 feet. “Crappie and bluegill action is good with waxies and leaf worms on most lakes.”
Mike at Jenk’s says, "most Chippewa Flowage musky action is on black/green or walleye color Bull Dawgs and various swim baits, and this time is good for Hawg Wobblers and creepers. Stay deep and cast shallower to cover the shallows and deeper drop-offs. Walleye anglers report some success trolling Flicker Shads, Bad Shads, and Shad Raps over 20-25 feet for suspending fish following balls of baitfish. When water temperature cool, try crawlers in 6-12 feet around weed edges bordering river channels and river channel bends. Smallmouth fishing picked up last week on the far eastern side. During the day, fish 8-11 feet – shallower in the evening – working crawlers, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits on stumps and rocks. Catch crappies on bogs, cribs, and weedy humps around 14-17 feet, with crappie minnows, Mini-Mites, Gulp! baits, and jigs with spinners.”
Fishing success in the last two weeks was good for many anglers, says DNR fisheries biologist Skip Sommerfeldt. “Muskies are increasingly active and anglers report plenty of action. Work large bucktails, Bull Dawgs, and topwaters along weed edges and in dense weed beds. Walleye fishing is erratic, with decent catches on minnows, leeches, and crawlers on deep structure such as rock humps and cribs. Largemouth favor woody cover and deeper weed and bog edges. Use soft plastics, jig/craw combinations, and topwaters. Smallmouth action is very good on rivers and flowages, with most fish near wood and structure along hard bottom areas close to weeds and deeper water. Large crayfish-imitating plastics and topwaters work best. Panfish action is fair, with bluegills and crappies suspending near mid-depth structure.”
Musky: Musky action is improving as we move towards fall, with the most productive areas weeds/weed edges, rock bars, and drop-offs in or near depths to 25 feet. Top baits include bucktails, Bull Dawgs, swim baits, topwaters, and suckers on quick-strike rigs.
Walleye: Walleye fishing is inconsistent, with fish scattered from deep structure to suspending over deeper water to shallower weeds and rock in the evening. Troll the thermocline (around 20 feet) or work deeper (to 30 feet) rocks, humps, cribs, and weeds during the day. Best baits include crawlers, leeches, minnows, and trolled/cast crank and stick baits.
Northern Pike: Northern are active all day and anglers continue to catch some nice fish. Work weeds at various depths with spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and northern suckers under bobbers. For trophy pike, fish deeper water with bigger baits.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth action is fair to very good, though sometimes inconsistent. Work in/on/over weeds and weed edges, wood, bogs, brush, and slop with plastics (worms, frogs, tubes, etc.), swim jigs, spinnerbaits, and topwaters.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth action is fair to good, depending on the day and lake. Target hard bottom areas with rock and gravel, stumps, cribs, wood, and weeds in 6-25 feet and/or adjacent to deeper water. Use crayfish color tubes, swim jigs, jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastics, and topwaters.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is good around cribs, bogs, brush, humps, and weeds in 10-20 feet with crappie minnows, waxies, tubes, plastics, Mini-Mites, Tattle-Tails, and small spinner jigs.
Bluegill: Bluegill fishing is very good around shallow weeds, docks, and other structure. Larger ‘gills are around similar structure and/or suspending in deeper water. Best baits include waxies, worms, leaf worms, tube jigs, hair jigs, small minnows, Gulp! baits, plastics, and poppers.
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