Excerpts from the November 12, 2018 Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report by Steve Suman:
Another cold week ahead, though warming toward the end of it and maybe through the end of this month – and by “warming” it means back to more normal (i.e., less cold) average temperatures. The gun deer season opener is this Saturday and the forecast predicts mid-20 highs, with light snow possible. Good luck and safe hunting!
“What a change in the weather the past two weeks,” says Pat at Happy Hooker. “The week previous, anglers had rather good fishing, depending on the species. This past week had snowing and dropping temperatures and it will not be long before we have ice... Musky fishing is good for anglers dragging large suckers on quick-strike rigs, which continues to be the go-to tactic. Colder water temperatures are triggering the big fish to put on a feeding frenzy... Walleyes seem to be turning on as well and they are on mid-lake structure. Jigs and minnows are a good way to go, and slow drifting live bait under sinkers near bottom will turn some fish. Most fish are transitioning to mid lake depths of 10-15 feet... Smallmouth bass fishing is also good on live bait and dragging small sucker minnows in 10-20 feet is producing some success. Casting crankbaits is also working... Last week, there was a good northern pike bite and anglers working spinnerbaits and plastics in and over shallower green weeds were catching some nice fish. This week has been quiet... Many anglers are putting away their fishing gear and preparing for the opening of gun deer season this Saturday. Bow hunters are already in the woods. Wear some orange while walking around, whether in the woods or on the roads.”
Andy at Hayward Bait says open water fishing is quickly reaching the end... “Ice is appearing as fast as you can cast your bait, but there are still some die-hard anglers and boaters chipping ice to launch their rigs... Musky action is slowing as water temperatures drop, but some walleye anglers report success with walleye suckers... Bow deer season is going well and rut is in full effect, so be alert. With snow now covering the ground, hunters are eagerly looking forward to the opening of gun deer season this Saturday.”
Barring a very abrupt weather change for the warmer, this is (most likely) the final open water fishing report for the season. The traditional nine-day gun deer season opens this Saturday and a significant number of outdoor enthusiasts have their minds on deer hunting. Reports will resume when ice is at an acceptable depth, which could be very, very soon!
To round out the season, musky anglers are doing well with large suckers on quick-strike rigs, as is usually the case this time of year. Walleye anglers are catching fish on various structures in 12-20 feet, primarily with walleye suckers. Northern pike are around shallow weeds and fishing remains good on plastics and spinnerbaits. Smallmouth bass action is good in 12-25 feet for anglers fishing walleye suckers and crankbaits. If you fish Lake Superior, smallmouth bass, trout, and salmon fishing is going well on Chequamegon Bay.