The warming temperatures has led to very good walleye fishing on Hayward's clear water lakes. The pictured walleye were caught with leeches on a weed edge. Fish have also been showing up on rock humps and points as well.
66° - 70° F
86° - 90° F
Crappie spawn should be heating up this week. Lows in the 50's all week!??
On the Chip, Analog?
Open water fishing is arriving early this spring, though the gamefish opener is not until May 1. Currently, anglers can harvest panfish and rough fish, with trout and bass fishing catch-and-release only. Redhorse suckers should start running soon and might have started in some rivers.
Look for bass around weeds and other cover, especially near baitfish. Live bait and spoons can do the trick.
Crappie and perch are moving toward shallower water, with weeds and drop-offs good locations to try with minnows, waxies, and plastics on jigs. Bluegills remain somewhat deeper, with waxies, worms, and crawlers on small jigs and teardrops productive offerings.
For those interested in smelting, the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce fishing report as of April 5 says the ice has left Chequamegon Bay, but smelt are still not running. Smelt usually run the first two weeks in April, once ice leaves the Bay. Call the smelt hotline (715-682-2500) after 5 p.m. for the latest report. Bayview Beach and Pier remain closed until May 1 due to erosion.
Ice is out, 2020-21 licenses have expired... nothing to do but get ready for the Wisconsin Fishing Opener Expo and Fish Fry, April 30, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The venue is the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward. Fishing and outdoor gear vendors, boat displays, casting contest, and of course a fish fry! Go to www.haywardlakes.com and click on the Calendar of Events for more details.
36° - 40° F
The forecast for this week is a good one for March in the North Woods, with sunshine, lows in the 20s, and highs in the 40s to upper-50s. Snow sport enthusiasts are seeing the limited usable conditions disappearing quickly. This is a good time to start preparing for the transition to spring and summer activities!
“It is March,” says Pat at Happy Hooker, “there is a lot of melting, and we are well on the way toward spring. We should still have a couple weeks remaining for ice fishing, but the Quiet Lakes are already experiencing deteriorating ice conditions and areas of slush. The rate of ice dissolving depends on temperatures and other weather factors, and shoreline ice deteriorates the fastest, so be careful and check the ice conditions before and as you go.”
Gamefish season closed March 7, but anglers can still target both largemouth and smallmouth bass for catch-and-release fishing - but not for harvest! In addition, early catch and release inland trout season is open through April 30.
Crappie fishing is good to very good, with fish offering all-day action. They are in schools and moving in 12-28 feet, depending on the lake, so plan to move with the schools for the best success. Crappies are hitting a wide variety of baits, including minnows, waxies, spikes, and plastics on small jigs, teardrops, plain hooks, and spoons.
Bluegill fishing is good most of the day, with best action in morning and early evening hours. Look for fish in 15-22 feet and move with the schools. Small jigs, teardrops, and spoons tipped with waxies, spikes, and plastics are all effective.
Perch action is good to very good as fish are starting to move toward shallower spawning areas, though some are still in depths out to 30 feet. Baits of choice include waxies, spikes, minnows/minnow heads, and plastics on jigs and spoons, jigged in a non-aggressive manner.
For more specific information regarding your favorite fishing hole, check with the pros at area bait shops: Minnow Jim’s on Nelson Lake, Happy Hooker on the Quiet Lakes, Jenk’s on the Flowage, and Hayward Bait and Bottle on Railroad St. in Hayward.
I was hoping to make it up there this year to go to the secret little spot to catch some jumbo perch
, it’s a little bit of a walk through the woods to get there but it’s worth it !! Definitely next yearI think I’m gonna save some of them to mount on the wall three or four of them Should be good
11° - 15° F
The past week was not a pleasant one for most anglers, with some nighttime lows colder than -30 degrees and strong winds producing brutal wind chills. These temperatures improved ice conditions somewhat, but it is still a good idea to be very, very cautious if you consider driving a vehicle on the ice. Ice thickness remains inconsistent in some areas – and you do not want to find those areas the hard way! Wisconsin’s gamefish season runs through March 7, but panfish fishing remains open all year. Remember that fishing licenses expire at the end of March.
Walleye fishing is fair and primarily a very early morning and very late afternoon into dark bite. Best success is with walleye suckers and shiners under tip-ups. Set tip-ups over weeds and weed edges, bars, humps, drop-offs, rock, and gravel in 18-30 feet.
Northern pike action is good to very good and offers an all day bite, but the best success is in morning and afternoon hours. Look for pike in main basins in depths to 25 feet, as well as around panfish concentrations. Northern suckers and large shiners on tip-ups work best, and large jigging spoons can also produce some good catches.
Largemouth bass continue to be active in most waters this winter. Anglers are catching fish on weedy ledges, in main basins, and near panfish schools in depths to 25 feet. Walleye suckers and shiners on tip-ups should do the trick.
Smallmouth bass are not a frequent target for most ice anglers, but fishing is fair to good. Look for them on rock and gravel bottoms in mid-depths to 25 feet and use walleye suckers and shiners on tip-ups.
Crappie fishing is good to very good in 22-30 feet around weeds and in main lake basins. Plan to move often to stay on top of the feeding schools. Crappie minnows, waxies, spikes, and plastics on tungsten and lead jigs, spoons, and plain hooks under bobbers will all produce some action.
Bluegill anglers are doing well on weeds and in main lake basins in depths out to 25 feet. Best fishing is in morning and afternoon hours, though fish bite all day. Baits of choice include waxies, spikes, and plastics on jigs and on small hooks under floats.
Perch fishing is good and getting better, especially for bigger fish. Best success is around mid-depth weeds and on the sand bottoms near humps and bars in more than 30 feet. If you plan to release the fish you catch at those depths, bring them up slowly. Best baits include fatheads, rosy reds, waxies, spikes, and plastics on jigs, plain hooks with bobbers, spoons, and tungsten jigs.
Below 0° F
The forecast for this week shows double-digit subzero low temperatures, with wind chills registering as low as -35 to -50 degrees. This will continue for at least the better part of a week. When outdoors, be cautious, dress for the conditions, and do not take unnecessary risks! Lake ice is almost strong enough to drive vehicles on, but you can’t be too cautious.
Walleye fishing slowed a bit and the daytime bite is difficult. Best fishing is in early morning and from late afternoon into well after dark. Locations vary and include weeds and weed edges, mid-lake humps, weedy drop-offs, bars, and bottoms with rock and gravel. Walleye suckers and shiners under tip-ups are currently the most productive offerings.
Northern pike action is good to very good and the fish offer an all-day bite, though it is best in morning and afternoon hours. Set tip-ups with walleye suckers and shiners on weeds and weed edges, main basins, breaklines, and drop-offs in depths from 8-25 feet.
Largemouth bass continue to provide anglers decent action, even when not the target species. Most catches come on walleye suckers and shiners under tip-ups set on weed edges, drop-offs, and lake basins in 12-22 feet.
Smallmouth bass are active, though anglers show little interest in fishing for them. Try working gravel bottom bowls and humps in 12-20 feet with walleye suckers and shiners on tip-ups.
Crappie fishing is fair to very good once you locate the schools – and plan to move, to keep on active fish. Mornings and afternoons offer the best success. Look for fish in bays, main basins, and deep water in depths from 5-28 feet. Crappie minnows, fatheads, waxies, spikes, and plastics on jigs and spoons are all working well.
Bluegill fishing is good, with the best bite in mornings and afternoons. Look for fish in bays and main lake basins in depths ranging from 5-22 feet. Waxies, spikes, and plastics on small jigs and teardrops will produce some interest.
Perch action is fair to good, with the best bite during afternoon hours. Fish are scattered around various structure in depths from 5-35 feet. Go with small minnows, waxies, and spikes on tungsten jigs and spoons, fishing them in shallow bays and on sandy humps and drop-offs.