June 15, 2015
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
Steve Suman

This year, June 21 is both Father’s Day and the summer solstice – the day of the year providing the most sunlight. Forecasts show another wet week, but rain or shine this Sunday, show dad a good time!

“Musky anglers should fish break and weed edges out to 10 feet with bucktails, topwaters, crankbaits, and gliders,” says Pat at Happy Hooker.
“Fish walleyes tight to bottom on breaks, humps, and weeds in 15-20 feet with leeches and fatheads on jigs. Catch northern in weeds out to 10 feet with minnow baits, spinners, and walleye suckers on slip bobbers.
“For largemouth, work weedless plastics, spinnerbaits, and topwaters around weeds, docks, and structure to 10 feet. Fish smallmouth on hard bottoms and break edges to 15 feet with tubes, spinners, and jigs with minnows or leeches.
“Catch crappies suspending along break and weed edges with crappie minnows and plastics on jigs or slip bobbers.”
Guide Dave Dorazio at Outdoor Creations says Chippewa Flowage musky action continues to improve.
“Fish fresh green weed edges using black bucktails with orange or green blades. Try topwaters during low light periods. Catch walleyes on jigs and leeches or crankbaits in 12-22 feet on sunken wood near river channels. In the evenings, cast gold or orange #11 floating Rapalas along shorelines.
“For northerns, fish thick weeds in the natural lakes on the west side with twitch and spinner baits. Crappies are scattered. Fish weeds in 6-8 feet with crappie minnows and jigs with plastics. For bluegills bedding in shallow water, try waxies, worms, and plastics.”
Guide Steve Genson at Hayward Bait says musky anglers caught several large fish in the past week.
“Work jerkbaits, bucktails, and topwaters in 5-10 feet on weed flats and weedy bars. For walleyes, low light is best. Use leeches on jigs and slip bobbers or cast crankbaits around weed edges and bars in 8-20 feet. Northerns are hitting spoons and spinnerbaits on weed edges in 10-15 feet.
“For bass, work weed beds, lily pads, and docks in 5-10 feet with spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Crappies are moving deeper, taking plastics and crappie minnows in weeds. Bluegills are moving into spawn. Fish sandy areas in 1-5 feet with small plastics and leaf worms under bobbers.”
Mike at Jenk’s says musky fishing should be good with more stable weather.
“Work bucktails with chartreuse blades and slow moving topwaters on main lake weeds, probing the shallowest weeds during low light hours. Walleye action is best on deep wood near river channels and shallow humps. Northern action is good on mid-depth bogs and shallow weeds with jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and suckers.
“For largemouth, flip large creature baits into heavy cover with wood and weeds, or cast Texas-rigged stick worms outside these areas. Smallmouth are in rock and wood areas. Fish tight to the bank with topwaters, tubes, and stick worms.
“Catch crappies on outside weed edges, deep bogs, and cribs with Beetle Spins and Twister Tails.”
Jim at Minnow Jim’s says Nelson Lake walleye anglers are catching some nice fish in the evenings.
“Fish leeches on floating jigs, jig fatheads, cast shorelines and weed edges with floating stickbaits, or troll deeper water with Shad Raps. For northern, work weedlines and panfish spawning areas with weedless spoons, spinners, floating stickbaits, and sucker minnows.
“Bass are hitting noisy swim baits, buzz baits, spinnerbaits, and rubber frogs. Some panfish are still spawning. Use live bait under bobbers, dressed spinnerbaits, floating spiders, and cork poppers.”

This week, DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter discusses northern pike and clear water.
“Northern pike pose an interesting management challenge for fisheries managers, particularly in lakes with musky and walleye. Water clarity plays an important role in the success of pike populations and researchers in Canada found that northern pike feed more and grow fatter in clear water compared to turbid water.
“This concept holds up locally as well. Pike populations illegally introduced into clear lakes such as LCO, Whitefish, and Round have expanded rapidly and pike are now abundant. Pike also got into darker water lakes, such as Moose and Lost Land/Teal, but have not become as abundant.
“This same logic applies to the Chippewa Flowage, where pike are more abundant on the clearer west side compared to the east side.”

Turtles are on the move, so be extra cautious when driving near wetlands from now through August when turtles are especially active. From late May through early June, female turtles migrate to sand or gravel uplands to lay eggs and then return to the wetlands. You can help turtles you see on a roadway, but do not put yourself or anyone else in harm’s way. Pick up a turtle by the sides of its shell – or with large snappers and spiny softshells, have it bite down on a stick or long object – and escort the turtle to the side of the road in the direction it was heading.

Hayward Bass Club’s annual Round Lakes Open bass tournament is Sunday July 28, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The entry fee is $100 per boat, limited to the first 50 two-person teams to register. The 90-percent payout goes to the top five places. Hayward Bass Club holds 10 percent to fund its free Youth Bass Tournament in late summer. Register at Hayward Bait or contact Wayne Balsavich (715-699-1015; haywardbassclub@gmail.com).

Muskies are active on new green weeds, breaks, and bars in depths to 12 feet. Work in and on the edges of these areas with bucktails, jerkbaits, crankbaits, and gliders. Use topwaters over shallow weeds in the evening.

Walleye action is fair to good, with best success during low light conditions and/or early and late in the day. Look for wood, weeds, bars, breaks, and humps in 7-25 feet. Fish in/on the edges of these areas with leeches on jigs and under slip bobbers, and jigs with fatheads. In the evening, troll or cast crank, stick, and minnow baits, especially in shallower water and along shorelines.

Northern Pike:
Northerns are active in depths to 15 feet around weedlines, bogs, and spawning panfish. The most productive baits include spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, stickbaits, minnow baits, jerkbaits, twitch baits, and northern suckers under bobbers. Fish deeper water with bigger baits for trophy pike.

Largemouth Bass:
Largemouth fishing is very good on weeds, lily pads, wood, docks, and other structure in depth out to about 12 feet. The top baits include weedless plastics (worms, tubes, creatures), spinnerbaits, crankbaits, swim baits, buzz baits, and topwaters.

Smallmouth Bass:
Smallmouth action is good, but remains catch and release only in the northern bass zone until June 20. Fish are on break edges and hard bottom areas with wood and rock. Plastics (tubes, worms), leeches, and minnows on jigs, spinners, and topwaters are all working for smallmouth.

Crappie fishing is good, with fish scattered and moving to deeper water. You will find them on the edges of weeds and breaks, brush, bogs, and cribs in depths from 5-18 feet or so. Crappie minnows, plastics, Beetle Spins, small spinners, and surface baits/poppers can all catch crappies. Fish baits on jigs or plain hooks, with or without slip bobbers.

Bluegill action is heating up with spawning activity. Look for fish on very shallow sand bottoms to fish suspending along the edges of deeper breaks and weedlines. Use waxies, worms, leaf worms, crawler chunks, plastics, and Gulp! baits on small hooks or jigs and/or under bobbers. Poppers and surface baits can also be effective.

Upcoming Events
June 20: Northern zone smallmouth bass season opens to daily bag limits (see regs).
June 25-28: Hayward 66th Annual Musky Festival (715-634-8662).
June 28: Hayward Bass Club Open Tourney, Round Lake (715-699-1015).
July 1: Training dogs by pursuing bear allowed (see regs).
July 15: Turtle season opens statewide (see regs).
Through July 31: Illegal to allow dogs to run on DNR lands and Federal WPA (see regs for exceptions).

Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau and Sawyer County Record co-sponsor this report. For more information on area events and activities, visit the HLVCB’s Calendar of Events or call 800-724-2992