June 22, 2015
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
Steve Suman

The forecasts state (repeatedly) chances of rain and thunderstorms at 30-40 percent – which is 60 to 70 percent against rain and thunderstorms. Go with the odds!

“We will endure what we receive,” says Pat at Happy Hooker, “but a week of stable weather would improve fishing!
“Muskies are near shallow weeds and panfish concentrations. Use medium lures with slow retrieves. For walleyes, fish weedlines along the first break in 10-15 feet with jigs and minnows, leeches, and crawlers.
“Bass fishing is good, though slows in cooler times. Crappies are suspending off weeds and drops in 10-20 feet. Use small plastics, tube jigs, and crappie minnow under slip bobbers. For bluegills, use small jigs, worms, waxies, flies, and ant imitations.”
Guide Dave Dorazio at Outdoor Creations says Chippewa Flowage musky action is improving.
“Fish muskies near green weeds in 3-8 feet. Use black-tailed bucktails with green, orange, or chartreuse blades. During low light, try topwaters. For walleyes, fish woody areas in 14-22 feet near river channels with leeches and fatheads on jigs and slip bobbers.
“Catch largemouth in thick weeds on the west side with weedless plastics and frogs. Catch smallmouth on rock and wood on the east side with Beetle Spins and jigs/leeches.
“Fish crappies on sunken bogs in 12-20 feet – floating bogs in the evening – with crappie minnows, Gulp! baits, and tube jigs. For bluegills, use waxies, worms, and plastics.”
Jim at Hayward Bait says musky action is good on Bull Dawgs and gliders over structure in 15-20 feet.
“Walleye fishing is decent with walleye suckers and fatheads on live bait rigs, and jigs with leeches, crawlers, and fatheads in 8-22 feet on gravel bars, points, and mid lake humps. Pike action is good on northern suckers, spoons, and spinnerbaits along weedlines in 8-15 feet.
“Crappies are dispersing as they move to weeds in 8-15 feet. Fish bluegills in 2-5 feet with waxies and plastics.”
Mike at Jenk’s says Chippewa Flowage musky anglers report many follows, but few connections.
“Use smaller surface and subsurface baits. Catch small walleyes in deep brush; catch bigger fish on shallow humps with stumps and wood near river channels. Favored baits include minnows, crawlers, leeches, and crankbaits. For pike, use spinners and spoons in weeds and around shallow structure.
“For largemouth, fish stumps, weeds, and rocks with crawlers and poppers. Though not typical at this time, anglers are catching crappies in weeds in 2-3 feet with crappie minnows and Gulp! baits.”
Jim at Minnow Jim’s says fishing is good on Nelson Lake.
“For walleyes, jig fatheads, bobber-fish leeches, or cast/troll diving baits, Beetle Spins, and crawlers on Lindy Rigs along rocky shorelines and weed beds. Catch northerns by floating sucker minnows while casting Mepps bucktails along weedlines.
“Largemouth are hitting swim jigs, spinners, buzz baits, frogs, and scented worms. Crappies are taking minnows and waxies on jigs and spinners. Fish panfish with waxies, worms, leeches, Gulp! baits, surface baits, and flies in 5-6 feet.”

Carolyn at Anglers All in Ashland says Chequamegon Bay anglers report success for most species.
“Brown and lake trout fishing is excellent for anglers trolling spoons and stickbaits. Work the first break in early morning, moving deeper with the rising sun.
“You might find transitioning smallmouth anywhere from 2-20 feet. Use sucker minnows in deeper water and plastics in the shallows.
“For walleyes, troll stickbaits over channel edges or over humps and weed beds on the bottom.”

This week, DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter discusses walleye cannibalism.
“While most anglers think of perch and small panfish as the usual prey for walleye, walleyes have another common food type that may be a surprise: other walleyes.
“Cannibalism is common in walleye, as with many other fish species. Researchers in New York found young walleye in 4 percent of adult walleye stomachs. This becomes more common with a high abundance of small walleye.
“In lakes with few other predators, cannibalism can become a major factor in limiting walleye year class strength.
“Currently, these situations are rare in the Hayward area.”
DNR fisheries biologist Skip Sommerfeldt says biting insects – mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies, no-see-ums, and gnats – are out in increasing numbers, so bring repellent.
“Fish muskies along deeper weedlines with smaller bucktails and stickbaits. Mayfly hatches upset the walleye bite on many lakes, but try leeches and crawlers. Northern action is good around shallow new weeds.
“Most bass completed spawning, though some males still guard their young fish. Crappies are suspending over mid-depth structure and deeper weed beds; good numbers of bluegills are still on spawning beds.”

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

Hayward’s 66th Annual Musky Festival, Hayward’s largest community festival celebrating the North Woods and our great fishing tradition, is this week, June 25-28. Attractions and festivities include crowning of the Musky Festival Queen, sidewalk sales, live music, children’s games, food booths, runs/races, fishing contest, carnival, and street dances. The weekend concludes Sunday with the Grand Parade down Main Street.
The Hayward Lions Fishing Contest runs June 26-28 and includes all Hayward waters. There is no entry fee. All entrants 12 and younger receive a tackle bag. All entrants receive one free raffle ticket; additional tickets cost $1 or 6/$5. The raffle drawing is 11:30 a.m. Sunday, June 28, at the contest booth. One prize per entrant and must be present to win.
The DNR will host kids fishing at Shue’s Pond Friday and Saturday, June 26-27, from noon until 4 p.m. Fisheries staff provides tackle, bait, and assistance.
For more information, contact Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce (715) 634-8662.

Musky anglers report observing good numbers of fish, but not many hook-ups. Fish 4-20 feet along green weedlines, and near structure. Bait preferences include bucktails, Bull Dawgs, stickbaits, gliders, and topwaters. If action is slow, try smaller baits.

Walleye fishing is fair to good, though mayfly hatches have affected the bite. Fish are scattered from 6-25 feet, depending on the lake, day, and time, on weeds, wood, rock, gravel, brush, breaks, humps, stumps, and points. Top baits include walleye suckers, fatheads, leeches, and crawlers on jigs, slip bobbers, live bait rigs, and split shot rigs. For artificials, try Beetle Spins, crankbaits, and stickbaits.

Northern Pike:
Northern action is good around weeds in 4-18 feet near structure and panfish. Productive baits include northern suckers, spinners, spinnerbaits, and spoons. For trophy pike, work deeper water with larger baits.

Largemouth Bass:
Largemouth are active on shallow to mid-depth weeds, stumps, slop, rocks, brush, and cribs. Work those areas with weedless plastics, frogs, rigged worms, swim jigs, spinners, and topwaters.

Smallmouth Bass:
Smallmouth action is inconsistent. Fish rock and wood in various depths with tubes and plastics in crawfish colors, rigged worms, Beetle Spins, and jigs with leeches or crawlers.

Crappies are scattered from 2-25 feet, but moving deeper and suspending on/over weeds and weedlines, bogs, brush, drop-offs, and cribs. Baits of choice include crappie minnows, tubes, plastics, Gulp! baits, and waxies on jigs or slip bobbers, and small spinners.

Good numbers of bluegill remain on spawning beds in 2-6 feet of water. They will hit nearly any offering, but best choices include waxies, worms, leeches, plastics, and Gulp! baits, and small surface baits.

Upcoming Events
June 20: Northern zone smallmouth bass season opened 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.