July 13, 2015
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
Steve Suman

This could be a nice week, but it is difficult to tell by the forecasts! Temperatures warm through the week and every day shows “chances” of thunderstorms, but all less than 50 percent. Watch for severe weather, but do not allow a little moisture to dampen your outdoor fun!

“Rains slowed fishing, but the fish are still there,” says Pat at Happy Hooker, “The trick is finding them!
“Fish muskies on breaks and weeds with bucktails, spinnerbaits, and topwaters. Catch walleyes on weed edges and structure in 12-25 feet with leeches, crawlers, and fatheads. For northern, fish weed flats in 4-8 feet with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and suckers.
“Catch largemouth around weeds and piers with wacky worms, jigs/craws, and topwaters. For smallmouth, fish tubes, and swim baits along breaks, bars, and points.
“Crappies are suspending on weedlines and over deeper water. Use crappie minnows, plastics, and Gulp! baits. Catch bluegills along weedlines in 12-20 feet with waxies, leaf worms, leeches, and plastics.”
Guide Dave Dorazio at Outdoor Creations says musky action is great on the Chippewa Flowage.
“Fish weeds in 3-10 feet using bucktails with Colorado blades and topwaters, with great surface action in evenings. For walleyes, work weed edges with crawlers and leeches on jigs and leeches on slip bobbers.
“Bass anglers are catching nice largemouth in the natural lakes on the west side fishing thick weeds with weedless plastics and frogs. Catch crappies in weed beds in 6-22 feet with Beetle Spins, crappie minnows, and jigs/plastics. There is a good evening bog bite.”
Jim at Hayward Bait says muskies are on deep weedlines and bars.
“Fish 5-20 feet with bucktails and topwaters in early morning and evening. For walleye, fish points, weed edges, and gravel bars in 10-25 feet with leeches on slip bobbers and weedless jigs, or troll crawler harnesses and crankbaits. For northern, fish suckers, spinnerbaits, spoons, and bucktails on weedlines/cabbage in 5-20 feet.
“Fish largemouth on weedlines and docks with wacky worms and topwaters. For smallmouth, work jigs and plastics on deep rock bars and weedlines.
“Crappies are suspending over deeper water. Use crappie minnows, waxies, and plastics. Catch bluegills in 4-10 feet with waxies, crawlers, leaf worms, and plastics.”
Mike at Jenk’s says musky fishing is decent on the Chippewa Flowage.
“Work bucktails and other subsurface baits during the day and surface baits in early morning and late evening. Walleye fishing is fair to good, with larger walleyes active 5-10 minutes before dark. Some anglers are trolling live bait on weed and stump bar edges along the river channel.
“Catch northern in heavy weeds with spinnerbaits and weedless spoons; largemouth around stumps and weed beds; and smallmouth on cribs with crawlers, wacky worms, and live bait.
“Crappie anglers are doing well on deep brush piles and cribs with crappie minnows, and Gulp! Crappie Nibbles on pink/white or chartreuse Mini-Mites.”
Jim at Minnow Jim’s says action is slow for Nelson Lake walleyes.
“Try fishing leeches, crawlers, fatheads, and Rapalas in deeper holes and the river channel.
“Largemouth fishing is very good, however. Fish weed beds, lily pads, docks, and overhangs with large spinnerbaits, weedless rigged worms, and poppers.
“Crappies and bluegills are scattered and drifting seems to be a good plan of attack. Bobber fish or jig minnows, waxies, and worms on dressed jigs or hooks, and anglers are taking some nice size crappies on larger minnows. For casting jigs, add a small spinner.”

This week, DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter discusses the “dog days” of summer.
“Many anglers refer to July and August as the dog days of summer, a time when fishing for many species starts to stagnate. There may be several reasons for that phenomenon including water temperature or many fish moving deeper and thus being harder to find. Researchers in Minnesota believe the amount of available prey may play a role in fishing success as well.
“Most species in the Midwest spawn in the spring, meaning that by midsummer there is an abundance of small bluegill, perch, and minnows in most lakes. This creates an abundant prey source for predator species, making it harder for anglers to get their attention with baits or lures.
“At some point, the abundance of these small fish starts to drop, and by fall, angling success often increases again as hungry predators have a harder time finding prey.”

Sawyer County Outdoor Projects and Education (SCOPE) is offering a DNR hunter education course with classes meeting August 4, 6, 8, and 11. The $10 fee includes all materials and bonus items. Graduates receive a Wisconsin Hunter Education Graduate Certificate, a hunting vest complements of SCOPE, and a distinctive embroidered emblem. To pre-register (required), email your name and interest to scope4youth@hotmail.com. For more information, contact Chris Wunrow (715) 558-5371.

Hayward Bass Club is hosting its Chippewa Flowage Open (open to the public) Sunday July 26, from 8 am.-4 p.m. The Landing Resort is tournament headquarters. The event is limited to 50 teams and single anglers can enter as a “team.” The entry fee is $50/team. For more information, contact Wayne Balsavich (715-699-1015; haywardbassclub@gmail.com) or Hayward Bait (715-634-2921).

Musky fishing is good in low light conditions, such as early morning and late evening. Look for fish in 4-22 feet on weedlines, bars, breaks, and rocks. Anglers are catching fish primarily on bucktails and topwaters, but fish are also hitting spinnerbaits, swim baits, and large minnow baits.

Walleye anglers are finding best success during low light, early mornings, and late evening into dark. Concentrate on depths from 10-25 feet on weeds, gravel bars, wood, deep holes, and river channels. Use leeches and crawlers on jigs, live bait rigs, slip shot rigs, and slip bobbers. Some anglers are catching fish on trolled crankbaits, Rapalas, and live bait.

Northern Pike:
Northern fishing is fair to very good around heavy weeds and cabbage, structure, and baitfish in 4-22 feet. Top tempters include spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, swim baits, small bucktails, buzz baits, trolled crankbaits, and northern suckers under bobbers.

Largemouth Bass:
Largemouth action is good to very good on/around rocks, docks, wood, weeds, slop, lily pads, cribs, brush, and bogs in depths to 15 feet. Bait choices vary from plastics – wacky/pre-rigged worms, tubes, topwaters/frogs, craws to crankbaits, spinnerbaits, crawlers, and suckers.

Smallmouth Bass:
Smallmouth present a challenge for anglers. You will find fish along weedlines, breaks, rock points and bars, stumps, and cribs. Top enticements include tubes, drop shot rigs, swim baits, jerkbaits, wacky worms, crawlers, plastics, topwaters, fatheads, and suckers.

Crappie anglers report good action, especially in the evening. Fish are suspending on weedlines, over deeper water, and near bogs, brush, and cribs in 6-22 feet. The most productive baits include crappie minnows, waxies, Mini-Mites, plastics, and Gulp! baits on jigs or plain hooks, and Beetle Spins. Slip bobbers keep baits at the preferred depth.

Look for bluegills in 4-20 feet around weeds, weedlines, wood, brush, and cribs. Use waxies, worms, leaf worms, crawler pieces, leeches, and plastics on jigs or plain hooks, with or without bobbers. If you do not catch fish in one place, change locations or try drift fishing.

Upcoming Events
July 15: Turtle season opens statewide (see regs).
July 17-19: LCO Honor the Earth Pow Wow (715) 634-8934).
July 17-19: Birchwood Bluegill Festival (800-236-2252).
July 23-25: Lumberjack World Championships (715-634-2484).
July 26: Hayward Bass Club Open Tourney, Chippewa Flowage (715-699-1015).
Through July 31: Illegal to allow dogs to run on DNR lands and Federal WPA (see regs for exceptions).
Aug. 1: Application deadline: Fall turkey; Sharp-tailed grouse; Bobcat; Fisher; Otter.
Aug. 3-6: Public hearings on 2015 migratory game bird season.
Aug. 4-11: SCOPE Hunter Education course; pre-registration required (715-558-5371).
Aug. 17-20: Bonus unit-specific antlerless deer tags f on sale at noon.
Aug. 22: Remaining fall wild turkey permits on sale at 10 a.m.
Aug. 25: Deadline to transfer Class A bear licenses to youth hunters.
Aug. 31: Bear dog training by pursuing bear closes.

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 800-724-299