July 23, 2018
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
Steve Suman

Musky: Musky action is fair to good and anglers are picking up a few nice fish. Concentrate on weeds and weed edges, points, breaklines, and drop-offs. Work shallower areas in early morning and evening hours. A wide range of baits will work, including bucktails, spinners, Bull Dawgs, crankbaits, large stick and jerk baits (cast and trolled), and topwaters.

Walleye: Walleye fishing is fair to good and improving, with (as usual) the best fishing in shallower water during early morning and late evening hours into dark. Look for fish around weeds, weed edges, wood, brush, and breaklines out to about 15 feet. The most productive presentations include crawlers and leeches on jigs, split shot rigs, under slip bobbers, and on spinner rigs, as well as cast and trolled Flicker Shad, crankbaits, and stickbaits.

Northern Pike: Northern pike fishing is good to very good, with most action on small fish. That could change with cooling water temperatures. Look for fish everywhere from shallow to deep weeds, with bigger pike deeper. Top baits include minnows, northern suckers, spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, small bucktails, crankbaits, stickbaits, and plastics.

Largemouth Bass: Largemouth bass fishing is good to very good on shallow to mid-depth weeds, weed edges, lily pads, structure, and overhead cover. Best baits include soft plastics in various configurations, wacky worms, crankbaits, spinners, buzz baits, and topwaters.

Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth bass action is good to very good in shallow, mid-depths, and deep water for anglers fishing around rock, gravel, weeds, wood, and cribs. Top producing baits include plastics such as tubes, worms, crayfish, frogs, minnows, and topwaters, and crawlers.

Crappie: Crappie action is fair to good, but improving with cooler weather. Look for fish on deeper drop-offs, weedlines, brush, bogs, and cribs out to about 20 feet. Late afternoon into evening hours is generally the best time for success. Crappie minnows, leeches, plastics, and Gulp! baits on small jigs under slip bobbers are all producing catches.

Bluegill: Bluegill fishing is good, especially for smaller fish in and around shallow weeds and structure. For bigger ‘gills, work deeper water in/on weeds, weedlines, and cribs. Waxies, worms, crawler chunks, small leeches, small minnows, and plastics on plain hooks or small jigs fished under slip bobbers will all produce action.