August 6, 2018
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
Steve Suman

The forecast for the remainder of this week is encouraging, with most highs in the 80s, lows in the 50s, and only a slight chance of rain Wednesday night. Days are shorter, nights are longer, and first week of August is history (don’t shoot the messenger!), so get out and enjoy the great summer weather while it IS summer weather!

“Fishing is on the slow side, yet productive,” says Pat at Happy Hooker. “Musky angler success is quiet, though with many reports of follows and no hookups. Big fish are not yet aggressive, but that will change later in the year. “Walleyes are concentrating over deeper mid-lake humps and other structure in 10-25 feet, with live crawlers and minnows on spinning rigs productive. The best times are still early morning and late afternoon into dark. “Northern pike are around deeper weeds and spinnerbaits, medium Mepps, and some topwaters are all working. “Bass fishing is good on most of the lakes for anglers casting and jigging near vegetation with soft plastics, wacky rigs, and topwaters such as Jitter Bugs, Hula Poppers, and frogs. “Panfish are on deeper weedy drop-off areas and most success is on slip bobbers tipped with small minnows and tube jigs and small hair and feather jigs tipped with crawler pieces.”

Mike at Jenk’s says the Chippewa Flowage is down about 2 feet and the water temperature is in the low to mid 70s. “It is still musky trolling season, but with the recent cold front more fish are on gravel bars and moving on jerkbaits and topwaters. Try targeting the Baumgarten, 50 Pound, and Church bars with Warlocks, X-Toads, and Suicks. “Walleye anglers report fair success working walleye suckers or trolling firetiger, silver, and perch color Flicker Shads and Wally Divers tight to downed trees along the Banana Islands’ shorelines. “Northern pike are active in weeds, with black and orange spinnerbaits producing the most success. Definitely work weedy bays on the west side. “Smallmouth bass action is good on plastic imitations – particularly craws – and shallow crankbaits around stumps and rocky shorelines on the east side. “Crappie action is slow for anglers hitting bogs, cribs, and brush piles. Instead, try 20-25 feet coming up to 10 feet with weed cover.”

Musky: Musky fishing is currently presenting a challenge for many anglers. There are numerous reports of sightings and follows, but fish are not making the final commitment to hit the baits. Look for fish on gravel bars and humps adjacent to deep water. Cast jerkbaits and topwaters on these areas, or troll larger crank and stick baits.

Walleye: Walleye action is inconsistent (isn’t that usually the case?), with very early mornings and late evening into dark offering the best opportunities. During the day, fish deeper cover, bars, brush, and humps out to about 30 feet. In the evening, work shallower bars and shorelines. Use crawlers and minnows on spinning rigs, walleye suckers on jigs, or troll stick and crank baits along the same areas.

Northern Pike: Northern pike action is good to very good, but primarily for smaller fish around shallow to mid-depth weeds and other cover. Best baits include spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, stickbaits, crankbaits, topwaters, and northern suckers. Try bigger baits in deeper water for trophy pike.

Largemouth Bass: Largemouth bass action is good around shallow to mid-depth weeds, weedlines and other vegetations, brush, and downed trees. Plastics in various configurations, spinners and spinnerbaits, and topwaters will all catch largemouth.

Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth bass are still active and fishing is good around areas with weeds, stumps, rocks, and gravel. The most productive offerings include soft plastics such as wacky worms/rigs, crayfish, and tubes, crankbaits, swim baits, drop-shot rigs, crawlers, and sucker minnows.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is fair. Work deeper weeds, brush, bogs, cribs, drop-offs, and humps out to about 25 feet. Baits of choice include crappie minnows, waxies, tubes, plastics, and Gulp! baits on small jigs and plain hooks fished under slip bobbers, and small spinners. Downsize offerings to improve success.

Bluegill action is very good for smaller fish in shallow areas with cover. Look for bigger ‘gills in mid-depth to deeper weeds, brush, cribs, and drop-offs. Waxies, worms, crawler pieces, tubes, and plastics on small jigs, teardrops, and plain hooks are all effective, with/without slip bobbers. For big bluegills, try deeper cover with small minnows.