May 28, 2012
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
This weekend, June 2-3, is Free Fishing Weekend in Wisconsin. All residents and nonresidents can fish all waters of the state without fishing licenses, or trout and salmon stamps, though all other fishing regulations do apply.
The Great Divide Ranger District is hosting a free Kids Fishing Derby Saturday June 2 at Lake Hayward City Beach and Park. Young anglers (to 15 years of age) will fish for bluegill, sunfish, crappie, and northern pike. Register at 8:30 a.m. and start fishing at 9 a.m. For more information, contact Kathy Moe at the Great Divide office (715) 634-4821.
“Water temperatures are in the low to mid 60s, a great spring range for plenty of activity,” says Pat at Happy Hooker. “We expect the next few weeks to provide outstanding fishing opportunities. Crappies are spawning in the shallows and downed timber is always a good bet. Try crappie minnows under slip bobbers, or if you prefer artificials, Mini Mites, Tattle Tails, or small jigs with Twister Tails.”
At Hayward Bait, Dennis says this is bluegill time and they are spawning in shallow water areas, such as bays, with warmer water. He notes the northern bass zone is catch-and-release only until June 16 and suggests all anglers take a few minutes to read over the regulation pamphlet.
Randy at Jenk’s says Chippewa Flowage muskies are not yet revving up since it is early and water temperatures in the upper 50s are still a little chilly. Most of last weekend’s action was on slowly worked jerkbaits, twitch baits, and bucktails.
Guide Dave Dorazio at Outdoor Creations advises early season Chippewa Flowage muskie anglers to toss six-inch minnow baits and small bucktails near weeds and wood cover. Shallow bluegills are hitting waxies, worms, and plastics.
Cathy at Minnow Jim’s reports Nelson Lake walleye action is decent for anglers trolling the river channel, rocky shorelines, and drop-offs with stickbaits and spinners and jigging fatheads and leeches under slip bobbers. For shallow bluegills, work shorelines with worms and waxies.
At Bay Park Resort on Trego Flowage, Dan says smallmouth action turned on in shallow water last week and surface baits, leeches, and minnows work well. Largemouth are shallow and feeding on the same baits, as well as plastic worms and jigs. Crappie and bluegill action continues in 2-6 feet of water on minnows and jigs.
Carolyn at Anglers All on Chequamegon Bay in Ashland says trout and salmon are running in about 40-60 feet of water and most anglers are trolling spoons, bait flies, Spin-N-Glos, or squids. Rough weather made smallmouth fishing tough in the Sand Cut area, but the fish are still in the shallows and action will improve when the water clears.
At Hudson’s Guide Service in Bayfield, Jim says fishing is excellent, but if conditions muddy, try lake trout in the Islands. Troll spoons and Spin-N-Glos in 40-80 feet of water off the Islands and 80-100+ feet on the flats between islands or along refuge lines. For spawning smallmouth, fish slow moving plastics such as tubes and worms.
“Water temperatures are hovering in the mid 60s range on most lakes,” says DNR fisheries biologist Skip Sommerfeldt. “Bass have started building nests, but varying water temperatures keep chasing them to deep water. Expect spawning activity to explode with a warm, stable weather. Spawning panfish continue to provide excellent fishing opportunities.”
Hayward Lakes Chapter-Muskies, Inc. invites the public to attend June 5 meeting this Tuesday at Dick-Sy Roadhouse, 10 miles east of Hayward on Highway 77. Well-known guide and Indian Trail Resort owner John Dettloff, the featured speaker, will discuss Chippewa Flowage fishing. His presentation begins at 7 p.m., following a 6 p.m. general business meeting. For more information, call Mike Persson (715) 634-4543.
Northern zone muskie season opened this past weekend and some waters had very good action despite “less than desirable” weather conditions. Small to medium minnow baits, bucktails, and muskie suckers topped the list. Check back next week for more a more detailed muskie report.
Walleye anglers are still catching fish, though action slowed a bit in the past week. Work weed edges, gravel, drop-offs, break lines, brush, and river channels in depths from 12-25 feet. As usual, early morning, late evening into dark, and any low light periods, are best. Jigs tipped with fatheads continue to be the favorite, but leeches and crawlers are also producing good catches, as are stick and crank baits trolled or cast along the shoreline and on weed edges.
Northern pike action is very good on weeds, along shorelines, and near spawning panfish, from shallow water out to about 14 feet. When pike are “on the feed,” just about any bait works, but top choices include northern suckers, spoons, spinnerbaits, and surface, stick, and crank baits. Walleye and crappie anglers fishing with jigs and minnows are making many incidental catches of northerns.
Reminder: Bass fishing in the northern bass zone is catch-and-release only until June 16.
For largemouth, fish shallow weeds and rock out to the first break with spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, and soft plastics. Smallmouth anglers should concentrate on rocks/weed and sand/gravel transition areas from shallow water out to about 18 feet with plastics, tubes, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits.
Crappies have completed spawning on many lakes and are moving to deeper water. Start shallow and work out to about 18 feet near wood/brush, as well as weeds, bogs, and cribs. Use crappie minnows, fatheads, plastics, Gulp! baits, Mini Mites, Tattle Tails, Twister Tails, worms, and waxies on small jigs or plain hooks, with or without bobbers. Try small crankbaits and Beetle Spins for larger fish.
Bluegills are spawning and action is excellent in shallow water on most lakes. You can catch larger fish with slightly larger baits in a bit deeper water. Baits of choice – and at this time the ‘gills are not all that selective – include waxies, worms, leaf worms, crawler pieces, plastics, and Gulp! baits on small jigs or plain hooks, fished with or without a bobber. For some fun topwater action, try fishing poppers.
May 26: Muskie season opened north of Hwy 10.
June 2-3: Free Fishing Weekend.
June 2: Great Divide Ranger District Kids Fishing Derby at Lake Hayward city beach and park (715-634-4821).
June 3: State Parks Open House Day. Free admission to all state parks, forests, and trails.
June 5: Hayward Lakes Chapter Muskies, Inc. meeting at Dick-Sy Roadhouse. (715-634-4543.)
June 16: Northern zone bass season goes from catch-and-release to daily bag limits. (See regs.)
June 17: CFAPOA 3rd Annual Big Chip Fish Fest at The Landing on County Road CC.
Jun 21-24: Muskie Festival (715-634-8662).
Jun 22-24: Hayward Lions Club 63rd Annual Musky Festival Fishing Contest.
For more information on area events and activities, visit the Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau website, view its Calendar of Events, or call 1-800-724-2992.