Outdoor Report: Summer has been delayed
The best news for the upcoming weekend is that the temperature is tabbed to rise to the 70ish range. This after a week of chill and cloud and rain that had most people in a funk by Thursday. There was talk through April and May that we were skipping a true spring and going right into summer weather, but that has not held true. A warm day or two followed by a drop in temperatures seems more the rule and the best that can be noted is that all the rain is bringing lake levels up.
The cool, rainy weather has cut outdoor activity to a pretty low level for June. Fishing and water skiing, bicycling and kayaking, and pretty much all other manner of time outside is as low now as it might be in early April. Not much we can do about it, but that is the way it is.
We saw a turn toward some normalcy for walleyes last week as we got scattered reports of fish moving out of the shallows and into more typical haunts of 10 to 15 feet of water. But the bite has remained inconsistent. What walleyes were taken seem, on many lakes, to be staging in emerging weeds just off the drop-off. That is where we usually would find them in mid-May, but this year everything is running late. Minnows on jigs still seem the best combination, though leeches and crawlers often start to produce about now. But the walleye action is mixed at best and has been that way all season.
Muskies need some warmer weather to get in gear. We’ve not had it and they’ve not been very active. There is not much to say about muskies, save that the fish we are seeing have been near shallow water and slow-moving lures are still your best bet. Surface lures often come on strong about now, but this season we’re not seeing that yet. Big fish are lethargic for the most part, so keep retrieves slower-paced than usual and work the shallower waters just above new growth weeds.
Bluegills are usually very strong but again, things have been slower this year as cooler waters have hampered activity. A few warm, sunny days may turn the tide with bluegills (as well as with most other fish) and this weekend might, if all goes well, bring better fishing.
Things continue in spite of the weather and this week has brought reports of fawns and young birds. As with all wild things, we continually see advice to leave them alone, no matter how lonely and forlorn they seem; the mother is most often nearby and will be there for them.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.