Outdoor Report: This summer a disappointment for some, but great for fishing
We rush full bore into August with what can best be described as Goldilocks weather: not too hot; not too cold. Which, for most, is not all bad; not all good. If you like the heat common to late July and early August, this summer disappoints. If you like it mild, the summer has been a good one.
What the temperate weather has done is stretch fishing success well into summer. By now, a typical year will have seen days of high heat that drives water temperatures up. Fish, most usually, slow down in the heat of summer. Not this year.
This summer, we’ve seen more moderate water temperatures, not a good thing for swimmers perhaps, but not a bad thing for anglers. It is unusual to find hot walleye fishing the last week of July, but last week that’s exactly what we found and this week is lining up to be more of the same. Walleyes are in the cooler water, 12 to 15 feet on a typical lake, deeper on the big, deep lakes. They are in weedy areas adjacent to sand or rock. And they can be caught.
The best rig for summer walleyes is a jig with a leech or crawler (sometimes only a half-crawler is needed). That should work this week. Location is critical; that never changes. But if you can locate the edge of submerged weeds where they run into rock or sand, you should find fish.
Best times for summer angling are always the hour at sunrise and the last hour or so of daylight in the evening. That is the case, regardless of weather.
Crappies showed some sign of life last week and bass have been pretty steady. Muskies have slowed a bit, but are still fairly consistent. Top-water lures work well for larger fish as do mid-sized lures worked along weedy areas and deeper near the drop-off.
August is here and with it the last gasp of summer. Difficult as it is to believe, hunt seasons start in the next 30 to 45 days even as summer begins to wind down. With pleasant weather and mosquitoes on the decline, we’ve got some great days ahead.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.