The month of transition, from summer to autumn activities
AUGUST IS A MIXED BAG
The heat and humidity of the past week should abate in the upcoming days as August reaches its mid-point. Those temperatures will make outdoor activities more pleasant than most have found in last week’s muggy heat. It is far too early to say we’ve passed the hottest temperatures of the season but the averages suggest that may be the case.
What we have in the middle of August is a mixed bag. Fishing remains slow and steady; hunting season nears even in the heat of late summer; daylight hours are noticeably shorter; and tourist season has peaked as school sports takes more families home. All this makes this time an enjoyable one as we mix the lazy days of summer with the anticipation of upcoming season changes.
Blackberries are coming ripe in what looks to be a bumper crop. Bicycling and boating now are more enjoyable as the heat has peaked. Camping and picnicking both provide easy-to-access breaks from the humdrum of day-to-day life. And add to that reduced crowds. All in all, a nice time of the year.
Fishing has not changed in the past weeks nor will it soon. Deeper, cooler water is now the favorite haunt of all game fish and that will be a constant for the next several weeks at minimum. The key is in finding that zone and locating fish. The edges of weedy areas in deeper water is usually the best area for finding fish, but underwater structure in the form of fish cribs or natural rocky areas are also a good bet.
Walleyes are still on leeches, crawlers or plastics; muskies will still look for buck tails for the most part; surface lures on cloudy days or in the evening. Smallmouth bass like deeper, cooler water while largemouth will move from those deeper areas to shallow water in the evening. All in all, summer fishing patterns remain unchanged.
Hunt season is now only weeks away for the first openers: Early goose, teal and doves open on Sept. 1; other seasons in the weeks to follow. Now is the time for hunt preparation, practice and scouting.
Mid August is a turning point; two weeks ago it was full-on summer; two weeks from now, early autumn. Summer is fading fast.
The Outdoor Report is provided by Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.