Last week, Monday and Tuesday, we had a horrendous storm move through the area causing wide spread damage throughout Northwestern Wisconsin. The heavy rains, 8 to 12+ inches depending where you were located, caused flooding to roads, homes and some highways lost culverts and bridges to fast flowing and rising waters and numerous road closures. High winds took down trees and power lines causing wide spread power outages to the area. Moored boats were sunk and some heavily damaged by falling trees and the wind. Docks and piers were under water and many wooden section of docks were blown into the water. Lake levels were at the highest we have seen and a no wake rule was asked to be observed. Some area are still closed causing people to find new passage to their destination. More time was spent this past week trying to salvage belongings instead of fishing.
This week started out very pleasant and people returned to fishing, but with the lake levels so high successes were few. Appears that the fish have found new places to hide in the high water. Damns were opened and water levels began to slowly subside. Then as the week progressed came the heat and humidity and another storm, but this time only an inch of rain. Once again high winds took down more trees and caused power outages in the area. This has not been the best time for fishing, nor other outdoor activities. With the heat people sought air conditioning or sent more time in the water than on it. Hopefully this will change and we will get some consistent weather.
Fishing has been the best in the early morning hours and later on in the evening hours for all species. During the day people are seeking shelter from the heat, is this the dog days of summer? Panfish action has been mostly around the weed areas. Crappie action has been best in the evening hours. Fish the weed areas and edges in 6 to 10 feet of water. Slip bobber rig and small minnow is the best live bait. Small tube jigs will work also. Bluegill are a little shallower and a piece of nightcrawler and leafworm will work for them. People are picking up some perch off the mud flats using small minnow, panfish size leeches and wax worms.
Walleye action has been slow, but a few have been caught. Again, fish the evening hours when they come shallower to feed. Presently a large leech or nightcrawler seems to be preferred bait. Fish the drops and weed edges in 6 to 10 feet of water. Smaller, shallow running, crankbaits will work also.
Bass action is still the most productive. Largemouth are still in the weeds and around priers and docks. Fish largemouth with plastics, either with topwater weedless frogs, rigged worms or wacky style. Smallmouth are in the rocky/gravel areas. Tube jigs, diving crankbaits or leeches have produced.
Northern action is fair and can be a continuous action all day. During the heat of the day try fishing for these. Smaller northern are in the shallow weeds and will bite on almost anything. Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and small Mepp’s are good baits for northern. Larger northern will be found in the deeper weeds and weed edges.
Musky action has been slow during the day. The better bite seems to be late in the afternoon into dark. Anglers are seeing follows, but only a few hookups. Important to do the figure eight after every retrieve. Almost any size bait should be good for musky action now. Top water baits seems to be the most productive at this time.
It is not all doom and gloom, there are plenty of good days ahead, just remember to pack the repellent. Get out and enjoy some time on the water.