Fishing Report:

In early November anglers began testing for safe ice and did managed to find some.  Since then, more ice opportunities have arisen, mostly on smaller lakes and shallow bay areas. My rule of thumb is 4 inches of ice for is safe for walking, but it is better to have 6 inches.  Some of the small shallower lakes has that already.  It is by far the earliest ice we have experienced in a long while. Because of the frigid temperatures the newly formed ice is setting up very nicely.  We are by no means encouraging anglers to go out on the ice. This time of year it is especially important to go ice fishing with someone who understands the lake and is an avid hard water angler.  I urge people to follow some safety tips: 

Check in with bait shops, resorts and/or fishing guides

Bring a buddy just in case

Bring a spud bar and check ever few steps as you go

Stay away from anything that looks suspect

Take your time

Bring a personal flotation device, rope, ice picks and minimal amount of fishing gear

Come up with a plan in case something happens

Bring an extra set of dry clothes and towel

Keep a phone charged and in something waterproof

Let people know your plan and to check in with you often

Keep an eye on the ice for any changing conditions

Do not do something that seems iffy.  In other words, use common sense. 

On the new ice so far, good action has come from tip-up flags in 2-10 feet of water. Plan on catching northern pike during the daylight hours.  Best tactics a tip-up rigged with a leader with a red treble, split shot and large shiner or walleye minnow.  Northern will eat at all depths of a water column, but start right under the ice to around halfway down. Northern pike have eyes that allow them to look up, so putting a bait on the bottom is not good.  Having the bait right under the ice. 

Target walleyes on the bottom, but downsize live bait to a walleye sucker or a fathead when using tip-ups.  Walleyes have been active in low light times of the day. 

Fish seem to be aggressive right before sunset.  Best tactic has been jigging small  spoons with a minnow head and paying attention to your electronics. 

The 9 day gun season for deer opens Saturday, so if you are walking in the woods be sure to wear some bright orange.  We have no reports of deer being harvested this year during the archery hunt.  Hunters have passed on a lot of does and a few young bucks.  Grouse hunters has had moderate success and seeing a few birds.  Counts appears to be down from previous years. 

Whatever you do be safe out there! 

 

Let’ Go Fishing

Let Fishing Reel You In!  You arrived in Hayward area ready to start your vacation. You made a trip to the local bait store and stocked up on the best baits and lures to reel in that catch of a lifetime. You head to the lake, cast your line and felt that first tug of a bite. What did you reel in?  The “Quiet Lakes” just might offer the best multi-species, freshwater fishing in Sawyer County!  With an amazing variety of fish in a diversity of lakes, the “Quiet Lakes” is a top-rated fishing destination for anglers of any experience level. Whether you want to spend a quiet day by yourself on the water, rent a pontoon and take the entire family, or hire a guide to help you land the best catch, you will find it all in here.

 

Musky (Muskellunge)MUSKY

The king of freshwater fish. They are the top predator and least populated fish in our lakes. Catch and release is the common practice these days. It’s known as the fish of 10,000 casts, but hiring a guide will cut those odds.

 

Northern PikeNORTHERN PIKE

Wisconsin’s second largest predator fish, second only to their relative the Musky. Pike are typically very aggressive and will feed anytime the opportunity allows. They prefer weed flats and other ambush points.

 

WalleyeWALLEYE

The walleye is the largest member of the perch family and is often targeted for its table fare. Walleyes can be tough to find, but when they are located, they typically cooperate and bite. Bait secret: minnows, nightcrawlers and leeches, and back to minnows as the season starts and finishes.

 

Yellow PerchPERCH

A small fish that most anglers seek more for the taste than the tug. Adults average 7 to 10 inches which make it a good fish for all ages to catch. Perch have a tendency to congregate in large schools making it a one-stop spot to catch your dinner.

 

Largemouth BassBASS

Large and smallmouth bass are brothers, but like family they do take separate paths.  Our lakes offer untapped largemouth fishing, and some area lakes that offers trophy fishing for smallmouth. NOTE: the season for smallmouth does not open to harvest until the 3rd Saturday of June. Regulations for harvest of largemouth on our lakes are any size may be kept with a limit of five.

 

Panfish: BluegillPANFISH

These fish are probably one of the most popular sport and eating fish in Wisconsin. Crappies, bluegills, and sunfish are our most common “panfish”. Probably the most targeted fish in the spring, and often over harvested. Remember to take only enough for a meal and leave some for another day. Limit on panfish is 25, but only 10 of any one species.