Fishing/Outdoor Report:

Our unseasonal weather is about to change this weekend with a Winter Weather Advisory in place.  Forecasters  are calling for 3 to 6 inches of snow, plus a mix of some freezing rain.  However, the daytime temperatures will remain in the 20’s, which is still above the normal averages for this time of year.  Hopefully this snow will get the snowmobiles running again.  Ice thicknesses vary from lake to lake, but for the most part anglers are reporting 8 to 12 inches of ice.  Still not safe enough for vehicles yet as there has been a couple of breakthroughs reported.   Snowmobiles or ATV’s travel is the only vehicles that should be on the lake at this time.  Some lake are reporting some scattered areas of slush. 

As for the fishing, there seems to be a upturn in the bite.  Anglers are reporting some good catches in almost all species.   

Area lakes have been putting out plenty of action, you just have to try something different.  It is also important to spread out and seek out new areas for new bites. We are past the stages of new ice, so those community spots that have been fished a lot will hold on to a lot of picky fish. 

Many of the panfish bites are on account of being in areas of less pressured fish.  A couple different baits have been working well for both crappies, perch and bluegill. One method is the old fashioned simple hook and live bait, split shot and slip bobber.  If you cannot get fish to commit to that, try going with the common small jigging patterns with a tungsten jig and wax worms.   Do not be surprised to lock up with random bass and pike when hunting panfish.  Walleyes are still being caught, but getting a little bit harder every day. 

Low light periods are important for the next several weeks.  Set up on the side of mid-lake humps or other structures in the later afternoons. 

No ice is safe ice, so here are some safety tips:

  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Dress for winter comfort and bring safety gear.
  • Warm layers that are water-resistant.
  • Sturdy waterproof boots with spike-style creepers for traction.
  • Extra hat and gloves.
  • Rescue throw rope.
  • Ice picks. 

For snowmobilers, we have not had any new snow and we have had warm temps, but the trails have held on to what they have and held up somewhat.  Spoke to several riders and all say they continue to be surprised how good the trails have held up from the Flowage to the north. There are some rocks and some inside corners that have some washboard and the trails along the highways are pretty brown, but once into the woods they are good. 

No groomers have been out.  All this being said the forecast is calling for snow Thursday and Friday before the weekend.  This will be very much welcomed, even if it is only 3 inches that would make conditions in many areas of the county excellent.

 

 

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.