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Dick Ellis Blog:
12/7/2020
On November 4, most of the country sensed that something was wrong. The previous day, Election Day, in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia vote counting was stopped late at night, poll watchers were told to go home, and vote counting was resumed. By morning the big lead that Donald Trump held in the evening had vanished under the cover of darkness.A few days later the media, not the people, declared Joe Biden the winner. Biden then beg...
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Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report

Steve Suman

 Hayward’s Fall Festival visitors enjoyed pleasant weather this past weekend and the current forecast for this weekpredicts mild to warm temperatures and mostly sunny skies – near-perfect weather for all outdoor activities!

“A little consistency in the weather would certainly improve fishing,” says Pat at Happy Hooker. “Low light periods seem best for all species, and dropping water temperatures should improve the bite.

“Muskie fishing is best with bucktails, Bull Dawgs, spinnerbaits, and gliders. Pike are active along deep structure and shallow weed flats, hitting northern suckers, spinners, buzz baits, swim baits, and crankbaits.”

Jim at Hayward Bait says the muskie bite is picking up with cooler water.

“Fish weedlines and points in less than 20 feet with bucktails, Bull Dawgs, gliders, tubes, stickbaits, and suckers. For walleyes on the clear lakes, use fatheads, walleye suckers, and crawlers on weedlines, rock bars, and points in 15-35 feet.”

Guide Dave Dorazio at Outdoor Creations says Chippewa Flowage muskie fishing is as inconsistent as the weather.

“Some anglers struggle, while others are having good action. Fish weed beds and edges in 2-6 feet with topwaters and double-10 bucktails. Largemouth anglers are doing well with spinnerbaits in weeds and weedless plastics in thick slop.”

Randy at Jenk’s says the Chippewa Flowage is down about two feet, with water temperature in the low 60s.

“Muskie action on the bar edges is fair with bucktails and improving on suckers. Northern fishing is good on minnows and spinnerbaits. Crappie action is good on cribs and deep brush with minnows and Gulp! baits.”

Carolyn at Anglers All in Ashland says fishing is very good on Chequamegon Bay.

“Reports are good for brown trout and coho off Washburn to the Sioux and Onion rivers and out to Long Island, with many anglers flat-lining stickbaits in 20-30 feet of water.

“The fall spawners are moving into the streams, though not yet in big numbers. Shoreline anglers are casting by the Sioux and Onion with large spinners and spoons in bright pinks and oranges.”

DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter says invasive species issues are not going away anytime soon and an important step in managing them is documenting new invasions.

“DNR warden John Schreiber says anglers should document where and when they catch an invasive fish and notrelease it back into the water. Instead, hold onto the specimen and contact the local fisheries biologist.

“Informing the DNR is only necessary if it is an undocumented invasive. For example, we have documented common carp in the Chippewa Flowage. Gar and several lamprey species, often believed to be invasive, are native to some of our lakes and streams.”

DNR fisheries biologist Skip Sommerfeldt says recent cool but pleasant weather made for good fishing conditions, though only mediocre success.

“Muskie anglers report many follows and some catches fishing bucktails, jerkbaits, and topwaters on weed beds and deep edges. Walleye anglers are doing well with minnows, leeches, and crawlers on weedlines, gravel shores, and rock humps. Northern fishing is good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits around near-shore weed beds.”

In the past week, Hayward area registration stations (Hillman’s Store, Hayward Bait, Shooting Star) registered seven bear and 17 deer for archery deer season, including 14 antlerless and three bucks, one a very nice eight-pointer.

Note: To retain velvet antlers, you must obtain a special tag from a conservation warden.

Hayward Lakes Chapter-Muskies, Inc. Fall Muskie Tournament is Oct. 4-6 and you still have time to enter. All participants are eligible for the drawing for the Grand Door Prize, a 2013 Lund 1725 Pro Guide tiller boat, ShoreLand’r trailer, and 60 hp Mercury motor. Entry fees are $90 for adults and $25 for youth 16 and younger. Enter in person or by phone until 11 p.m. October 3 at Hayward Bait (715-634-2921) or Jenk’s (715-462-3055).

FISHING REPORT

 

Muskie:

Muskie action is improving with the cooler water, though early mornings and late afternoons are still best. Target deep weedlines, weed beds, points, bars, and their edges in 2-20 feet. Sucker fishing is picking up, but big bucktails, Bull Dawgs, tubes, topwaters, jerkbaits, gliders, stick and spinner baits are all catching fish.

Walleye:

Walleye action is fair to good, with fish scattered and suspending and depths from 8-35 feet. Concentrate on weeds, weedlines, points, gravel, bars, brush, bogs, and humps with fatheads, walleye suckers, crawlers, and leeches. Cast and trolled crank, stick, minnow, and spinner baits are also catching fish, particularly in early morning and evening hours.

 

Northern: 

Northern fishing is fair to very good, depending on the lake and day. Look for weeds and baitfish in depths to more than 20 feet, with bigger fish generally deeper. Northern suckers, bucktails, spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, and crankbaits all work well.

Largemouth Bass:

Largemouth fishing is inconsistent, with best success in late afternoon. The bass moved a bit deeper (to 15 feet) on weed beds, weedlines, logs, bogs, brush, and stumps. Go with plastics (worms, tubes), swim jigs, spinners, spinnerbaits, topwaters, leeches, crawlers, and minnows.

Smallmouth Bass:

Smallmouth action is fair. Anglers are finding fish on rock bars, humps, weeds, wood, brush, breaklines, and cribs in 10-30 feet of water. Artificials such as tubes, plastics, swim jigs, drop-shot rigs, and crankbaits are easier on the fish than live bait.

Crappie:

 

Crappie action is good and getting better. Fish are suspending over deeper water and on weed edges, weedlines, cribs, and brush, with best fishing in early morning and evening. Use crappie minnows, fatheads, waxies, plastics, tube jigs, and Gulp! baits on jigs or plain hooks, with or without bobbers.

Bluegill:

Bluegills offer good action, but expect some ‘searching and sorting.’ Work weeds, weedlines, wood, cribs, brush, and bogs in 8-20 feet, with bigger ‘gills in the deeper water. Use waxies, worms, leaf worms, crawlers, plastics, and Gulp! baits on jigs, teardrops, and plain hooks, with or without bobbers.

Perch:

Perch (and walleye!) anglers are catching perch on gravel bars and sand, weed, and mud flats in depths to 30 feet with fatheads, crappie minnows, leaf worms, and crawlers on jigs, plain hooks, and split-shot rigs.

Upcoming Events

Sept. 27-28: Cable Area Fall Festival (800-533-7454).

Sept. 30: Seasons close: Inland trout (see regs.); Sturgeon on inland waters. Lake trout season on Lake Superior.

Oct. 4-5: Stone Lake Cranberry Festival.

Oct. 4-6: Hayward Lakes Chapter Muskies, Inc. Fall Muskie Tournament (715-634-2921).

Oct. 5-6: Youth Deer Hunt.

Oct. 5-6: Musky Tale Resort Crappie Quest (715-462-3838).

Oct. 5-13: Special deer hunt for people with disabilities.

Oct. 8: Bear season closes.

Oct. 15: Wolf hunting and trapping season opens.

Oct. 19: Seasons open: Pheasant; Ruffed grouse (Zone B); Bobwhite quail; Hungarian partridge; Raccoon gun and trapping (residents); Red and gray fox hunting and trapping; Coyote trapping (hunting continuous); Muskrat; Mink (Northern Zone);Fisher trapping; Bobcat hunting and trapping Period 1.

 For more information on area events and activities, visit the Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau website, view its Calendar of Events, or call 1-800-724-2992.