Contributed by Mel’s Trading Post
Mid July brings some stability to the outdoor scene. Things by the 15th are pretty much as they’ll be for the next 30 days or so. The only change will be the gradual rise in average temperatures. But that is just details; the basic shape of the summer is now well established. Forests are flush, lakes are inviting, shaded woods cool and comforting.
Summer can be a time of high volatility as we saw last week. Big weather, heavy storms and high winds, can come in fast and hard. We saw that a week ago and we’ll likely see it again. So, always a caution: Heat and humidity are the base from which the big storms can come. Anyone outdoors, on the water or in the woods, need keep an eye on the weather.
Weather comes in from the west so the western sky shows what is coming our way. Late afternoons on a day of heat and humidity can bring the big clouds rising in the western sky and that is always a good sign to look for safer grounds.
For summer outdoor enthusiasts this is prime time. Bicyclists and paddlers, boaters and anglers, all are now into the long, hot days of July.
Anglers are finding fishing a bit inconsistent of late. Last week on days that held promise fishing was slow. No explanation except fish don’t much pay attention to the rules anglers make. In general fish are now actively seeking cooler water and on northern lakes that means they go deeper or look for shaded weedy areas or both.
Cooler nights the past few days will drop water temperatures some but not a lot. Fish will still be in deeper waters. The pattern of summer fishing is the same this week as last: walleyes in cooler, deeper waters looking for jigs tipped with crawlers, leeches or appropriate artificials. Evening is best. Muskies off the drop-off, near weeds, still active. Bucktails and surface lures are the best two lure options to start with.
And panfish responding to small live bait in deeper waters; jigs and slip bobbers both good tactics.
Bass are true summertime fish. Largemouth like the evening hours as they move to weedy areas close to shore. Fish the edges of lily pad areas with frog or minnow imitations. Smallies will usually be deeper, closer to walleyes and deep-running lures are the best way to reach them.
Summer heat makes sunscreen and sun-protective clothing necessary to all. And late hatching mosquitoes can be bothersome; repellants are needed most evenings now.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.