It’s all about the weather in this part of the world, isn’t it? Heat this week and it’s all anyone talked about. Six months from now? Same thing but with cold. Say what you will but in northern Wisconsin weather is the dominant force for all of us.
The heat of the week just past will abate some for the weekend and next week. Highs of 90 will be behind us for now; 80s will seem mild in comparison. But summer heat is never far away for the next 30 days. It is as much a force as day light and darkness.
In comparison to the air, lake temperatures are mild and pleasant and conditions for water sports now are as good as they’ll get for the entire year. Anyone who likes to be on or in water had best not waste any time; it’s as good as it’s going to get.
On dry land things are mid-summer perfect. A mix of warm temperatures and consistent rain has the north woods lush and green and full. Wild berries are coming on (raspberries now, blackberries down the line) and the world is about as green as you’ll ever see it.
Mid-summer fishing is a mixed bag. Start with one fact: fish are still there and they still need food. But location is everything and deeper, cooler water is where fish will be. Where that cool water is can vary with individual lakes and it may take time to find the right area. But if there is one thing consistent on summer fishing it is that: find the sweet spot of water temperature and you’ll find fish.
We continue to get good reports from walleye anglers for the most part. Muskies have been slow; bass and panfish generally good. Most fish are in the deeper water, seeking out their comfort zones. Weedy areas help provide shade and cooler conditions as well as shelter for prey fish. Those areas are always productive in summer heat.
With the forecast showing steady, warm temperatures the week ahead looks good for fishing. The key is to find the areas that hold fish. The fish are less likely to move very far in July and August.
Heavy storms are always a possibility in summer heat so caution there is the word. And sunscreen and UV resistant clothing and hats are always a good idea.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff at Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.