We are into August this week and like it or not August is the month that tips the scales from summer at the start to autumn at the finish. Long, hot days dominate the first week; by Labor Day days are noticeably shorter and cooler weather is coming on. In the world of Wisconsin outdoors the month is a hodgepodge. Summer activities are in full swing now but autumn hunt seasons are now only weeks away. Rain and heat have produced great growing conditions and wild berries will be in prime form soon even as backyard gardens begin to yield up all they can.
Fishing will slow in August as warmer water dominates the scene. Fishing this week pretty much will match last week as fish hold in deeper, cooler water. They will remain there in a summer pattern for most of the next 4 to 5 weeks. Deep weedy areas hold fish and the edges of those weed beds are where you want to fish.
Muskies have been steady, nothing exceptional. Bucktails remain a good choice and presentation tight to weedy areas is the key. Cloudy days can be productive as can evenings. The big fish are looking for baitfish and the baitfish seek shelter in weedy areas.
Much of the same can be said of walleyes as they search for food in the weeds. Leeches and crawlers are still the best bet and that will be the case for the rest of the month. Walleye action has been good for those anglers that can locate the prime areas near fish cribs and next to weeds that abut sand or rocky areas in deeper water.
Bass fishing in summer is the highlight for many anglers. Bass do well in the heat and remain active. Largemouth like to come in at sundown to feed under lily pads and in the evening surface lures and frog imitations can be very productive. Smallmouth will stay in deeper water and are often found in the same areas as walleyes. Deep running lures will take smallmouth as can walleye offerings in the form of leeches and minnows.
Panfish are, no surprise, in deeper, cooler water. Small jigs fished outside the weeds or just above them will do well.
August is typically the month of high heat so any outside activity needs to adjust to that. Sunscreen and protective clothing, ample amounts of water, large hats to protect from sun exposure, all those are good bets as we head into the last weeks of summer.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff at Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.