One has every reason to wonder now, well into August, if we’ve had the hottest days of summer. If the heat, the 90 degree stuff, the big heat, if that is all behind us. There is every reason to think so, given averages. The week ahead holds forecast of nice weather, 70s for the most part, moderate temperatures compared to weeks past. Is it that the heat of summer is behind us?
Given that September is only days away now we are probably about to put summer in the rearview mirror and look ahead to autumn. Evening comes earlier now; there is often a coolness and freshness at daybreak. If you love summer and if you live for summer those days are numbered; best make the most of what is left.
We stand in that transition as we do in late August every year. Fishing in August is often the slowest of the year and this year seems no exception to that rule. It has been a slow run the past week or two. Fish are deep and uncooperative for the most part. High heat slows anglers in the same way deep cold slows them in January. So fewer anglers on the water; fish deep and difficult to locate; that makes for slow going.
We’ve seen some walleye and musky action but it has been slow. Bass have been better; they always are in summer times. Panfish scattered but deeper now. We’d never say not to go out fishing but in August one has to temper expectations. Fish deeper structure, look for the deep water weed beds and manmade fish cribs, be patient. Fish are there and they do feed in August but sometimes the best that can be said of August angling is that it puts us closer to September when things improve.
Sept. 1 marks the opening of early goose season, dove season and the experiment teal season. All that hunting often takes place under the heat of late summer sun and really does not feel like hunting in northern Wisconsin should feel like! But there are geese in the area and more to come in and the early goose hunt can be very good.
Doves have never been a popular game species in the north and that will not change. Teal season is new and still under an experiment status. Wild rice crops are spotty this summer and rice and ducks go together so if one can find some rice, ducks of all species, are likely nearby.
But the reality of late August outdoors is that it is a time of frantic attempts to jam one more summer outing in even as all eyes are toward autumn that is looming and with it the sports of autumn to come.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.