An early summer heat wave will hit this area like a sledgehammer bringing with it conditions more typical of August than June. Temperatures in the high 80s, possibly topping 90, will dominate the weekend as well as the early days of the upcoming week. This will make for a pretty abrupt transition and give credence to those who have said, “There was no real springtime this year.”
So, first order of business is pretty simple: One must deal with high heat this week. That means attention paid to hydrating well; long-sleeved shirts and brimmed hats to protect against direct sun and sunscreen (should one believe in it) slathered on liberally; add to that a warning against over exertion in the unexpected heat. Typically one can build up a tolerance for heat over time. This week it’s all in and no tapering!
If lake waters have been cooler than average that will change quickly. Fishing and water sports both will be affected. Look for fish to drift off the shallows into cooler water and expect a surge in boating, skiing and swimming. Oh, and the warm weather combined with a lot of standing water should bring swarms of mosquitoes. Pick whatever repellant you are comfortable with on that front and use it.
Fishing has been a mixed lot of late crappie action has been good and bluegills coming on though passing cold fronts have thrown a wrench into the works all too many times. That will not be the case this weekend. Crappies should be off the shallows even as bluegills now move in.
Walleyes are in deeper water and leeches seem to be working well on them. A large mayfly hatch is common this time of the year and when that happens walleyes will feed heavily on them. But leeches and jigs will still work.
Largemouth bass should be in shallower water on most lakes even as smallmouth hold deeper. And musky fishing, which has been slow to start the season, should improve this week. We’d think surface lures should come into play but keep in mind that when panfish are in the shallows to spawn muskies will often follow, looking for easy meals. Fish the edge of shallows where bluegills are active and you may well find muskies.
The heat will certainly affect the upcoming days for all outdoor activities. And keep in mind that a hot, humid day may bring severe weather late in the day so keep an eye on fast moving storms that may pop up late in the evenings.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.