COURTESY OF THE STAFF OF MEL’S TRADING POST
July, soon to be over and done with, has given us a taste of true summer after a cool, wet June. We have every expectation that will continue into August which historically brings the highest temperatures of the year. After three months of significant rainfall, July brought about half the average rains, a welcome respite. Water levels remain higher than we’ve seen in years, courtesy of April, May and June and their seemingly nonstop rains.
August brings, as a rule, full-on summer weather but it is also a transition month; by the end of August we’ll be days from the start of fall hunting seasons that start up on Sept. 1. So for a lot of outdoors people, August is a mix of summer activities as well as the start of hunting preparation.
For now, though, it’s all about summer in the North. Conditions this weekend and for the upcoming week should be near perfect for any outdoor activities with warm, dry weather the norm.
Fishing often tapers off in the heat of August but in the last week of July it is still holding on at a steady pace. Panfish seem to be holding in 8 to 12 feet of water on most lakes. Small jigs will work well, often when tipped with either natural worms or synthetic tails. More and more anglers are going with synthetics (Gulp! seems a strong player) as being very effective as well as easier to use (and not just for panfish but for all species).
Walleyes are in their summer pattern, holding in deeper water next to weed beds. Jigs with leeches or crawlers continue to be the best option. Muskies are steady, nothing special but always on the move. Surface lures as well as mid-level lures and buck tails will always be a good choice.
Bass, both largemouth and smallmouth, are good to very good. They are consistent in summertime in nearly all years. Smallies usually are deeper (except on rivers, always a good choice in summer) while largemouth will take surface lures at sundown and later and can really liven up an evening on the water.
The two pests, mosquitoes and ticks, remain evident. Repellents, and there are a lot of them on the market, are a “must have.” That, as well as sunscreen or sun-protective clothing and plenty of water to keep hydrated need be on everyone’s list before going out. But that is a small price to pay for what will be a very nice week ahead.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.