August now; the last month of true summer. Soon summer will be behind us; autumn will be looming. Daylight hours are fewer now than a month ago; evening comes earlier with each passing week. The time of summer activities is limited. If anything, the coming of August signals a finality to summer that cannot be denied.
We expect that August will bring high heat, sweltering temperatures and oppressive humidity. So it is a surprise that the upcoming week is forecast to be cooler than the average 80 degrees. A lingering cold front that will keep temperatures on the coolish side enters the area this weekend and will remain, at least for August.
Fishing in August is often a mixed bag but it can be decent. Keep in mind one thing: Fish still need to feed in the heat of summer. Location, in the form of cooler water and weed cover, is critical for success. But fishing can be good even in the warm weather.
Bass fishing is arguably the best bet. They are active warm water fish and both largemouth and smallmouth will provide good action. Fish largemouth in early morning or evening hours with surface lures next to weed cover.
Smallies will be deeper but active. Deep running lures over rock and sand bars will usually catch them.
Panfish look to suspend in cooler water off shore. Fish close to shore tend to be small. Larger fish will be in deeper water and take small jigs and small, lure fished in 8 to 10 feet of water. Walleyes will be in deeper weed beds and if you can find the edge of the weeds next to more open, sandy areas you will do well using jigs tipped with leeches or crawlers (leeches seem the better bet this summer).
The big fish, muskies, are moving slower in August; heat bothers them more than small fish. But surface lures on cloudy days and buck tails and lures that run in the 10 foot deep range are often effective.
August usually means heat and while this weekend is not meeting that standard we should see more warm weather ahead. But most important is the knowledge that in 30 days summer will be mostly behind us and time is running out to enjoy it.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.