August has started out off kilter in terms of weather. This is typically the time of summer heat, when temperatures and humidity rise to the uncomfortable zone. Not this time around. The month has been pleasant but certainly not hot by any measure. The forecast for upcoming days shows no change from that and we are faced with the possibility that the heat of summer came in July.
Time will tell, but August to date is not up to normal standards, which is not to say that it is a total loss; far from it.
The weather continues to be enjoyable and with the exception of a few rainy days, outside activities continue as they should. Still, one must be aware that we are nearing the halfway mark in August and fall is looming.
Fishing in August historically drops off in intensity and the reality is that week to week changes are slight if they are there at all. Fishing last week and fishing in the upcoming week or two are pretty much carbon copies one of the other. Fish are holding in deeper, cooler waters and while one can still find them the action is slower in August. Bass are the exception; both largemouth and smallmouth are active in the heat.
Walleyes are deeper and taking jigs and leeches as they have over the past month. Panfish, larger ones at least, are in mid-depths and small jigs usually work for them. Muskies will take bucktails fished in mid-depths as well as topwater lures. In short, there has been no real change in the fishing world nor do we expect one soon.
What does come in mid August is the Perseid meteor shower; that peaks this weekend and is the best opportunity to see a lot of meteors in an evening. If the skies clear the Perseids provide a great way to spend an evening (though moonrise will come at a time that will cut some viewing opportunities). The much ballyhooed solar eclipse is a week or so away and will not amount to much in this area.
Hunting now comes to the fore with a few dates of note. Antlerless permits, where available, go on sale starting Aug. 14. Leftover fall turkey permits will be sold starting on the 26th. And Sept.1 marks the kick-off of fall hunting with an early teal season, mourning dove season and early goose all starting up.
Add to this the soon-to-ripen crop of wild blackberries and the remaining days of August offer up a lot of choices for any outdoor enthusiast.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.