Hot and dry weather is dominating the North Woods weather, making activities in the water exceptionally pleasant. If you are going to fish, we suggest starting early in the morning or evening to take advantage of the quiet and the cooler periods of the day. 

The weed growth is very strange this year, in that there are areas on the lakes that normally have weeds that are just bare this year.

Walleye fishing has been slightly better since the mayfly hatch has finished, but the fact is that the walleyes and perch were stuffed with mayfly larvae and it will take a while to get them back to their usual haunts. On the Chain, the walleyes are returning to the holes, but you can find some nice fish just drifting the deeper mud flats. Crawlers and leeches are best for these efforts. On the bigger lakes, the fish have found weed areas. Look for weeds in the 8- to 12-foot range to hold fish. Minnows are working better on these lakes, but take along an alternative for best results. 

Bass fishing has been absolutely spectacular, especially largemouths, for the last several weeks. Any shoreline with cover on almost every lake in the area will have largemouths in feeding moods. All bait types work very well now, including surface baits, plastics of all types, and spinner baits. Smallmouths have moved deeper and are hitting well on many types of baits. Imitations of crayfish are working best, in the 8- to 15-foot range over hard bottom. 

Northerns are hitting well in weeds, including deeper grass weeds. The best all-around bait for them is the in-line spinner. Mepps spinners are the most common. It seems most northerns are caught by anglers targeting either walleyes or muskies. For live bait, use larger minnows such as sucker minnows to get the best action.

Muskie action has been slow for the start of this year. The cold fronts this spring, along with the absence of weeds in many areas, seem to have these fish “off their feed” on many lakes.The night fishing has been as good. This means that more fish are waiting for dark to feed. The best baits for night fishing are bucktails and surface baits. 

Panfish action has been good for those who locate weeds. Bluegills in the shallower weeds and crappies in the mid-depth weeds have been hitting all summer. Try some very small plastics for both of these fish. Perch are deeper in the weeds.

Good luck and good fishin’.