While changes in temperature and moisture brought about a slight drop in angling pressure, it may have given the mosquito population a large upper hand once again.
Intermittent rain, followed by heat and humidity, was the story for much of the state this week. While changes in temperature and moisture brought about a slight drop in angling pressure, it may have given the mosquito population a large upper hand once again. Given the off and on rains over the past two months, many water bodies in the Northern region of the state remain at above average levels and many drainage lakes are also filled.
Anglers that were out in the Northwoods reported improving action for largemouth and smallmouth bass, with smallmouth remaining the more elusive of the two. Panfish success in the Upper Chippewa Basin continues to improve in consistency and decent catches of perch, bluegill and crappie were reported. While warming temperatures may have slowed the walleye bite, some fish were being found over the deeper mud flats and around deep rock bars. Musky remain unpredictable, with some days offering numerous follows and hits and others showing little activity at all.
Over on the waters of the Flambeau, musky, crappie and bluegill have been the primary targets. Water levels there are also still a bit above average and though more rain was predicted for Thursday, the weekend looks like clear skies. Anglers in Oneida County are also reporting successful musky and bass action.
Over in Door and Kewaunee Counties, the K/D Salmon Tournament finished up on July 31. The nine-day event brought in hundreds of anglers and enthusiasts from all around the nation. More than 200 chinook salmon were registered that weighed over 22 pounds, with 25 fish weighing in at over 26 pounds. The winning fish weighed in at just over 35 pounds, the biggest caught during the tournament since 1999. While warming water temperatures tamped down the bite towards the end of the weekend, anglers in Door and Kewaunee were also landing rainbow trout and walleye.
In the Southern Lake Michigan counties, while pressure and success for coho remained high, trout seemed to be the additional catch of choice. Staff received numerous reports of browns, lakers and rainbow trout biting from Sheboygan to Kenosha. Bites did still drop off as the waters warmed and targets followed alewife to cooler waters.
Off the water the wildflower show continues as marsh blazing stars, yellow coneflowers and Virginia mountain mint continue to bring color to the prairies of the state. In addition, staff in the Kettle Moraine’s Southern Unit encountered some of the first blooms of the year of tall ironweed, Joe pye weed and tall stands of big bluestem. Also flocking to the flowers were numerous butterfly species, including: eastern tiger swallowtail, great spangled fritillary and of course the famous monarchs. There are also still many berries waiting to be picked depending on your area and the hunger of the local bird population.
Canada geese are starting to flock up and stage on oats and other small grain fields, cut hay fields and wetlands so now is a good time to start scouting and seeking landowner permission to hunt the early goose season. Fawns, turkey and grouse brood are becoming easier to see and appear to be doing very well.