Fish are hungry and striking any bait as long as it moves.
Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait, said the bite is good this week and that fishermen are catching a decent number of fish, especially bluegills.
“The bluegills are still producing well ... guys aren’t getting (the limit), but they’re getting a good meal out of them when they do,” he said. “The size is really good. Everybody is happy with the size of them on the lake and elsewhere. Some of the marshes are still producing well.”
Worms are working best for bluegills, but some fishermen have switched to waxies or are using leeches, but about 80 percent are using a worm, Roscovius said.
Bass are active as well. Anglers are catching them everywhere, and the heat isn’t hindering the action, Roscovius reports. He said northern pike fishing has been steady, but not as good as when it’s cooler.
Griffin Abbott of Hatfield Sports Shop also reports that bass are biting at Lake Arbutus.
“Now that it’s coming into fall, people are catching more bass of size and quantity,” he said. “They’re using top-water baits and are still going strong with plastics like swim baits, stuff like that.”
The crappie bite has slowed down a little in the Tomah area, Roscovius said, but they are still being caught on little spinner baits like beetle spins. Fishermen are also using jig heads and live minnows.
“It’s tough in this heat for the live minnows,” he said. “Some of the guys are using artificial minnows like the Gulp; it seems to be a popular bait.
He also said crappies are hitting “some plastics like twister tails and little plastic bodies. Keeping it moving seems to be a key with the crappies; the bait needs to keep moving.”
In Hatfield, Abbott said crappies and walleyes are biting, but they’ve gone deep, hovering at about 16 feet or 17 feet.
“Guys have been using walleye fats. They’re taking bigger minnows, and I’ve been hearing of them using nightcrawlers,” he said.
The walleye bite at Petenwell Flowage has slowed, but the catfish bite is up, Roscovius said. Anglers are also catching a few crappies on Petenwell.
In other outdoors news, doe tags and bonus deer tags go on sale on Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. for the Central Forest Zone and the Northern Zone. Tags for Central Farmland go on saleAug. 20, Southern Farmland Aug. 21, and on Aug. 22 bonus tags can be purchases for all zones.