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Hayward Lakes Fishing Report


Muskie fishing is improving, but mornings and evenings still offer better odds. Work deeper weedlines, weed edges, and mid-lake humps with big bucktails, Bull Dawgs, tubes, gliders, topwaters, stickbaits, and suckers (if you can find them) on quick-strike rigs. Shallower water is also producing some fish.


Walleye action is fair to good, with daytime fishing improving, but late afternoon into dark is still best. Concentrate on deeper weedlines, weed edges, points, rock bars, brush, and bogs in 12-35 feet of water. Anglers continue to catch fish on crawlers and leeches (if you can find them), but jigs and fatheads, walleye suckers, and trolled stickbaits are producing good catches.


Northern action should improve with cooling water temperatures. Fish the weeds – green ones if you can find them – weed edges, and other cover with spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, crankbaits, and northern suckers. Offer bigger baits in deeper water for trophy pike.

Largemouth Bass:

Largemouth seen a bit sluggish with the cooler temperatures, but they are still active in weeds, wood, brush, and bogs in about 12 feet of water. Use plastics, spinners, spinner and buzz baits, topwaters, and leeches, crawlers, and minnows.

Smallmouth Bass:

Smallmouth action is good, though somewhat erratic, on rock humps, cribs, and near wood in depths from 10-30 feet. Do not overlook rivers and flowages. Top baits include spinnerbaits, jigs/plastics, drop-shot rigs, plastic worms, and tubes. Leeches, crawlers, and minnows work well, but artificials are easier on the fish.


Crappie fishing is good to very good, but expect some sorting. Fish are suspending over deeper water and holding on deep weed edges, cribs, brush, and bogs. Crappie minnows, fatheads, waxies, plastics, spinners, Mini-Mites, tubes, and Gulp! baits all deliver, but go prepared – preferences can vary from day to day.


Bluegills moving to deeper weeds, cribs, and brush are hitting waxies, crawlers, leaf worms, plastics, and Gulp! baits. Small minnows work well for bigger ‘gills.