Many of the lakes in the Hayward Lakes region and throughout northern Wisconsin boast large numbers of bluegills and crappies. Despite their exploitation and overharvest over the years, the average size and overall quality of this fishery remains excellent. Although state regulations allow most anglers to keep 25 panfish per person on most lakes, I have a self imposed ten fish limit per person on all panfish trips since we will be targeting the mature and largest fish in the system. These fish are a crucial part of our underwater ecosystems, and this resource needs to be preserved for future generations. All of that aside, watching your bobber go down with a slab crappie on the other end and frying up a few fillets from the day’s catch are definitely two of the finer things in life! Crappie action tends to be best May through June and October, although there is also a strong bite that can be found in the mid summer months as well. Bluegills are generally cooperative throughout the season, and many big bulls are caught while we fish for walleyes during the mid summer months. During winter months, panfish are a favorite among ice anglers and can provide consistent action during the hard water season. Crappies, bluegills, and perch are all caught in abundance and size on popular destinations around Hayward, remote inland lakes, and Chequamegon Bay as well. Panfish can be targeted all year around in Wisconsin, providing angling opportunities any time you get the itch to fish.
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