Lake Namakagon near Hayward within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is noted for its picturesque scenery and excellent fishing opportunities. With a quality walleye fishery, it offers excellent numbers and sizes. Trophy muskie, in the 50-inch range, can also be found. Many anglers overlook that Namakagon is also a quality largemouth bass fishery and offers panfishing opportunities too.
There are campgrounds and resorts around the lake offering lodging. Several marinas and bait shops can also be found on the lake. The scenic waters offer a great opportunity for family fishing and vacationing.
Here are some key tips and locations for catching fish on Lake Namakagon:
- As weed growth thickens in summer, bass will move into this slop. Weedless spoons, such as Timber Doodles and Jaw Breakers, should be used in the heavy cover. Texas-rigged plastic worms can be effective when pitched or flipped in open pockets. The deep weed edge will also hold bass in summer. Mushroom-shaped jigs tipped with a 4-inch plastic worm should be worked tight to the weed edge. The inside turns of the weedline will hold bass during cold-front conditions.
- Bass activity can be the best in fall. Available weed cover is key in locating bass. Spinnerbaits, Texas-rigged worms and weedless spoons will produce fish.
- Slip bobber rigs tipped with leeches should be worked along weed edges and drop-offs in the evening hours of summer and early fall for Walleye.
- Steep gravel/rock drop-offs and deep sunken islands are the best walleye attractions later in the fall. Backtrolling or drifting with a large redtail chub on a slip sinker rig is recommended for a late-season trophy.
- Large muskie can be caught in fall. If the weeds die off early in the season, trolling can be a very effective method for catching fish. Deep-diving crankbaits should be worked along the steep drop-offs. Grandmas, Depthraiders and Cisco Kids in walleye and sucker-patterns are good lures to try.
- Smallmouth bass will relate to weed structures during summer and fall. The majority of fish are taken on live bait rigs at this time. Leeches suspended below a slip knot bobber is a great choice. Crankbaits can be effective at times.
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