This has not been a typical late summer weather conditions. More fall like conditions with cool nights in the 40’s and daytime highs in the 70’s, I think the “dog days” of summer (hot and humid) are passing us by. The long range forecast promises more of the same.
Bluegill fishing, although mostly small, continues to be good on the area lakes. Weedlines in 6 to 10 feet of water have provided anglers with the best action. A slip bobber rig is the best presentation to use. A small hook or jig baited with a leafworm, small leech, waxworm, or piece of nightcrawler works best for live bait. A small plastic tube jig or small jigging spoon tipped with a wax worm were effective as well.
Crappies were most active during early morning or evening hours. Look for them suspended along outside weed lines or over deeper water. Casting or drifting while vertical jigging a jig dressed with a small fathead minnow, wax worm, or small plastic tail works best.
Perch were caught along weedlines in the flats in 8 to 12 feet of water. Fish for them along the bottom using a jig and plastic combo or small jigging spoon baited with leafworm, or wax worms.
Largemouth bass were found scattered in various locations. Fish the outside weed lines or points using Texas rigged plastic worms, swim jigs, drop shot rigs, tube jigs, spinners, and crankbaits for best results. A medium fathead suspended under a bobber or a nightcrawler on a split shot rig works best for live bait. Anglers also had success fishing along piers or inside weed lines using wacky worms or pre-rigged worms. Top-water baits fished over weed flats have produced both early and late in the day.
Smallmouth bass action was best near breaks or rocks in 12 to 20 feet of water. Tube jigs, swim jigs, drop shot rigs, skirted grubs, or a lindy rig baited with a leech or small sucker will work best. Popper style top water baits produced during early morning hours or at night.
Walleye anglers had their best luck fishing during low light into night conditions. Weed edges, humps, or rock bars have held fish. A jig baited with a fathead or leech along with casting crankbaits produced best. During the day, look for them in deeper water, 20 to 30 feet. Drifting using bottom bouncers with night crawlers or spinner rigs will be your best options.
Northern pike continue to be most active on the area lakes. Larger pike were found in deeper water near baitfish. A medium sucker fished on a slip sinker rig with a circle hook and heavy fluorocarbon leader will work best. Vertical jigging with a hair jig baited with a sucker minnow also produced. Many smaller pike were caught casting Chatterbaits, Mepps spinners, buzzbaits, swim baits, or crankbaits over weed flats.
Musky fishing is typically slower in August and this year has been no exception. Weeds are the key areas. Fish along the edges of them with medium size lures or, if conditions are right, use top water lures. It is entirely possible that the most productive lure in this area has been a black or natural bucktail with a gold spinner blade. Dress it with a 4 or 5” curly tail for more attraction.