This week started off with a big bang, literally a big bang, a powerful storm rolled through the area on Saturday evening causing wide spread power outages. Some areas were without power for 36 hours causing residents and resort guest scramble to save what food they had. We continue to ride the weather roller coaster of hot, humid weather followed by cool fronts and rain. This instability does not help the fishing. With the 4th of July coming and a good weather forecast, there will be a lot of traffic on all lakes, so consider morning and evening fishing (or night) as an alternative to the daytime traffic.
Water temps have been as inconsistent as the weather, but are hovering in the low 70’s. Water levels are nice and high throughout the area, to the extent that some of the drought lakes are higher than normal.
Walleye anglers are hoping that that mayfly hatch is finally ending. It has been a tough couple of weeks for the walleye, as they have been gorging on mayfly. Some anglers have reported daytime success with leeches in roughly 8 to 17 feet of water off the weeds and drops. Other than that, there are not a lot of good reports on the walleye. Some night anglers have had decent action on some of the deeper clear lakes, but you have to stay out late.
Bass fishing has been good as usual, throughout the area. Largemouth have been in shallow structure such as weeds and piers, so if you are going to fish for them you will need heavier line to wrestle them out of the heavy weeds and piers. Plastics have worked very well this year and spinner baits have been a close second. With a lot of hatches, surface baits have been working in the early mornings and late evening.
Smallmouth are close to rocks and hard bottom areas and feeding on crayfish. Crayfish imitation crankbaits that you can bounce off the rocks will work well. Leeches are the best live bait for both types of bass.
Northern action continues to be brisk this year, with good action for these fish any where you can find weeds. The best live bait for these fish are walleye suckers, but many northern are caught by walleye fishermen or panfish anglers using jigs and minnows. For artificial baits the spinnerbaits or shallow running crankbaits work very well. Weeds from 4′ to 10 feet will contain feeding northern.
Musky action has fluctuated with the weather. This is the time of the year that virtually any bait used will catch fish. These fish are basically holding in deeper water and feeding up into the weeds during the daytime. Feeding windows are short and there is no set pattern, so you just have to be there when they come in.
Panfish action is good with bluegills in the weeds, perch in the deeper weeds, and crappies locating in deeper weeds. Crappie minnows or small tube jigs for the crappies. Worms for the bluegills and small leeches are working well for perch.
Have a safe and great 4th of July weekend, but enjoy the fishing.