With the warm and humid weather and generally windy conditions of the past week fishing pressure slowed a bit. Anglers, people in general, were spending more time in the water than on it. With the passing of a cold front we have lost the humidity making daytime temperatures warm and nights very comfortable.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been the species of interest for a lot of summer anglers lately and action could be termed very good. The largemouth seem to have taken up residence near firm overhead cover such as logs, reed beds or docks edges and fewer fish have been found cruising the submerged weed beds. As such, top-water baits have become less successful, with jigs and soft plastics getting most of the action. Smallmouth have also gotten into their typical summer pattern and have been retreating close to mid-depth rocky/gravel areas. The best action has been on the larger flowages, with small plastics and spinner baits catching most of the fish.
Walleye action has become erratic, with variable success being reported at all different times of the day. A few small and medium size walleye have been caught along the weed edges and the mid-depth break lines in 8 to 10 feet of water. A small weedless jig tipped with a leech or nightcrawler half has been the most product bait for the walleye.
Northern fishing continues to be good. Larger pike were found in 12 to 20 feet of water near baitfish. A walleye sucker fished on a slip bobber rig with a heavy fluorocarbon leader will work best. Vertical jigging a 3/8 ounce hair jig baited with a sucker also worked. Trolling crankbaits was also effective. Many smaller, more aggressive pike were caught casting chatterbaits, buzzbaits, spinners, swim baits, or shallow running crankbaits over weeds.
Some of the musky anglers have been taking a break from fishing with the warmer water temperatures, but action has continued to be generally good and most anglers still reporting quite a few sightings and follows. Top-water lures, bucktails and Bull Dawg type baits have produced the best success.
Panfish action has gotten a bit inconsistent, some anglers have been able to find some nice bluegill and crappie suspended near mid-depth cover, but decent perch have been getting a bit tougher to find. Weed densities on the northern lakes have been variable, with some area waters showing thicker densities than normal and other lakes areas seeing much lower densities than past years. Many stained-waters lakes are also darker than normal this year and, combined with relatively high water levels, has resulted in less weed growth on these waters.
All outdoor enthusiasts are warmed to watch out for the bugs. The earlier rains have brought out a fresh hatch of mosquitoes, deer flies and “ankle-biters” and all have been a nuisance to everyone.