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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Back to school..

Sorry gang, the beginning of the semester was a huge free time killer...


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Fishing Report 9-8-17

Well gang, it very quickly became Fall this past week. And as things far, so good and while there's football and a bunch of hunting on the radar, remember some of the best fishing of the year awaits between now and the end of the season.

The cooler nights during the last week or so have started the annual water temperature drop. While daytime temps can be all over the place over the next six weeks, the overnight temps are really what matters moving forward. Warm, sunny days will pull fish onto the rocks, especially in the mid to late afternoons. The late algae blooms we had this season are clearing up quick as a result, and the baitfish numbers, which seemed to go up and down this year, are really starting to thin out as fish turn on for fall.

Bass fishing will remain really good for a couple weeks, then it will be time to put away the plastics and start fishing live bait for a trophy. Smallmouth typically go on a tear on our area lakes in the fall, and we're getting real close to that kickoff. For now... expect the fish to make a couple foraging runs a  day, but if you're having trouble connecting with active fish, look for the in the deep water, adjacent to the shallow structure. Plastics, cranks and jigs will work, but as the days get shorter, live bait becomes a better option, especially for bigger fish. It is time to start using the biggest shiners you can find, or small suckers or chubs if you have to.

Walleye fishing is hasn't really started pick up on the area rivers. I'd expect that to change real soon. On the area lakes, the fish will be anywhere there's baitfish around weeds or rock/weed transition areas in 5-8 or 10-12 feet of water. Fishing cranks and stickbaits around weeds works well for active fish, and if you get one out of a patch of isolated weeds, fish through the area very methodically. Fishing just before the sun comes up or right after it goes down can be a solid bet, especially along shallow gravel/rock/sand transitions with some current on them.

Pike have been active in 10-22 feet of water along weed edges, points or sand/gravel transition areas. Spinners are always a solid option for pike, but as the water cools I usually switch back to crankbaits, especially wide wobbling deep divers in natural or red/white patterns. Jerkbaits can really shine right now, especially suspenders worked around weed clumps where there are visible baitfish hovering.

Musky fishing has started to pick up, but is sure to get really good over the next stretch. Enjoy the tree stand and/or your  goose blind now, for soon will be the time to start working for this years trophy. Gliders, bucktails and jerkbaits are all solid options for casting, and remember to keep a sucker out on a quick strike rig for lazy followers. Right now, look for the them to be using weeds in 12-15 feet of water or rocks in 8-12 feet of water. As the water cools, they'll follow the ciscos in, and that's when things start to get really interesting.

Good Luck,

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Labor Day Weekend Fishing Update 2017

Patterning fish remains inconsistent from day to day. Once you're on a solid bite, stick with it.

Conditions around the area are typical for the end of August. After this batch of cooler weather, weed growth is at summer peak and water temps are hovering around 70 degrees.

Panfish have really slowed down over the last ten days. Crappie and bluegill continue to bite along weedlines or suspended out over deep water. Plastics tipped with live bait, tail hooked minnows and leafworms fished vertically or with slip bobbers will produce, but you may have to put in a little time to find the keeping size fish. Evenings, especially both sides of dusk, have been better, as is typical for this time of year. If you're out with the kids and just need to catch some for "action" purposes, visually look for schools around the docks and fish for them with bobbers and small live bait.

Largemouth continue to run late summer patterns. On sunny days, look for them around docks or slop, or out on the weed edges. Topwater bite has been  steady, especially in the morning. There's a batch of fish using weed clumps in mid-depth (6-12 FOW) water that will bite all day, but you have to fish very tight to cover, and very, very slow.

Smallmouth fishing has been spotty like it has been most of the season. You'll need to be ready to make some changes on the fly to stay on an active bite. Look for them around the edges of the  rock bars or sand/rock transition areas early, but by mid-morning the fish will be deeper than you think they should be. Jigworms, grubs, minnowbaits, tubes (watermelon especially) and small crankbaits can be dynamite.

Walleye fishing: Some fish are coming out of 18-25 FOW, but finding some fish in the shallow weeds early and late in the day is your best bet. I'd jig tight to weed edges with the biggest leaches you can find, or lindy rig with small suckers. If you're out close to dark, you may be able to trigger some fish casting minnowbaits like rapalas, rouges or thundersticks over weed clumps.

Pike fishing has been slow, but steady. Lots of undersized fish are being caught in the shallow and mid-depth areas. There has been a little action early in the day on buzzbaits fished over shallow flats, and throwing reapers at deeper patches of weeds in the evenings (very common late summer patterns)...but the catch rates I'm seeing and hearing have not impressed me.

Musky: Still Early. Most anglers are reporting some lazy follows and undersized fish for the most part. Gliders, bulldogs and cow-girls have all produced in the past week, but most of the fish are mid-30's to low 40 inch fish. Unless this is your last weekend to get out, I wouldn't bother.

Good Luck, Be Safe and Enjoy the Holiday.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Fishing Report 8-24-17


I still have some openings late next week and around the holiday.

Water levels vary from system to system, but weed growth is still very heavy. Water temps are in the low to mid 70's. There's still some solid pods of baitfish out there, and that of course is the key to finding active fish.

Panfish have  been up and down over the last two weeks. Crappie and bluegill continue to bite along weedlines or suspended out over deep water, as well as in mid-depth weeds, but keepers have been hard to come by unless you're working deeper fish. Plastics tipped with live bait, tail hooked minnows and leafworms fished vertically or with slip bobbers will produce. Late afternoon and  early evenings have been more consistent, as is typical for this time of year.

Note: I had the kids out yesterday for a bit and we had some nice keepers, but they were suspended off the weed edge. To get the quality fish, you had to get your bait down below the smaller fish at the top of the school.

Largemouth continue to run late summer patterns. Fish are feeding in short spurts throughout the day. On the hot sunny days, look for them around docks or slop, or out deep in 12-15 FOW. On the cooler cloudy days, look for active fish in sand/rock or rock/weed transitions in 4-8 feet. Topwater bite will be good, especially early in the morning, then fish will be moving around the rockbars, sand/weed transitions or on the shallow flats. Current areas (especially areas of strong current) are holding some aggressive smallmouth on many lakes right now, but overall smallmouth fishing has been spotty.  The fish will be deeper than you think they should be in most cases. Jigworms, grubs, minnowbaits and small white crankbaits can be dynamite, but don't skip the tubes and lipless crankbaits.

Pike fishing has been slow, but steady. Lots of undersized fish are being caught in the shallow and mid-depth areas. I'd consider moving out deeper and using live bait on a slip sinker rig, trying to connect with active fish in 18-22 or 22-25 feet of water. Nag has been giving up some quality keepers, but there's active fish on every area lake right now.

Walleye fishing has been good, but you might have to get a little tactical and slow WAAAAAAAAAAY down to get bites. People still fishing at night are reporting some success off the deeper sand flat areas, but a few decent fish are being caught out of the shallow weeds very early in the morning using rapalas or similar minnow baits, then using lighter slip sinker/lindy rigs with leeches or shiners. Some fish have been very very shallow during low light periods this week. (Caught one Monday in 18" (yes, inches) of water).

Musky are getting more active, but anglers are still reporting lots of lazy follows. Gliders, bulldogs and cow-girls have all produced limited action in the past week, but most of the fish are low to mid-30's  inch fish. Topwater is working just before the sun gets up and just after it goes down. As the water begins to cool, the action will pick up considerably.

Good Luck,

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Labor Day Weekend Guide Trips

Hey gang,

Just a quickie. I have some openings around the Labor Day Holiday Weekend. I didn't book anything ahead of time because I wasn't sure what my schedule would be up in Minnesota, but it turns out I will be in town and available.

If you want to get out, this would be a great opportunity. Call me 262-893-2183 or email me for details.