Two Baits for Right Now.
As summer winds up, I usually find myself relying on two baits to produce fish. Our lakes have a plentiful baitfish supply by this point of the year, and I see no reason not to play along. With the crawfish molt over, gamefish will once again turn their attention towards baitfish. As the photocycle gets shorter, this change in attention gets more pronounced.
Therefore I recommend two lures that you should always have at the ready this time of year. Both are easy to use and will catch a variety of fish. The first is a lipless crankbait. There are tons of these baits on the market, and most crankbait manufacturers have a model available. Personally I like to stay traditional, and like the Bill Lewis (Rattle-trap) or the Rapala version (rattlin-rapala).
A lipless crankbait is an easy bait to fish. Cast it out and reel it back in. Its tight wiggle and small size easily imitate the baitfish that most predators are chasing. As for color, I like to keep it simple. On cloudy days I’ll throw a bluegill or shad colored bait, but if its sunny, I like to go for lots of flash and will rely on a chrome or gold. Casting lipless crankbaits along the outside edges of weed-beds is an amazing way to catch a variety of fish. I’ve caught bass, walleye, northern pike, muskie and even channel catfish with nothing more than a cast and retrieve approach. One tip, when reeling in the bait, try to keep your pole at a 90 degree angle to the bait, it’ll be easier to detect strikes and follow through with a hook set. Tip #2: if you’re reeling the bait, and you feel it stop, set the hook. If it’s a fish, you’ll have them, if it’s a weed, changes are you’ll get a bite when you rip the bait free.
The other bait I recommend is a spinnerbait. Again I like to keep it simple, and tend to stay with white or white and chartreuse. Although they are very effective, I prefer not to use willow leaf blades, preferring instead to go with a Colorado or Oklahoma blade. On cloudy days I’ll use a bait with a painted or silver blade, but on sunny days I go gold. I don’t use a trailer hook very often, but I usually use a twister tail grub to add some bulk to the bait.
The approach is simple, throw it out and reel it back in. Look for clumps of weeds, and make multiple casts along the edges or over the top of submerged weeds and hang on. Pike strikes of spinner baits can be vicious. Bass and Muskie will also chase them down.
Keep it simple. Cast these baits out near weed edges, and reel them back in. I’m not promising that you’ll catch a giant, but you’ll certainly have a chance to catch some quality fish.