Hey gang, the fishing has been tough with the warmer weather, but better on the cooler and cloudy days. Its the time of the year where early morning fishing is usually the best. Traditional mid-summer patterns are what's happening on the lakes right now.
Panfish have moved to deep water. They can be a little tricky to find, but if you can get on some, you won't believe the size and quantity of panfish you can pull out of deeper water. My best suggestion for you is to drive slowly just off the weedlines and the deep edges of points with your electronics on. Panfish typically school up over 18-28 FOW and about 6-12 feet down. They'll look like a cloud on your graph. Use slip bobbers or tightline vertically with leeches, plastics tipped with waxies/spikes or pieces of nightcrawler to target these fish on a drift.
Largemouth Bass are running three of their usual summer patterns. On sunny, warmer days the piers and the slop are producing. Smoke colored flappers are catching tons of fish either skipped or worked slowly along the weedlines Wacky worms, tubes and shakey heads are producing around the piers, while rats, scum frogs, strike king or zoom frogs are pulling them out of the slop. Deeper fish have schooled up on the weedlines and the end of points. Texas rigs, drop shots, crankbaits and swim baits are catching these fish. The fish on the weed flats are being taken on topwater, especially early in the evening as the sun sets. Buzzbaits, poppers and spooks are all catching fish.
Smallmouth bass have been a little harder to come by since the heat wave. Look for the fish that have been holding deeper to move to shallow rocky areas on cooler mornings and just before dark. Skirted grubs, tubes, grubs and jigworms. Having trouble finding fish? Use crankbaits (lipless or shallow divers) as search baits to find schools of fish. Silver and blue or gold with a black back will be the best color combo for the next little bit.
Walleye fishing is slow but steady. Fish are using weeds in 18-22 feet on most lakes. Jigs tipped with live bait or lindy rigs are catching fish, but the better fish are coming at night by anglers trolling with stickbaits, shad raps or bottom bouncers.
Northern pike fishing has been great on the weedflats and target larger fish with live bait along the deep weedlines. Lots of smaller pike can be caught throwing spinner or buzzbaits around clumps of shallow weeds, while the bigger fish are coming on shiners or suckers on slip sinker rigged trolled very slowly on the outside edges.
Musky fishing has been tied to the weather recently. The cloudy days are producing, the hot sunny days have been slower. Some fish are being caught off deep structure or while trolling. A few are being caught on topwaters near the deep weed edges on the larger flats. Crankbaits are producing the trolling fish, jerkbaits and soft plastics are catching the casting fish. Walk the dog and prop baits have been the better topwater options lately.
If you're looking for info on a specific lake, feel free to email me.