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Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Fishing Report - 2013

Fishing is going strong overall, but 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 hot weather, weed growth is at summer peak and water temps are hovering around 80 degrees.

Panfish have really slowed down over the last ten days with the heat. 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 the hot sunny days, look for them around docks or slop, or out deep on the weed edges. Topwater bite has been excellent, especially early 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. This has been the best pattern in terms of consistency over the last couple of weeks, and it is working great for people who put in the time. I'm catching most of the fish I am catching on a jig and crawler pitched or flipped into the weed clumps, and crawling it back to the boat.

Smallmouth fishing has been spotty like it has been most of the season. I'm not saying you can't catch fish, but you'll need to be ready to make some changes on the fly to stay on an active bite. If you can find some active fish, you can do well, but making that connection can be a tough nut to crack. 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 white crankbaits can be dynamite.

Walleye fishing dropped off dramatically in the heat. Some fish are coming out of 18-25 FOW, but finding some fish in the 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 adjacent to deeper water.

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. 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. I think the water temperatures need to come down (and stay down) before the pike fishing really picks up.

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.

Cheers,
CT

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