Thursday, June 7, 2018
This past week was challenging, but the effort was worth it. Each day had its own thing happening, but with some work, I got on some solid numbers and put some quality fish in the boat this week.
Water is in the low to mid 70's. Water clarity is better than its been, but weeds are still behind. Panfish are spawning, but close to done, on most of the lakes. There are still batches of gills and rockbass up on the nests, especially the ones deeper than you can see with naked eye, but we are close to the time to start looking for panfish suspending off the ends of points or along developing deep weedlines.
Largemouth Bass fishing has been steady, especially early in the morning and later in the day. Most of the bigger fish are still hanging around areas where gills are spawning, but some are starting to setup on the first deep transitions. There's some significant schooling activity occurring on the shallow flats, and you can target these fish with topwater or minnow baits. Topwater bite is good until about 8:30, then you'll have to change gears. After the sun gets up, look for patchy weeds in 3-8 feet of water, or fish around docks, laydowns or other visible shady cover. Swimjigs and square bills will catch fish along rock/weed transitions in shallow water, but the usual plastics (jigworms, grubs, tubes or wacky worms) have been consistent producers. Jig and chunks or skirted grubs are catching fish, but it seems like the fish are chasing baitfish more than craws. I caught a few fish late in the day dragging a light carolina rig in areas between 6-8 FOW that normally have weeds, but where they haven't come up yet.
Smallmouth are biting, but the bite seems a little inconsistent. Saw several mixed in with the LM this week. My advice, stick to the usual plan...look for them on top of mainlake structure and points early and late, and look for them in deeper water during the main part of the day. White and gold crankbaits have been hot, as have smaller (3") tubes and I wouldn't overlook a traditional approaches: dropshots, flukes or size 9 or 11 floating rapalas in a natural color pattern.
Northern Pike continue to bite. They are actively chasing/ambushing bait throughout the day, and I heard about some decent fish being caught this week. Shallow fish are actively chasing buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, spoons and smaller lipless crankbaits, especially on the shallow-flat areas with scattered weeds. On the break lines with weeds, or areas where you see yellow perch swimming around, slip-sinker rigs with small suckers or the biggest shiners has been working. I'd cast early, then setup with live bait.
Musky fishing has been decent, but you need to put in some extra time. Fish are coming up to feed around spawning gills a couple times a day Play your solar-lunar tables to hit the key windows. The bait they seem to be chasing is on the smaller size, but don't be afraid to hit areas with walk-the dog topwaters or natural pattern gliders. Smaller buck-tails or spinnerbaits around any patches of standing weeds. Fish should be getting set to move out deeper, but there's still plenty shallow for now. Tip: I heard that Fowler has seen some especially active fish this past week.
Posted by Chris at 6:21 PM