The water is in the upper 60's to low 70's on most lakes in our area. Weeds are still green and the algae blooms are starting to clear. The baitfish population appears to have grown substantially with the flooding this season, (just like in 2008) and there are large schools of baitfish moving around.
Largemouth bass are patrolling and ambushing along clumps of weeds on the shallow weed flats and along mid depth structure. A few are still hanging along the deeper weed edges along mainlake and secondary points. Smallmouth are relating to weed clumps near or adjacent to rocky and sandy areas with a drop off. The deeper fish will bite best when they make a move into the nearby shallow water. Expect to start to see the fish get active a couple of times a day for short periods of time. When the water and air temperatures begin to cool down some more, the fish will start will use rocky areas especially in the early afternoons.
Your best lure options right now are wacky worms, large jigworms, skirted grubs, jig/chunk, texas rigged plastics or lipless crankbaits. Smaller, wide wobbling crankbaits can also produce. I know that's alot of options, but narrow it down. Wacky worms and skirted grubs are great around the rocks. Jigworms, texas rigs and ji/trailers are great around the scattered weeds. Lipless crankbaits are great in both areas. Browns, greens, orange or balcks are usally the best colors for plastics (pretty much as they are all year) but white or silver crankbaits can be very good this time of year.
Walleye: Live bait is the key unless fishing at night when minnow shaped crankbaits really can shine. Look for walleyes to be in the sandgrass or in breaks in the weeds in 10-15 feet. Some fish will be deeper or shallower on our local lakes, but the best all around approach is a slip-sinker or lindy rig with a big minnow or small sucker. Nightcrawlers will still produce as well, especially when trolled very slowly on spinner harnesses tight to the first weedline breaks. Lac Labelle and Pine usually get really going in the fall when the water gets down to around 60 degrees.
Northern: Most northern caught this time of year are caught while targeting other species, especially bass and musky. But they can still be caught and in good numbers. With the water still pretty warm (in relative terms) I'd consider slow trolling the best option, followed closely by slow rolling an inline spinnerbait. Deep diving crankbaits in bluegill, perch or white/shad color patterns can work wonders right now when trolled along the deep weedlines. I typically break out my trays of Hot N Tots and wiggle warts for trolling, while I'll use Norman D-22, Bagleys or a lipless crankbait when casting. Drifting with medium suckers on a slip sinker rig, like you might consider for walleye fishing right now, can also produce.
Musky: Now through the end of the season is the time, pure and simple. If you want to have your best shot at a musky or even a trophy musky get into your boat and plan on spending some time there. The next six to eight weeks will be prime-time. For now, focus your attention in 6-12 and 12-18 feet of water. Casting bucktails, gliders, swimbaits or especially jerkbaits can work, but consider starting to keep a sucker or two set out on a quick-strike rig. Many fish that follow in lazily on a casting approach will turn on for the sucker hanging nearby, especially as the water temperatures cool.
Friday, September 10, 2010
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