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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fishing Report 7-18-13

Boy is it hot. But the weatherman promises a cool off this weekend for some relief.

Fishing has been good the past week, but at either end of the day. You can catch fish during the hot parts of the day, but you have to work for them.

Water temps have creeped into the low to mid 80's on many area lakes and weed growth is at summer peak.

Panfish are moving into cover and suspending out over deeper water. Looking for quick action? Fish around docks that are close to drop offs or that hang out over deeper water. Looking for keepers? Move out to deeper water and fish for the schools of suspended pannies that are just off the weedlines or long, mainlake points. The best keepers are coming 18-22 feet down over 35-60 FOW.

Bass are feeding heavy early. From just before sun-up to about 8:30am, fish are moving in on shallow breaks. Although I'm sure they are eating a variety of things right now, bigger fish seemed to be keyed in on juvenile panfish, schooling them up and chowing down. The bite has been good until the sun comes up, but as soon as it has gotten hot, fish have pulled back out to 12+ FOW, moved under the docks or into the slop. I'm catching lots of fish pitching flapper grubs around isolated weed patches or stands of ribbon tail. Once the fish are on the docks, wacky, tubes and jig/chunks are catching them. Fishing the slop is producing, but I'm catching more fish flipping the holes with a beaver or jig than on a rat or frog. The pattern repeats itself again in the afternoon. Fish start moving in as banks start to get shade on them, usually around 4pm and the bite is solid until just after dark.

Pike fishing has slowed down substantially in the heat. Deeper weed edges fished with crankbaits, spinners and large plastics has been productive. Live bait in the form of small sucker or the biggest shiners you can get your hands on, on a slip sinker rig will produce...especially if you can find some weeds in 18-22 FOW. Don't overlook the sandgrass flats. A good patch of coontail on a deeper flat can/will hold multiple fish.

Walleye bite has really slowed down during the day, but is still solid early and later in the day. Weed edges fished with jigs or lindy rigs are still producing, but the fish have moved out to the secondary break in 15-18 FOW. In the evening, fish are moving into the shallow weeds and can be caught throwing minnowbaits over the top of submergent weeds in 6-15 FOW. You need to tick the weeds to get a bite.

In terms of Musky fishing...the only positive reports I heard in the past week were for topwater action very early, but especially just after dark. A couple of decent fish were caught in the last two weeks just after twilight over weedflats in 6-12 FOW.

Good Luck,