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Friday, August 21, 2015

Fishing Report 8-20-15

Water is in the mid 70's, still low. There's been another late baitfish hatch and there's lots of pin minnows about.

The big news of the week was the weather. We've had period of rather stable weather, but that run was broken up with a couple of days with rain and much cooler temperatures. Typically when things cool off quickly like that, fish will continue to bite, but they'll have a much smaller strike zone. This means you need to slow down and be more methodical with your presentations. Fish tight to cover, and take a deep breath to slow down.

Remember my rule of slowing down: If you think you're fishing slow enough, you're still fishing twice as fast as you should be.

Panfish bite has been very good, and some quality bags are coming in. Generically the fish are moving to weed-edges and shallow weed clumps at the end of points. Classic late summer behavior. The best fishing is in the deeper weeds along the bottom/drop off of main lake structure/points. Slip bobbers will work, but vertically fishing for the deeper fish can really produce. Don't be afraid to use big bait, including panfish leeches if you can find them. If they're not on the ends of structure, move out to the adjacent deep water and look for them suspended at the depth of the nearby structure. (So if the point ends in 15 FOW, move out deeper, but look for the fish to be down 15')

Bass are starting to school up and chase bait. Look for active fish to be chasing late hatching baitfish on shallow flats. Topwaters, jigworms, grubs and wacky worms can really catch some quality bags right now, especially if you're close to active fish. Docks and slop have been pretty hot with the warmer weather, but after the front went through flipping or working a texas rig or jig worm through isolated weed edges and clumps produced some quality bites for me the last couple of days.

Walleye are using weed edges and patrolling the flats for bait. Jigging in the weeds can be dynamite, especially early and late, but don't be afraid to work edges/drops in 12-18 FOW, or to throw minnowbaits around grass patches. Controlled drifting or back trolling with lindy rigs has been working on the windy days where jigging has been tough. Don't fish an area without visible baitfish right now, and be ready for whitebass to steal lots of bait.

Pike are making an early fall move, and I saw several quality pike patrolling the shallow water in search of food when I was out yesterday. Buzzbaits, spinners and small lipless crankbaits will all produce right now, but the real ticket is a slip sinker rig with heavy floro and a small sucker dragged ever so slowly through weeds in 18-25 FOW.

Musky fishing was pretty slow this past week. My regular sources all reported a tough week with the changing conditions and high winds.