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Friday, July 15, 2016

Fishing Report 7-15-16

Water temps range greatly, and can be in the high 70's to mid 80s.

The other key factor on the water is the low water conditions. While we got some rain later in the week, the majority of local lakes are way down. While you won't notice much a difference on the main lake, areas that are current based, there's not much happening. If you can find some flowing water, it'll have bait and fish in it.

Panfish have moved to mid-summer depths. Look for them suspended off weed lines and main lake points about 18-22 feet down. Structure at those depths will hold fish close to the bottom. Drifting with slip bobbers, tightlining vertically or long-lining split shot rigs tipped with live bait is the best way to target keepers.

Bass fishing has been surprisingly good given the heat. Some fish are on the weedlines 12-18 and 18-22 FOW. Crankbaits, slow-rolled spinner baits, flapper grubs or texas rigs are the best options on the deeper fish. Live bait in the form of larger shiners or small suckers on a slip sinker rig with produce. Look for feeding periods from just before sun-up until about 8:30-9, and then again from about 4pm to just after dark. The fish are actively chasing bait during these periods, and can be caught on grubs, ringworms, flapper grubs, and jigworms. Topwater action can be had, but the bait they are chasing is on the small side, so go with a small pop-r, skitter pop or something similar. After the initial feeding, look for fish to get tight to shallow cover, docks or weed edges, and then chase them down with wacky, tubes, and jig/craw combos. Pay attention to the shadows, and don't be afraid to make multiple skips or pitches to fishy looking spots.  On the bright sunny/hot days we had early in the week, the slop bite was producing, but I'm consistently only catching smaller fish out of the slop right now. Best bite has been on shallow weedflats with scattered cover, where you can visibly see baitfish schooled up and swimming around. This week, with the weather the way is was, I caught fish at essentially every depth between 18 inches and 22 feet.

Smallmouth action has been a little slower by most reports. They are still biting, but like the largemouths there's periods of time during the day for active feeding. The crayfish are not in full molt yet, and when that starts expect the smallie action to go gangbusters for 10 days-2 weeks. Right now you can catch some smallies on the flats and mainlake structure, especially along the drop-off edges, or suspended off the breaks in deep water. Tubes, wacky, grubs and soft jerkbaits are all producing the shallow fish, while suspending jerkbaits and crankbaits are catching the deeper fish. Docks were holding some fish late last week, and during the hot stretch earlier in the week, and I was catching some decent numbers and sized fish using a downsized presentation...after the fronts went through, the bite dropped off .

The walleye were biting solid, especially just before dawn and around sunset, but after the weather shifted the bite got tough. The fish I was catching (some nice ones) were in the deep weed edges in 14-18 FOW, but I know some guys fishing at night were getting some as shallow as 6 FOW just after dark.

Northern Pike fishing has slowed down with the heat. Deeper pike are biting good, especially those patrolling deep sand flats. Crankbaits, live bait or spinner baits will produce.

Musky fishing has been very slow, but a few people are trolling for them. Look for them to be suspended around schools of cisco over the deepest water. Please be careful with caught muskies this time of year, the heat is very hard on them. Give them plenty of time when reviving them, and don't keep them out of the water any longer than necessary.

Good Luck,