I had limited on the water time this week I was only out 3.5 days this week.
Conditions are about what you would expect for mid-august. Weed growth is heavy, there's still schools of baitfish roaming around and the crayfish molt is wrapping up.
Out this morning, I fully expected to start pounding some fish up on the rocks, but after a quick start, the bite wasn't steady enough to work, switched gears and worked some fish in open flats and pulled out a solid day. The weather ahead of the front yesterday was stable, and I'm sure the feedbag was on, Activity level was a little light, but getting a presentation around cover with bait nearby paid the bills today, but basically I think the cold front and unstable weather has the fish in a bit of a funk right now. You can still catch/pattern fish, but you're going to have to slow down, get precise with your presentations, and recognize that it is the middle of August. There's lots of slop out there right now, and punching it rather than pounding it with a frog might make a difference. (It did today...)
Panfish are still schooled up in deeper water. Crappies are tight to the weedlines in 12-15 and 18-20 FOW, but are suspending off the edge. Bluegills are still in tight schools in the deep part of the basins. Look for them 18-22 feet down over 30-50 FOW. If you're out with the kids, and just want action-- docks and swim platforms in or near current areas are holding tons of potato chip sized fish right now.
Bass fishing is about average for mid-August, especially on the down size of the full moon. Slow and steady wins the race.Fishing tight to cover, punching slop or skipping tight to docks/pontoons will produce if you're having trouble finding fish out deep. Expect the fish to have small strike zones...and be ready to make multiple casts to targets. The morning top-water bite has been good, but only until about 8:30, but the shallow flats with scattered weeds are holding fish throughout the day..so shallow running-wide wobbling and lipless crankbaits can turn a zero into hero time.
I don't have any new news on walleyes this week. I haven't been fishing for them this past week. I'd assume the fish have been biting at night with the full moon cycle, and that if you're out very early or late in the day, that weed edges and sand flats with sandgrass 8-12 FOW or 18-25 FOW will hold some fish. As we get on towards fall, look for walleyes on shallow areas along deep water/mainlake points. Jigging and rigging with live bait works the best on our local lakes, but if you're out at night....don't forget the number 11 floating rapalas in natural/ silver-black patterns. Fish that over weed patches, trying to make slight contact with the weeds.
Pike bite has been slow and steady all season. Spinners, cranks and buzzbaits will take fish, as will wide wobbling crankbaits. Small pike are still on the shallow weed flats...bigger pike are in 15-22FOW on the weed edge. Chase these fish with a small sucker or big shiner on a slip sinker rig.
Musky fishing was off and on this week. Some people are trolling the deeper basin areas looking for fish relating to ciscos, but it seems like the people catching fish are hitting shallow pockets (6-10 FOW) with topwaters or weed edges in 12-15 FOW with large spinners or gliders. Lots of chatter about smaller (sub 30" fish) being caught or lazy follows from larger fish. (Also reflected in my own on the water time this week.
I'll be out a bunch over the next two weeks, before I head back to professor land. See you on the water.
PS....Thanks for reading this blog.
Friday, August 11, 2017
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