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Monday, August 24, 2020

Fishing Report 8-21-2020

Hey gang,

Lots going on, so let's get right to it. First off, the crayfish molt is winding up. Lots of people were on some fish, but then those fish got scarce. What happened of course is the late summer molt, where the soft shells get on the shallow rocks and the feeding frenzy breaks out. Typically when a deep bite cools off quickly like that, fish will continue to bite, but they'll have a much smaller strike zone and the shallow fish will be active. But with so much food around, it 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 consistent, 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, and a bit ahead of schedule. The best fishing is on the deeper weed edge along the main lake structure or secondary points. Slip bobbers will work, but vertically fishing for the deeper fish can really produce, especially if you can find some fish suspending. 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. ( IE: 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. (Again, this is a bit ahead of schedule for the season) 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  flipping or working a texas rig or jig worm through isolated points and weed edges produced some quality bites for me the last couple of days.

Walleye are 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 18-22 FOW, or to throw minnowbaits around visible subsurface patches of weeds. 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 white/yellowbass 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 this past week. 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, but things are starting to happen.