Water levels are higher than they have been most of the summer, and water temps are in the mid to high 70's.
Panfish continues to be the hot bite in the area. Crappie and bluegill continue to bite along weedlines or suspended out over deep water, as well as in mid-depth weeds. 10-12 FOW along the weeds and 12-18 Feet Down over 25-45 FOW. Plastics tipped with live bait, tail hooked minnows and leafworms fished vertically or with slip bobbers will produce, although panfish leeches (if you can find them) will put the best fish in the boat. Early evenings until just after sunset have been best, as is typical for this time of year.
Largemouth continue to run late summer patterns. On the hot sunny days, look for them around docks or slop, or out deep in 12-15 FOW. On the cooler cloudy days, look for active fish in sand/rock or rock/weed transitions in 4-8 feet. Topwater bite will be good, especially early in the morning, but grubs, jig worms and texas rigs can keep you on a steady bit all day. Schooling fish roaming the flats are for numbers, but if you're looking for something larger, find those weed edges along the drops on the points. You'll have to work for them out there, but they are there.
Smallmouth fishing has picked up the last ten days as fish are starting to put on the fall feedbag. Look for them around the edges of the shallow structure like rock bars or sand/rock transition areas. The fish will be deeper than you think they should be in most cases, but almost always on the edges/transition lines. Jigworms, grubs, minnowbaits and small white crankbaits can be dynamite. If you find fish up shallower (say 5-8 FOW) I've been catching a bunch on smaller flukes rigged like a banjo minnow or on the Berkley Max Scent Minnows fished like a Ned rig on a mushroom head jig.
Pike fishing has been slow, but steady. Lots of undersized fish are being caught in the shallow and mid-depth areas. I'd consider moving out deeper and using live bait on a slip sinker rig, trying to connect with active fish in 18-22 or 22-25 feet of water. Spinners, both R Bend or inline, as well as rattletraps or buzzbaits can catch the shallow fish, but small (walleye suckers or the biggest shiners you can get) for the deeper fish.
Walleye fishing has been entirely inconsistent lately. On windy days, they bit great much less so on days with limited or North or East winds. People still fishing at night are reporting some success off the deeper sand flat areas, but a few decent fish are being caught out of the shallow weeds very early in the morning using rapalas or similar minnow baits.
Musky are getting more active, but anglers are still reporting lots of lazy follows. That will change as the cooler nights start bringing down the water temps. For now, keep your presentation on the smaller side. Gliders, bulldogs and cow-girls have all produced limited action in the past week.
Final note: I have enjoyed sharing these reports with you the last several years.
Good Luck Out There,
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