Hey gang,Sorry about last week, I ended up fishing in the Wautoma area for several days and just forgot to make the post. Funny how many people silently read this weekly scribe and have things to say (not all of them nice either) when I miss a week.
Anyway, it looks like the heat has finally broken and around the area conditions are starting to stabilize into summer patterns. Water temps are in the mid 70's to low 80's on most area lakes. Water is still low overall, and areas that usually have current, may be down to a slow trickle with limited flow. It has been a number of years since I saw many of the area lakes this low.
Panfish are close to done spawning on most of the lakes. You may find some stragglers here and there, but the bulk of the nesting activity is over and there's lots of freshly hatched fry swimming around. The next week will be transition time and you should start looking for (keeper) panfish suspending off the ends of points or along the deep weedlines. 12 feet down over 15-22 FOW is a good starting point. I like to fish vertically for these fish, although slip bobbers can really produce. If you're on fish, but they're running small, try getting your bait a foot-18 inches deeper...the bigger fish are traditionally at the bottom of the school.
Largemouth Bass fishing has been about average the last two weeks. The shallow fish are moving into traditional spots: slop, docks and shallow rockbars and the larger fish are recovered from the spawn. On bright sunny days, fish tight to cover...flipping into weed pockets, or texas rigs on deep weed edges can really produce. Isolated patches of weeds along depth transitions are still holding lots of fish. On the windy days, try crankbaits or spinner baits on edges or transition areas in 8-12 or 12-15 FOW. Downsizing is still a solid bet as are natural colors (browns, pumpkins and greens) for your plastics. Its texas rig and drop shot season out deep, but if the bite is on, go swimbait or swimjig on those outside edges.
Smallmouth are biting, but the bite seems a little inconsistent afte about 9am. Some days you can knock them dead, some days they have been a little scarce. Stick to the plan...look for them on top of mainlake structure and points early and late, and look for them in deeper water during the main part of the day. Grubs, jigworms and tubes...but don't overlook dropshotting along the edges of sand/rock transitions in 8-12 FOW. Weed/rock transitions have been holding a few fish, although smaller ones, who are foraging on some small crawfish.
Northern Pike continue to bite. Shallow fish are actively chasing (early and late especially) buzzbaits, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits, especially on the shallow-flat areas with scattered weeds. If you want action, look for scattered weed clumps on flat areas in the shallows...out deep you'll need to find some baitfish near a weed edge or hump to have consistent success.
Walleye fishing has slowed down as the fish have starting moving out deeper after that heatwave. If you've been catching eyes at one depth, look for them in the same areas but at the next major depth contour. Deep weeds seem to be key, but a few people have been catching them off of deeper sand. On the cloudy, cooler days, rip-jigging, lindy/split shot rigs or slip bobbers can catch some out of weeds in 8-12 FOW if there's wind blowing in.
Talk to you next weekend. Be safe and take Dad and the kids out to catch some fish this week!