Fishing Reports

Fishing with the Guides  by George Langley.   Week of  7/23 to 7/30.

As you all know, it's been a very unusual summer. We've had alternating cold fronts with warm weather, topped by very rainy periods along with the recent dry spell. This weather has made the fishing difficult in many cases, as the fish are just not reacting well to this inconsistency in the weather. Water temps are in the 70's now finally, but quite often in the low 80's at this time of year.
Lakes are still high due to the immense rains we had earlier, but the levels are dropping. We just don't seem to be able to get to “normal” this year.
Weed growth is good, but some lakes are bedeviled by algae growths. The fish, however, seem to adapt to these growths well. As you will see in the individual reports, many fish just go deeper at this time of year.
Walleye are a good example of this. They will be deeper on a daily basis in many cases due to high water usage by the jet skis and the water skiers. You can get some nice fish during the daytime on the Eagle River Chain by drifting with a jumbo leech or crawler on the bottom over the mid lake mud flats. In the evenings we will get some fish moving into the weeds to feed.. Slip bobbers will work well for these fish, or merely using weedless jigs such as Jack's Jigs with minnows. On the larger lakes, the fish are usually within throwing distance of that deeper weed line at about the 13' range. Night time on these deeper lakes will usually bring the walleye strongly up into weeds.
Bass fishing has been good, with largemouth providing great fishing throughout the area. These fish are mostly weed based, as they use the weeds as ambush spots for their prey. Surface baits have been especially good lately, as they feed on frogs daily. Plastics are also good producers rigged weedless and worked through the weeds. White and silver spinnerbaits also produce well.
Smallies are deeper and feeding on crayfish at this time of year. Look for those hard bottom boulder areas, but they will hold to cribs also. Red or brown plastics or crankbaits work well for these fish.
Northerns are hitting well, usually in the weeds. Look for the deeper weeds like grass beds in 12 – 18' on the clear lakes. Larger chubs or sucker minnows work best as live bait under slip bobbers. Any flashy bait works well as artificials, as they will hit surface baits in the shallower weeds.
Musky have started to hit well, but seems still to be holding during the daytime somewhat deeper during the daytime. They stage “feeding windows” and move up for periods during that daytime, so if you hit the weeds at the right time you'll do well. All bait types are now producing, from the deepr running bait to surface baits. Night fishing has also been good, with bucktails and surface bait producing good action on most nights.
Panfish action is good, with the crappies suprisingly deep right now. Many anglers have located them in schools in deep water in the 18' range. Small tube jigs or minnows under slip bobbers are also working. Bluegills are in the weeds, and a good part of that population is pretty shallow in those weeds. These guys can be caught all day long on worms or small leeches. Perch are also in the wees, but deeper.
Enjoy the weather out there while you can – fall is coming soon.
Good luck and good fishin'!


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