Time goes by faster every year. We had an early ice-out this year, but the weather stayed cool and the water didn’t warm up as quickly as we thought it would. But for the most part, fishing has been pretty good darn across the Midwest. Following are some ideas that will help you catch more fish and enjoy your time on the water even more for the remainder of the summer.
As the summer continues, it’s very important to locate the prey that the gamefish are feeding on. From now until next spring, the walleyes and bass and panfish and other gamefish will be near their food. If you want to be successful on the water, you need to find whatever the fish you want to catch are foraging on. They could be in the shallows, in the mid-depths, in deep water, or suspended.
If you’ve been fishing very much so far this year, you’re probably in need of a line change. I remove forty or fifty yards of line from my reel and attach new line to the line that remains on the reel. By doing so, you’ve got plenty of fresh line on the reel, which will enhance the odds of your landing the fish that eat your bait. That’s also less expensive than changing all the line on your reel. Your line is the only thing keeping you attached to the fish: Make sure you’re using quality line that is fresh.
In warm water, which is what we will have for at least the next month, move your lures faster. If you’re trolling crankbaits or spinners, pick up the speed a little bit. If you’re jigging, instead of live bait on the jig, try a plastic tail. UV Mimic Minnows and Mimic Minnow Shad, in the right situation, have been outstanding. The right situation is when the fish are hungry but scattered in water less than twelve feet deep. You can fish the plastic faster and it will appeal to most predator fish.
Take a quick walk around your boat trailer to make sure there are no wires hanging loose. Check your trailer lights. If you’re like many anglers, you’ve had the trailer on the road a few times this summer and things can work loose. Now is a good time to check to make sure your trailer is working as it should.
Some anglers talk about the dog-days of summer and how the fish don’t bite during that time of year. While it is true that fishing changes in mid-summer, be assured that fish will bite. They have to eat, and the warm water usually makes them eat more. Maybe the windows of feeding activity are smaller in the summer, but if you put a bait near a fish at the right time, that fish is going to eat your bait.
Summer is already starting to wind down, and the days are getting shorter, but there is still lots of fishing to do. If you keep these ideas in mind your fishing will be more pleasant and productive.
PHOTO CAPTION-Travis Carlson caught this mid-summer walleye in Kabetogama Lake in northern Minnesota just before a storm arrived. In the summer, the action can be hot just before a storm. The action on Kabetogama is almost always hot: Kab is one of the best multi-species lakes in the Midwest.
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by Bob Jensen
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