Fishing Report: Top Water Action
For the Tomahawk Leader
NORTHERN WISCONSIN – Well, the dog days of summer are fast approaching, but for now the warm humid air is still here.
Some much needed heavy rains fell earlier this month across much of the area, which was good too.
So for me, it’s time to get the top water baits out and hit the shorelines and rice beds.
It’s harder to fish them this time of year, for sure. There are more grassy weeds starting to just lay on top of the water, and it seems like half of the casts you make grab a piece of something and drag it into the boat. But, when you make that perfect cast, you know the one between shore and the rice grass, right past a clump of lily pads, and the water explodes, that’s when the real excitement begins.
This time of year produces super top water action and will continue right into fall, as those bigger fish feed up for the winter months that are coming. Now I’m primarily targeting northern pike and bass this time of year, and mainly using smaller top water baits. But, you know those muskies love to slap at the smaller baits too, maybe even more so than those huge plugs they have been seeing all summer long. Try a smaller buzz bait, or any type of similar splash-making stick bait with some kind of spinning affect to it. This splash, along with the sound of the blades cutting the water, is what will turn them on for sure.
You will be amazed at how small some of the bass or even little pike will be that take a swing at baits like this – even catching a few of them and wondering, how did they get that in their mouth and what did they think they were going to do with that if they did eat it? Sometimes the bait seems bigger than the fish. But those times when a huge splash of the fish hitting the bait on top makes it all worth the 50-plus casts to get that hit.
Those big pike will aggressively nail those top water baits this time of year. The key is to give them a second or two to swallow before setting the hook. Your reaction right away is to jerk and sometimes you just simply pull it away from them before they actually have it. So be patient, then give the hook set.
Generally, you get one chance with a bass, they either eat it or they are gone and won’t hit again. With northern pike, however, they may hit that thing four times on the way to the boat, and if they don’t get hooked, you may even be able to recast, and they might hit again or follow and do a small figure-eight at the boat. They just don’t seem to give up easily.
So, take the time to try top water going into fall. You may be surprised with the fast action.