Fishing Report: Summer fish on the move

For the Tomahawk Leader

As we enter mid-summer, the water temps are into the mid-70s and even 80′ at the surface – but it cools back down with a couple of cold nights in a row, which we are still prone to getting this year.

At this time of the summer, it can be problematic for finding fish, as they seem in some cases to be constantly on the move.

It is a good time to hire a guide because of the fish movement. They should be able to get you some fish, even when others are complaining about getting none.

If you don’t want to use a guide, in general you can think about bluegills in the shallows, walleyes on mud flats or deep structure, smallmouth on rocky points in 10 feet or so and largemouth in cover. Musky are moving around from the weeds to the deeper water, and northerns are generally weed-related.

The walleye seem to be a bit deeper now, especially on those warm and sunny days. Although minnows seem to be the favorite, many anglers will try night crawlers or leeches at this time. They work after all the bug hatches, and you just may get some other fish, like bass, perch and even northerns. You can still get some in the shallower weeds in the evenings and early mornings, or on very windy days.

Don’t be shy about checking those major and minor times – and be fishing right on top of those.

The panfishing has remained good since spring. In general, look for crappies to be in unexpectedly shallow water at times, especially on dark water lakes. Try four to six feet of water in the cabbage even in high-traffic areas for some nice-sized fish. Look for the perch in the same places you find the walleye. If you’re looking for bluegill, small leeches or worms are the ticket.

Bass have been active since the spawn finished. Look for largemouth under the cover of docks and trees, and try a good old Wopper Plopper for some really fun action. Large leeches are also working for the largemouth and the smallmouth. Smallmouth can be found in deeper water around rocks and structure.

Musky are hitting, but slowly at this time of the year. Use surface baits and/or bucktails in both the weedy areas and out over deeper water. What you need more than anything for these fish is patience and the willingness to try different baits. There’s a reason they are called the fish of 10,000 casts! If you are unfamiliar with the water, look for nice cabbage weeds and move around those areas.

Now that it’s mid-summer, it’s time to pay attention to how quickly summer passes here. Get out there and enjoy, because it’ll be over in the blink of an eye.

Good luck and good fishin’!

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