Some mid-summer fishing reminders

Fishing the Midwest

Walleyes will eat crankbaits like this Lucky Shad year ‘round, but during the hot periods of the year crankbaits can be really, really good.

Summer continues. July is on the way out, August is here or near. Time marches on and that’s okay: What else can time do? Many anglers across the Midwest and North America report that fishing has been pretty good, bordering on excellent in some locations. And despite the thought that fishing might slow down a bit, the fact is that the fish need to eat and can be caught. There are some things that anglers can do to up their odds for catching fish as summer enters its hottest time in terms of air temperatures. 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 summer continues, it’s very important to locate the prey that the gamefish are feeding on. From now until next spring, the walleyes, bass, 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. More and more, anglers are finding that fluorocarbon lines are offering some very important advantages. Tactical fluorocarbon is a line that’s really caught on with many anglers. It’s tough, it’s reliable, and it’s nearly invisible under the water. Consider fluorocarbon when you add line to your reel.

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. When the fish are hungry but scattered in water less than twelve feet deep, plastic on a jig is a very good go-to. You can fish the plastic faster and it will appeal to most predator fish. Use a jighead of one color and a tail of another color to increase the odds of showing the fish the color that they want on that day.

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.

Folklore suggests that fish don’t bite during the dog-days of August. 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. Early and late in the day are good, as are overcast days with moderate breezes. Or, try a river. River fish almost always like to get caught.

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 continue to be pleasant and productive.

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