Hot-weather Action

Now we’re fully into those dog days of summer; half of the year is over already. I guess, like they say, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” and the more we fish, the faster time flies.

We had a pretty good spring for crappies. Once the water warmed up, air temperatures stayed relatively cool enough that the water temperatures stayed in the 60s for several weeks, so the fish stayed active. We fished for crappies most of the time and got some good ones most trips out. We had some slow days with weather changes, but overall, it was ideal.

We heard the bass fishing was good, but when the crappies are hitting, we fish mostly for them. Toward the end of May and then into June, the walleye bite picked up, but they’re still spotty. By July, the crappie fishing now slows and people will be fishing more for white bass and largemouths.

People fishing for “meat” will look for whites and walleyes, while the sport anglers will be mostly for largemouth bass and muskies. Some people fish for the whites just for the fun of it, even if they don’t eat them. They definitely provide more action than most species. They usually bite pretty well in the hot weather. Some may be up on the flats in shallow water chasing shad, and for those we mostly use the double-rigged twister tails, but other baits like inline spinners and blade baits also work.

If they’re not up on the flats, move out to the end of the flat and fish the drop-off with the twister tails or a jigging spoon, or something like a Little George. Some of the long points on the lake form like a sandbar. They’re frequently on these and might be shallow or deep on them so try different depths with the same baits. Trolling crankbaits along these deeper areas is sometimes a way to determine what depths they are at.

Summer largemouth fishing should be good even though you still have frontal systems that can affect them, but usually not as severely as they do in the spring and fall.

A buzzbait is the favorite topwater bait here for warm-weather bass fishing, but other topwaters like Pop-Rs work. If they’re not hitting topwater, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are probably my next choices. They both are good for covering water, but the spinnerbait can be used around some types of cover that the crankbaits can get hung up in.

The crankbait is a great choice because most species will hit it. You can also throw it into shallow water and then it will dive on the retrieve to cover more depth. We mostly use one that dives 8 to 10 feet—you never know what each cast might bring in, as we’ve caught crappies, whites, largemouths, muskies, walleyes and even catfish on the crankbaits.

Some days, when they’re not real active, you may have to slow down and fish some type of soft plastic, like worms and crawfish or bass jigs in and around cover.

If you can take the heat, don’t limit your fishing to early or late in the day. We catch many at midday and fish whenever we can get out.     MWO