Before we get to the fishing report, a couple of clerical things for your attention.
First, to all of you who emailed me at the chris @ muskymikesbaitshop . com adress, I apologize for not returning your inquiries sooner. I had a problem with the setup of the account that was preventing me from getting incoming mail. The problem is now resolved.
Next, Just a reminder about Big Bass League on Tuesday Nights. We are getting incredible turnouts for a weeknight tournament. Come join us for the last weeks of the season.
Finally, Dock of the Bay will be running a bass tournament on August 16. You can get information at the bar or we have some flyers at the shop.
Summer patterns are what's ahppening on the lakes right now.
Panfish have moved to deep water for the most part. They can be a little tricky to find, but if you can get on some, you won't believe the size and quantity of panfish you can pull out of deeper water. My best suggestion for you is to drive slowly just off the weedlines and the deep edges of points with your electronics on. Panfish typically school up over 18-28 feet of water about 6-12 feet down. They'll look like a cloud on your graph. Use slip bobbers or tightline vertically with leeches, panfish plumpers or pieces of nightcrawler to target these fish on a drift.
Largemouth Bass are running three of their usual summer patterns. On sunny, warmer days the piers and the slop are producing. Wacky worms, tubes and shakey heads are producing around the piers, while rats, scum frogs, strike king or zoom frogs are pulling them out of the slop. Deeper fish have schooled up on the weedlines and the end of points. Texas rigs, drop shots and swim baits are catching these fish. The fish on the weed flats are being taken on topwater, especially early in the evening as the sun sets. Buzzbaits, poppers and spooks are all catching fish.
Smallmouth bass have been a little harder to come by this season, but that's about to change. The crayfish will begin to molt on our area lakes, and the smallies feast when this occurs. Look for the fish that have been holding deeper to move to shallow rocky areas in the next two weeks. Skirted grubs, tubes and jigs with trailers can't be beat. Also consider using crawfish colored crankbaits (lipless or shallow divers) as search baits to find schools of fish. Brown and orange will be the best color combo for the next little bit.
Walleye fishing is slow but steady. Fish are using weeds in 18-22 feet on most lakes. Jigs tipped with live bait or lindy rigs are catching fish, but the better fish are coming at night by anglers trolling with stickbaits, shad raps or bottom bouncers.
Northern pike fishing has been great this entire year, and the bite continues. Look for them on the weedflats and target larger fish with live bait along the deep weedlines. Lots of smaller pike can be caught throwing spinner or buzzbaits around clumps of shallow weeds, while the bigger fish are coming on shiners or suckers on slip sinker rigged trolled very slowly on the outside edges.
Musky fishing has been tied to the weather recently. The cloudy days are producing, the hot sunny days have been slower. Most fish are being caught off deep structure or while trolling. A few are being caught on topwaters near the deep weed edges on the larger flats. Crankbaits are producing the trolling fish, jerkbaits and soft plastics are catching the casting fish. Walk the dog and prop baits have been the better topwater options lately.