Life intruded and I have been away for a bit. Lots has happened in my absence. First off, Dale Pavey's fish was outmatched by a 5.98 caught by Kevin Ryan.
But let's get to the fishing report. I hear by many accounts, the bite has gotten tough the last two weeks. With WABTA this weekend, lots of guys have been working hard to stay on the fish.
Two suggestions. One, this summer's weather has changed the typical patterns of the fish. Cooler water and frequently unstable weather makes fish hard to pattern. But Here's part two, there is one pattern that will work right now, rocks.
The crayfish are starting to molt, and lots of soft shelled craws are tucked away in the rocky areas. This annual transition is tied to the photocycle and not to the water temperature, thus you can almost set your watch to it. Every predator fish will make some sort of move towards rocks, but bass, walleye and musky will all be relating to rocky areas for the next little bit. Shallow rocky bars and points, but also rocky or gravel areas adjacent to deep water will hold fish throughout the day. Carwfish imitators like skirted grubs, tubes, jig and chunk, and small crankbaits in a crawfish or light brown pattern will produce. I caught my largest musky on a tiny crankbait this time of year over a shallow bar on Okauchee.
Look for rock/weed transitions and make multiple casts parallel to the weedline. The fish are hungry, and will be focused on the craws, but remember there's plenty of food for them. Be slow and methodical in your presentation. As I tell my clients, "polish those rocks." If you catch a fish in an area, stick it out, there will be more there.
This pattern is good on pretty much every area lake, but is only good for about ten days. Hit the water and get in on some amazing fishing.