Of the dog days of summer? I have found water temps from 77 degrees to 80 degrees on the lakes I have been fishing in the past week. Fishing is going to be great on these nice days, catching on the other hand might be a little tough in these conditions. While bass and panfish will be a good day time bite; walleye and muskie will be a better payoff fishing early morning and later in the evening.
Muskie: Weeds, rocks, break lines, and mid lake humps depending on the lake you are fishing and don’t forget to bring the arsenal of baits you will be needing to cover a lot of water. Remember that the proper equipment is needed to use certain baits to make your fishing experience enjoyable.
Northern Pike: Fishing the weed edges with bass style spinnerbaits or inline spinnerbaits such as Mepps #4 and #5 and weedless spoons, such as Johnson Silver Minnows, should get you in a tussle with these water wolves. Jig and minnow combos fishing near weeds for walleyes will catch a few also.
Walleye: At this time with high water temps and a lot of recreational boaters you should have plans to fish early morning hours or later evening hours to find biting fish.
Bass: (Largemouth)Bass spinnerbaits (safety pin style) and crankbaits are working well. If fishing weeds, don’t forget to bring top water baits like a Scum Frog or a Zara Spook; adding this approach will add to your success. Texas and Carolina rigging plastics will also entice that fish to bite. (Smallmouth) Basic live bait rig is always a go to presentation; also plastics and crankbaits will work well.
Panfish: For Bluegills slip bobber rigs are the way to go baited up with a good selection of live bait such as waxies, small leeches and red worms. Plastics are working under bobbers also; you just have to twitch your rod to make sure they have actions. Crappies will be looking for cover in the weeds, downed trees or around cribs and a slip bobber rigged with small minnow or plastics; work them the same way as with Bluegills. Perch are in the weeds too, and using a selection of small leeches, red worms and small minnows on slip bobbers are the ticket for them.
Also, if you're in the area, the Tuesday evening summer sessions of the Phelps Outdoors and Colin Crawford's Guide Service "Fishing Tips & Techniques" have begun and go through August 9th. They begin at 6 pm and are held in the Phelps School, lower commons (4451 Old School Rd.). The seminars are free of charge and open to the public for all ages and skill levels. They are a great way to find out what's biting that week and the best way to catch them.
Happy fishing! Selective harvest is the way to go. Colin Crawford's Guide Service, firstname.lastname@example.org (715)891-2715. Website is www.crawfordfishing.com or you can also find Phelps Outdoors on Facebook.