Good morning, the weather looks to be good for another week up here in the Northwoods with little chance of rain over the next week and temps staying right in the upper 70s to low 80s range. Cool nights have kept the water temps in check, which are hovering right in the mid 70 degree range. The fishing has dropped off a bit as I had lots of anglers telling me they were struggling to find species like crappie and walleye.
Musky–No change in the musky bite. Fish are still favoring smaller baits and most are relating to shallow weeds. Some nice fish have been taken on topwater baits as well, so again I would start shallow and work weeds/rocks/timber types of structure for targeting musky.
Northern pike–Pike are still active and the bite has been good all day but best in mid morning and late afternoon. Look for fish in and around weeds in bays or weedy shorelines and use baits such as spinnerbaits, small bucktails, and any kind of crankbait right now.
Walleye–I think we are in the summer doldrums for walleye. Most anglers I have talked to are struggling to find them right now. Leeches are pretty much done so it’s on to other live bait (fathead minnows, walleye suckers, crawlers on harnesses) or artificial stuff. Look for where deep weeds transition off into the basin and get baits close to the bottom. Deep running crankbaits were also working this past week.
LMB–No change on the largemouth bite. It seems like anything is catching largemouth right now. Whopper ploppers seem to really be hot right now as are frogs and buzzbaits for a topwater bite. Spinnerbaits and live bait such as crawlers are still catching fish that are suspended in deeper water.
SMB–I have always assumed smallmouth to be a fish that relates more to bottom/hard structure than anything else, but I have had multiple anglers in the bait shop telling me they are catching good numbers of smallies on topwater baits. Look for rocky/sandy shorelines and don’t be afraid to mix it up!
Crappie–From the anglers I have been talking to, nobody is finding crappie right now. I have had anglers fishing shallow, deep, and everything in between and just coming up empty. Not sure what’s going on with that and not sure how to give you a report! In my experience fishing (which is strictly amateur) small fish go into weeds to eat smaller fish while also hiding from big fish. I would start in weed beds with crappie minnows or a gulp! minnow or something of that nature.
Bluegill/perch–Nothing to really report on the panfish bite. Lots of anglers have been buying leaf worms and crawlers so that should tell you everything you need to know! Plain hooks under a bobber, a split shot and a chunk of worm getting it done!
Not much new to report and the bite is all over the board so hard to give confident advice on where to catch them! Have a great weekend and we will talk soon!