Mid July, 2014 - Lakeland Area Fishing Report
Cool night time temps have held most of the Lakeland Area Lakes right around the 70 degree mark. This is not our usual summertime weather, but the fish are still cooperating and it’s a great time to be out on the water.
Walleye fishing can be super this time of year if you concentrate on sunrise and sunset times. Walleyes feed heavily during these low light times and can be found on weed edges in shallower lakes in the 12 to 16 foot range. The deeper lakes containing rock bars and points in the 20 to 30 foot zone will also attract them. Using Nightcrawlers and Leeches on a 1/8 ounce jig, along with slip-bobber set ups have been working great. Color can be a big factor on many lakes. Try different color jigs until you find the one that is out producing the rest. Drag the jig across the bottom with small hops, and pauses. With these cooler water temps, a slow presentation is crucial.
Crappies, Bluegills and Bass have moved into weedy bays. Key on the 8 to 12 foot depths where you can see weed tops every 5 to 10 feet. Fishing too shallow, and the weeds will be too thick to fish. Too deep and there are not enough weeds to hold fish. You have to find the spot that is just right, and slowly drifting across these areas will help you cover more water and find the fish. For Bass, use plastics that sink slow like Senkos that are “Wacky” rigged. This is simply a large single hook right in the middle of the worm looking plastic. It slowly sinks, and flutters down into weed pockets, and the Bass love them. For the Crappies use a crappie minnow under a slip float, so you can fish it a little deeper in the 5 to 8 foot range.
Musky fishing is also picking up. With the cooler water temps, stick with small bucktails and jerkbaits in weedy bays. Surface lures are also working good right before sunset in shallow water. This is a classic summer pattern. As the sun begins to set many fish move shallow to feed. Use surface lures that are small in size, but put out a lot of noise and commotion. The biggest trick to catching a Musky on a surface lure is to NOT set the hook on the explosion of water that you see or hear, but to wait until you feel the weight of the fish. This is a hard thing to do as it goes against you natural reactions. Hold the tip of your rod straight down, near the side of the boat instead of off to the side of your body. This helps slow your reaction time down in setting the hook.
Come on up – the water is fine!
Pat and Bob
Captain Hooks Guide Service