By Cody Hill
Chill Fishing Report
Sunday, Aug. 21 the water temperature was 75.6 degrees at noon, and it was climbing due to no wind and lots of direct sun. With conditions being calm it was very noticeable that we were having an algae bloom on the lake we were targeting crappies. I was hoping it was localized, but midway across the lake I found out quickly it was wishful thinking. The day before I was using a small jig and soft plastic jigging near boulders catching a multispecies of fish but if I used that presentation the fish were not going to find my lure.
Since a lot of lakes in our area are having a “Bloom” you need to change your lure mindset on lure choices because your lure needs to be felt first before the fish can bite in low visibility waters. Fish have been holding very tight to standing weeds and a bloom will not make them move too far so we started with small jigs (white/yellow/pink) with a small blade on them like a Roadrunner jig. The blade helps give vibration in water column and helps fish find your lure. The slender profile allows it to cut through the water easier without getting hung up on weeds.
Livescope is a great tool and I know not everyone has it but I learn more about fish behavior from it then physically watching the fish bite my lure like so many people use it for. It showed that the fish were still in the weeds, but they were closer to bottom then the top of the water column like in the past few weeks. It also showed that the bigger and most active fish were more active on the outside edges of the weed line going into the open water areas of the lake. If you cannot find light enough jigs try adding a soft plastic especially with a curled tail to slow your drop down and add more vibration in the water column.
Fall is in the air, and the cooler morning temperatures means our water temps should be leveling out to dropping shortly. Muskie fishermen are chomping at the bit to get out and start targeting them again. I have been seeing a lot more being caught accidentally walleye or bass fishing so it will only be a matter of time before they are being the primary target of a lot of local anglers.
Walleye fall bite is picking up on some local lakes and the jigging rap bite has been getting a lot of attention. Trolling lindy rigs with larger minnows on break lines and weed lines have been producing some better-quality fish.
Panfish have been more active but becoming more spread out you will find them in the weeds, but I have been finding my larger sunfish on deeper water structures instead of being shallow. Crappies have been on weed edges like stated above but also starting to hit some basins.
The smallmouth bite has been crazy, and they are in large schools. Targeting anything with gravel or rocks and staying mobile is key for finding them. We were finding them on sharp breaks with rocks and especially BIG rocks were producing the largest smallmouth.
Some of the best fishing is right around the corner and it is not too late to book a fall trip. I have a few weekends available to help make a fall trip memorable.