Report provided by Mitch Mode of Mel’s Trading Post in Rhinelander
The secret to summertime fishing can often be narrowed down to one word: Weeds. Fish gravitate to the weeds in the heat of summer. There they’ll find cover, comfort and food. On a hot day there is shade. On a typical summer day there will be bait fish. And on any day they’ll find protective cover. Weeds are important at any time of the year but summertime they are critical.
This week things cooled off some; people mentioned the feel of September on the cooling breeze. But make no mistake; it is late July, soon to be August, and that spells summer. And if you fish in mid summer, you’d best find some good weed cover.
We had reports, somewhat improbable one might think, of good crappie action this week. Where? In thick weeds in about 4 to 6 feet of water. Crappies had moved in to feed on minnows there. Another report had crappies in shallower water feeding on small crayfish. Totally different patterns but weeds united fish and food and angler.
Walleyes too are in weeds, usually in deeper water now but finding shelter and comfort in the submerged weed beds. Leeches and crawlers (sometimes half a crawler is the best bet) will take fish. Best times remain morning and evening with the latter usually better. On cloudy days you have a chance mid-day if things work out but that is rare.
But if weeds and summer have a match it’s with largemouth bass. Thick weeds draw bass in the heat. Period. We continue to get consistent reports of bass, good sized ones, in heavy cover. Plastic worms can be a killer option but large surface lures and medium size crankbaits can work as well.
The one slow mover of late remains muskies. They started the season slow and never got in gear. Some action is in the shallows; other anglers are finding big fish deep. Bucktails always work well; big surface lures at sundown can bring fish. But it is slow for the big guys.