Fishing Success During the Dog Days of SummerBy Bob Jensen - August 1, 2007
Summer BassOften the best bite will occur early and late in the day before the sun gets to its peak. Fishing is often more comfortable at this time of day as well. The fish will often be shallower and away from heavy cover early and late in the day.
That doesn’t mean the fish won’t bite at mid-day. If largemouth bass are the quarry, try the areas where the cover is heavier. Flip a jig into the heaviest cover you can find. If there is a bass in there, it will eat the jig.
For walleyes, go a little deeper, and fish the shaded side of the structure. If you’re on a sunken island, and the sun is more toward the east, try working the west side of the structure. It will be a little more shaded, and the fish might be a little more active.
Again for walleyes, if you see fish on a deep structure and they’re grouped up, run a Roach Rig with a crawler or leech through them. Slow down and work them very thoroughly.
If you can’t find them grouped up, speed up your presentation. Tie on a Baitfish-Image Rainbow Spinner and cover water. You’ll catch a fish here and one there, and by the end of the day you’ll have caught a good number of fish.
Remember that in the summer, the baitfish will be aggressive. They will be constantly nipping at your live bait, so you will need to reel in and check the bait frequently. To get around this, use Gulp! or Power Bait on the spinners. The baitfish will still nip at these baits, but they won’t damage them, and the walleyes will eat them as good as they would live bait.
If you can plan the timing of your day on the water, take a look at the weather forecast. If you can find a day when the weather has been stable for a few days, that would be good. If there have been a few days of stable weather, but the forecast is predicting a change, the day before that change can be very good. If you can react quickly to the timing of your day on the water, and you see that there could be a change in the weather, try to go fishing before the weather change.
If you should happen to be on the water the day after a weather change, and the skies are clear and the air temps are cooler, consider chasing northern pike. They don’t seem to be as affected by weather changes.
I just returned from a dog-day fishing trip. The action for bass early and late was tremendous, while mid-day action was noticeably slower. Keep the above ideas in mind and you’ll catch plenty of fish during the dog-days of summer.
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