End of the Summer Fishing

August 1, 2016 by  

I can’t believe I’m thinking this already, but autumn is fast approaching. The month of August signals the end of summer and the beginning of school and football season. It also is a time when fishing can be a little tough if we don’t make some adjustments in the way we go about our fishing. And, if we make those adjustments, fishing can be very good. Following are some fishing adjustments to consider for the next few weeks.

Right now is a time of plenty for predator fish. There is lots of food in the water. The baitfish that were born this spring are now at a size where they can be eaten by the bigger fish. In many bodies of water, the gamefish don’t have to look very hard for a meal; all they need to do is open their mouth and swim and they get a mouthful of minnows.

August Walleye

It was a hot August day when this walleye took a liking to Mike Frisch’s Hornet.

When there is a lot of food in the water, often it works well to abandon the “Match the Hatch” theory. “Match the Hatch” suggests that we use a bait that looks like the dominant baitfish. Let’s say you’re fishing for walleyes on a lake that has lots of perch, and many of those perch are in the three to four inch range, perfect walleye food. The walleyes see perch every day. I don’t know if walleyes get tired of eating perch, but I’ve seen lots of times when a bait that looked nothing like a perch out-produced a bait that looked like a perch on a lake that had a strong perch population. Give it a try. And if that doesn’t work, try a bait that does look like a perch, or go larger or smaller, or faster or slower. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. That’s a pretty good rule for life.

If you want to catch largemouth bass, move through an area faster than you would in the spring or early summer. Fish are willing to take a fast moving bait when the water is warm. Also, by moving your bait faster, you’re covering more water and showing your bait to more fish. Try working a weedline with a crankbait, something like a #6.5 Salmo Hornet. Move them fast. When you catch a couple of fish close together, and you often will, slow down and work that area thoroughly. Throw a jig rigged with Impulse plastic or live bait. After you’ve worked the area over good, pick up the crankbait and start moving quickly again. You’ll catch largemouth, but you’ll also get walleyes and northern pike. By the end of your fishing trip, you’ll often have caught a good number of fish and covered quite a bit of water with this faster approach.

Fishing in August can be challenging, but it can also be productive and rewarding. Wear sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, drink plenty of water while you’re out there, keep changing baits, move quickly until you find the fish, and you’ll increase your chances for fishing success. I’m not going to stay off the water in August and you shouldn’t either. The weather can be hot, and the fishing can be hotter.

To see all the most recent episodes of the Fishing the Midwest television series, new fishing related tips, and fishing articles from the past, go to fishingthemidwest.com. If you do Facebook, check us out for a variety of fishing related things.


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