This past week the high temps, high pressure and high bluebird skies made for lower catch rates for many anglers. With the water level at a very low level and no forecast for rain in sight, it would not surprise me if the bite remained a bit tough for most. But fish can and will get themselves caught if you put together a solid and patient presentation. Here’s what worked for me this past week..
I had the pleasure of fishing with a pair of great guys, Jesse Preston and his partner Mike. Our target was walleye as these guys were pre-fishing for an up-coming tourney in the hopes of finding a few productives spots and to learn a new technique or two.
We focused our attentions off the main channel in side channel cuts with the most flow we could find. Depths fished ranged from 2′ – 8′. If we got any deeper than that all we would catch was small-ish sheepshead and inch fiddler cats. The walleyes were definitely relating to high current areas regardless of how shallow those areas might have been.
Most productive times to be on the water fishing walleyes? Right in the middle of the day… basically 10:30 AM and on through the middle of the day.
In this first photo Jesse and Mark are shown with a super nice pair of walleyes that fell to a light split shot rig n’ leech drifted in shallow water along the rim of a deeper hole. There was deeper water nearby… down to about 12′ with lots of timber in the deeper water but the walleyes just weren’t feeding any deeper than 8′, with the vast majority of the fish being caught in 3′ – 4′ of water. Both crawlers and leeches caught fish with the leeches taking all fish caught over 20 inches. Keys to getting bit and hooking up were to fish as slowly as possible and once a bite was detected, line was fed to the fish for 5 – 10 seconds before setting the hook. On this particular day, we had these two piggies along with a nice 2-man limit of 15.5 inch – 18 inch fish for the pan.
Notice the fish on the left had a couple bites taken out of it’s tail! We figured that little trim job cost that fish at least 3/4 inch in length… it taped out at 26.6 inches and was released in good health.
I also did some bass fishing this week and found the bite to be a bit slower than expected although we did scrape up a fair number fish on the day in question. Right away in the AM the bite was VERY good with numbers of 16" – 18" bass coming to the boat but once the sun made it above the trees, well, the bite really took a down turn. Early on black ringworms with a white tail were the BOMB and Ed Wendt, shown here in this photo, caught 3 bass like the one in this photo in about 4 casts to a rock shelf located behind a wingdam on the river near Wabasha, MN. With the sun high in the sky we fished slop, backwater sloughs with current and wood as well as main channel rip rap with current. The only pattern giving up any fish of any significance was main channel rip rap and the fish being caught weren’t the smallies a guy would expect holding in the current, it was largemouth like the one I’m holding in this last photo. These main channel fish were all over 4" Chunky Butt tubes in Pumpkinseed and Black Neon fished on a 1/8th ounce 60′ jighead. The fish weren’t up shallow on the rip rap, instead they were down 6′ – 8′ feet laying just inside of the current seam created by small points coming off the rocks. These Chunky Butt tubes have an impressive number of long tentacles and as a result they sink VERY slowly on a light jighead and it really resulted in some startling hits on a day when other baits were just getting picked at. I did try to go to heavier jigs for better control in the deeper, swirling waters but the sink rate was too fast, the action of these tubes was too diminshed and our catch rate dropped noticeably.
Well I hope to see everyone at the 4th Annual "fishtheriver" Get-Together being held at Everts Resort this Saturday Aug. 16th. We’re having a hog roast following our fishing tourney. If you can make it, grab the kids and come on down!