Houston's fishing report: 'Dog days' tactics: Slower presentation, deeper water
Where does the time go? As we are now entering the midst of the "dog days" of summer, some think fishing gets difficult. This does not have to be the case; adjustments and fine-tuning will still put fish in the boat.
Another variable to practice is timing. Now that the sun is blazing with direct rays, anglers need to pick a good time to fish. We like morning and nightfall, as well as logging hours into the night.
So as we continue into warm weather, here are a few tips that may be repetitive but necessary: Use sunscreen, drink water, fish deeper waters and use slower presentations.
Lake Superior has seen increased traffic due to the nice days. Fishing has been most successful in the deeper waters of the North Shore. Big lake trout are being targeted in 100-plus feet of water using downriggers. Anglers are getting salmon with a variety of spoons and plugs, trolling suspended in the water column. Early mornings are becoming the best time of day to fish. Anglers also are reporting a few catches of quality walleyes on the South Shore. The big walleyes are being caught using oversized crankbaits.
The St. Louis River has seen its share of boat traffic, too, between recreational kayakers, canoes, pleasure cruises and anglers. Walleyes have been scattered throughout the harbor areas, and best practice is to troll off the steep breaks. A few crappies also are being caught. Anglers are catching good catfish, freshwater drum (sheepshead) and the occasional carp. Some bowhunters are now heading to the shallows to practice shooting carp and suckers.
Inland waters are now at peak vegetation growth, and most game fish have moved to deeper waters to cool down. Nighttime will bring fish into the shallower areas and this is a good time to target them. Muskie anglers are having success chucking large baits in shallower waters. Bass anglers are catching fish using top water baits like buzz baits and Hula Poppers or Jitterbugs.
Jarrid Houston of South Range is a fishing guide (houstonsguideservice.com) on Minnesota and Wisconsin inland waters, the St. Louis River and, in winter, on Lake Superior.