We are a month past the summer solstice and even now, in the waning days of July, evening shadows come earlier, daybreak later; seasons are changing. We are drawing down on summer; five weeks until Labor Day and those five weeks will bring change, faster and more frequent.
Summer will not linger, warm days will not last. One had best find excuses to do things outside now rather than reasons not to. Lake temperatures are pleasant, daytime temperatures are moderate (a far cry from the sweltering heat of early July). Life is good in the Northwoods.
Fishing July (and August for that matter) is pretty much the same story over the span of five or six weeks. Fish are still active. They need to feed consistently so while fishing may be slower than the glory days of opening and, later, autumn, it can still be productive.
Walleyes will be in deeper water and weedy areas. They will take jigs tipped with crawlers, leeches or artificials. Location is critical. You simply need to present your offerings close to the edges of those submerged weeds. Do that and you’ll take fish; miss the key area and you will not. Simple!
Bass are active as well. Smallmouth will go deep, similar to walleyes. Deep running lures or crawfish imitations will serve one well especially if one can locate some gravel or rocky areas in the deeper waters. River fishing can be exceptional as bass see faster moving waters. Largemouth can be deep but will also come to shallows at nightfall and take surface lures.
Muskies are holding in cooler water, which is most often deeper. Traditional lures such as buck tails and deeper running crank baits will be key presentations as will surface baits. Evening is good but an overcast day can be very good as well.
Panfish are scattered but usually found along deeper weedy areas; smaller fish will be shallower. Small jigs will work well as will smaller lures fished along the edges of weeds in 10 to 12 feet of water (on most lakes).
This is prime time for water sports, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and power boating.
Bottom line is, summer will not last forever and we are a week away from August. Now is the time to be outdoors!
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.