Summer, according to the calendar, has arrived. In the fish’s underwater world, lots of things are going on. All of these things affect what the fish do, and also affect the ways that we can catch them. Some ideas for catching more fish in the summer period follow.
You may have heard of the “dog days” of summer and how fish don’t eat during the dog days. Although fishing changes in the summer and fish habits also change, you can be assured that fish still eat. In fact, they eat more often in the summer months. This is good news for anglers: fish that eat more often can be easier to catch if you do just a couple of things.
First of all, and probably the most basic concept of fishing, is that you need to put your bait where the fish are. All the most modern lines, rods, reels, and lures will do you no good if you don’t put your lure where the fish live.
Some fish will be in deep water, some will be shallow, and some will be at mid-depths. At times the deep fish will be the biters, at other times the guys in the other depth ranges will be most likely to bite. Anglers will need to spend some time working the various depths to determine which fish are most accessible. Often the shallow fish bite best early and late in the day, deeper fish go at mid-day. However, weather conditions and cloud cover can change everything.
If the fish are schooled tightly, which they often will be in the deeper water, a slow presentation will be most productive. It’s hard to beat a live bait rig with either a leech or crawler wiggling right on the fish’s nose.
At other times, especially when the fish are spread out, a faster moving bait will be best. If walleyes are the quarry, a spinner rig such as a Rainbow Crawler Harness or Baitfish Spinner Harness with a live crawler will be what the fish want.
For largemouth bass, a crankbait worked along the weedline or over deeper structure will be good, and a jig-worm will almost always take some fish.
The live bait rig will also be tops if smallmouth bass are what you want to catch. Nightcrawlers, to be productive, must be healthy and have lots of wiggles. Frabill’s Crawler Can is the best way to keep crawlers wiggly.
Modern electronics do an excellent job of showing where the fish are. Pay attention to your electronics: if they show fish, fish for them. If you’re not seeing fish, you need to try somewhere else. Be sure you have the sensitivity turned up high enough on your unit to provide a good display.
The summer months can provide some of the best fishing of the year, and also some of the most challenging. Get out there whenever you can and you’ll find that the “Dog-Days” don’t need to be a time of tough fishing.
Image courtesy Bob Jensen