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Late Summer Fishing

contributed by Lenise

“...with water temperatures rising throughout summer, I’ll change the bait I work, because the natural food sources for fish are more abundant during mid-to-late summer...” email: madventure@abzorba.com

Playing it cool...

The sun is high in the sky. The water has warmed up. The weeds have become thick. The water is murky. And the fish don't seem to be biting. How do you get those hot, slow moving fish to bite? Play it cool... Many anglers stop pursuing panfish once the shallow water bite ceases, but it doesn't have to be that way. Locating summer panfish shouldn't be intimidating and many times I’ve found when I’ve been fishing for bass or walleyes. Panfish will utilize deep water just like walleye, bass and pike. Keep in mind as the water heats up, many fish move towards deeper water. Deep water shouldn't scare panfish anglers, and it’s been my experience having the willingness to target deep water during the summer months can really increase your catch. Going Deeper Deep weeds are a classic summer spot and should be a part of every panfish angler's daily routine once the summer sun sets in. Deep weeds and weed lines will draw in a huge smörgåsbord of organisms for panfish to feed on and in very high numbers. The cool water of the deep weeds is comforting to panfish and you can expect to find them there until the weeds change or the water temperatures begin to drop. Several characteristics make deep weeds and weed lines very effective. Within these deep weeds and lines are weed pockets. Weed pockets provide excess to sunlight, which will attract bait fish and other forage which in turn attracts panfish.  You can bet sunfish or crappies will snatch up an easy meal if it presents itself out in the open water of one of these weed pockets. Panfish are abundant underneath vegetated barriers and they’re scurrying about, picking off tiny morsels in the weed pockets. Some days you can set over one of these pockets and catch one fish after another. Weeds play an important role in summer panfish locations, and the presence of deep weeds and weed lines just make finding and catching panfish that much easier. But don't let vegetation be your only guide to a day of successful panfish fishing. Out in the Open for Crappies Open water and mid-lake flats can be equally successful on some days. This pattern holds true more so for crappies than sunfish. Crappies like chasing down bait fish that are daring enough to adventure out into the open water. The crappies know they have a huge advantage over their prey in this situation. It's not uncommon to find cruising pods of crappies out in 30 feet of water, suspended 10 feet off the bottom. Crappies will hold near and around deep structure during the summer, and then when the opportunity presents itself, they’ll slide into the open water to feed. You will even find lakes where the crappies hold out in the open water for extended periods of time, and they won't feel the need to seek refuge around deep structure. Once a school is located, it won't take long to figure out whether or not they are hungry. Every body of water is different and locations can vary. Locating crappies during the hot summer months can be frustrating on some lakes, because the possibilities seem endless. Crappies will roam out into open water; usually open water areas in a bay or areas adjacent to deep weed lines and structure. In order to narrow things down, you need to grab a lake map and look for possible springtime locations, as well as nearby deeper water. Figure out where the deep weed lines are and where, if any, is there deeper structure. Change Up Your Bait With water temperatures rising throughout summer, I’ll change the bait I work, because the natural food sources for fish are more abundant during mid-to-late summer. I’ve improved my odds of catching fish by: using fresh and cool bait; fishing early mornings before the sun gets too high in the sky; and/or fishing late afternoons into early evenings, once the sun have comes off the water. Smaller jigs or spinners with minnows or worms worked in 12 to 14 feet of water are very successful. I try a variety of colors to see which color the fish are hitting. Wax worms and small leeches on ice jigs can also be a favorite for crappies and sunfish. If you’re not a big fan of leeches or crawlers, the best method for keeping minnows alive is using a live-well in a boat. If that's not an option, use a strainable minnow bucket, swap out the water often and try adding a few ice cubes to keep the water cool. I find wax worms and bits of night crawlers work best. Improving Your Odds My experience to catching late summer fish is to find pockets in the deep weeds and weed lines, use a lake map to look for structure in open water, and if you own them, pay attention to your electronics for schools fish in deeper water while trolling from spot to spot. By doing a few of these things, you can eliminate some of the guesswork on where to find fish and possibly not get skunked on your late summer fishing trips. I've touched on a few of options available for panfishing during the late summer months. Don't let these suggestions be your only options. Fish, weather and lake conditions are constantly changing and we must change and adapt to the various conditions. Enjoy the late summer fishing and good luck.
abZorba Hunting - Camping - Fishing
© Copyrights 1988, 1990-1999, 2000-2006, 2010-2016 Leatrice Productions Unlimited, Inc

Late Summer

Fishing

contributed by Lenise

“...with water temperatures rising throughout summer, I’ll change the bait I work, because the natural food sources for fish are more abundant during mid-to-late summer...” email: madventure@abzorba.com

Playing it cool...

The sun is high in the sky. The water has warmed up. The weeds have become thick. The water is murky. And the fish don't seem to be biting. How do you get those hot, slow moving fish to bite? Play it cool... Many anglers stop pursuing panfish once the shallow water bite ceases, but it doesn't have to be that way. Locating summer panfish shouldn't be intimidating and many times I’ve found when I’ve been fishing for bass or walleyes. Panfish will utilize deep water just like walleye, bass and pike. Keep in mind as the water heats up, many fish move towards deeper water. Deep water shouldn't scare panfish anglers, and it’s been my experience having the willingness to target deep water during the summer months can really increase your catch. Going Deeper Deep weeds are a classic summer spot and should be a part of every panfish angler's daily routine once the summer sun sets in. Deep weeds and weed lines will draw in a huge smörgåsbord of organisms for panfish to feed on and in very high numbers. The cool water of the deep weeds is comforting to panfish and you can expect to find them there until the weeds change or the water temperatures begin to drop. Several characteristics make deep weeds and weed lines very effective. Within these deep weeds and lines are weed pockets. Weed pockets provide excess to sunlight, which will attract bait fish and other forage which in turn attracts panfish.  You can bet sunfish or crappies will snatch up an easy meal if it presents itself out in the open water of one of these weed pockets. Panfish are abundant underneath vegetated barriers and they’re scurrying about, picking off tiny morsels in the weed pockets. Some days you can set over one of these pockets and catch one fish after another. Weeds play an important role in summer panfish locations, and the presence of deep weeds and weed lines just make finding and catching panfish that much easier. But don't let vegetation be your only guide to a day of successful panfish fishing. Out in the Open for Crappies Open water and mid-lake flats can be equally successful on some days. This pattern holds true more so for crappies than sunfish. Crappies like chasing down bait fish that are daring enough to adventure out into the open water. The crappies know they have a huge advantage over their prey in this situation. It's not uncommon to find cruising pods of crappies out in 30 feet of water, suspended 10 feet off the bottom. Crappies will hold near and around deep structure during the summer, and then when the opportunity presents itself, they’ll slide into the open water to feed. You will even find lakes where the crappies hold out in the open water for extended periods of time, and they won't feel the need to seek refuge around deep structure. Once a school is located, it won't take long to figure out whether or not they are hungry. Every body of water is different and locations can vary. Locating crappies during the hot summer months can be frustrating on some lakes, because the possibilities seem endless. Crappies will roam out into open water; usually open water areas in a bay or areas adjacent to deep weed lines and structure. In order to narrow things down, you need to grab a lake map and look for possible springtime locations, as well as nearby deeper water. Figure out where the deep weed lines are and where, if any, is there deeper structure. Change Up Your Bait With water temperatures rising throughout summer, I’ll change the bait I work, because the natural food sources for fish are more abundant during mid-to-late summer. I’ve improved my odds of catching fish by: using fresh and cool bait; fishing early mornings before the sun gets too high in the sky; and/or fishing late afternoons into early evenings, once the sun have comes off the water. Smaller jigs or spinners with minnows or worms worked in 12 to 14 feet of water are very successful. I try a variety of colors to see which color the fish are hitting. Wax worms and small leeches on ice jigs can also be a favorite for crappies and sunfish. If you’re not a big fan of leeches or crawlers, the best method for keeping minnows alive is using a live-well in a boat. If that's not an option, use a strainable minnow bucket, swap out the water often and try adding a few ice cubes to keep the water cool. I find wax worms and bits of night crawlers work best. Improving Your Odds My experience to catching late summer fish is to find pockets in the deep weeds and weed lines, use a lake map to look for structure in open water, and if you own them, pay attention to your electronics for schools fish in deeper water while trolling from spot to spot. By doing a few of these things, you can eliminate some of the guesswork on where to find fish and possibly not get skunked on your late summer fishing trips. I've touched on a few of options available for panfishing during the late summer months. Don't let these suggestions be your only options. Fish, weather and lake conditions are constantly changing and we must change and adapt to the various conditions. Enjoy the late summer fishing and good luck.
abZorba Hunting - Camping - Fishing