Could be the smoky haze from Canada fires or maybe the fish just a little hungrier. Either way, fishing has improved across the board in the Lakeland area, though some species more so than others.
Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Rock/gravel humps of 18-28’ and even some isolated humps with sparse weeds in 10-14’ holding nice Smallies. Drop-shotting 3” Senkos, 2 ½ - 3” Gulp Minnows, 3 ½” Jackall Dartshogs and 3” Crosstails as well as 4” Chompers drop-shot worms over the gravel. Ned rig TDR’s, Wacky worming (4”) and swimming 3” Keitech worms around weeds. Lots of nice 14-18” fish with a few pushing 20”.
Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Warm, flat water has made for great top-water action. Whopper Ploppers, Matzou Tornado Tails, Pompador Jrs., Zara Spooks and Lunker Frogs early and late in day. In between, casting spinnerbaits, lipless cranks, square billed cranks and pre-rigged plastic worms worked over weed flats. Wacky worming Senko’s and Yum Dingers and swimming 4” power worms behind 1/8 oz mushroom jig heads also popping lots of Bass fish to 22 ½” this week.
Bluegill: Very Good – Work the deepest weeds available for the largest Gills! Thunderbugs, leeches, worms or small 1” plastic tails on light 1/32 – 1/80 oz jigs. Good #’s of 7-8 ½” Gills, some 9+” mixed in. Larger, deep clear lakes best.
Northern Pike: Very Good – Baits with blades (spinnerbaits, chatter, Mepps style) all good. Fast moving swimbaits in 4” sizes or plastic Bluegill imitation best. A 41 ½” was caught and released this week.
Crappie: Fair-improving – Showing up more in tall, narrow leafed cabbage beds of 8-14’. Cast tiny tinsel jigs on small beetle spins to locate. Then cast small minnows under bobbers.
Musky: Fair – Better action on top-water this week, bucktails, spinnerbaits also working well. Cloud, (smoke?) seem to be improving day time action.
Yellow Perch: Fair-Good – Sandgrass flats of 18-28’ using frozen soft shells (yes, they are legal) or ½ crawlers on Lindy style rigs or under slip-floats. On Flowages, key on drowned wood using same baits but more stationary to stay in feeding zone.
Walleye: Fair-Improving – Cloud cover helped the day time bite as anglers using crawlers or leeches over sandgrass in 18-26’ found fish. On deeper lakes, redtailed chubs or crawlers drew bites on rock/gravel humps of 22-34’.
Very little wind most days, but cloudy/hazy skies helping. Water temps running about 77-79 degrees on average, bit warm for this time in August. Typically, a few cooler nights would have turned a Sugar Maple here and there by now, but everything green.