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We made our journey north to our summer hideaway and future retirement site just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, on Lake Vermilion, Minn. The weather up here this year has been very similar to what we had in Chicago – cooler and wetter than normal.
The similar weather has affected the fishing patterns here as it has our home waters, with later than usual spawns, deeper, greener weeds and none of the later summer patterns we should have here in August. Adjustments were the order of the day for fishing success.
Walleye fishing on this lake in August is normally a lot of work. The fish have generally moved into deep-water holding spots at the base of the reefs and the ends of the rocky points. This would require jig fishing in 24 to 30 feet of water and slowly getting the attention of the neutral-attitude fish sitting on or very near the bottom.
However, with the weather change, we have been getting daily limits of walleye by fishing the outside edge of the weedlines in 12 to 16 feet of water with “Lindy” rigs and bottom-bouncer set-ups. It is a much more enjoyable method, at least for my son and me.
This has been the most productive summer walleye catch in years. The walleyes were not the only species whose patterns were altered because of cooler water and air temperatures.
My personal favorite, the smallmouth bass, has been noticeably more available in shallower haunts. The traditional late-summer location here for 3- to 5-pound smallmouth is toward deep-water ledges adjacent to the spawn areas. Usually they stay about 15 to 20 feet deep during the day, with evening and early morning runs into shallow water to forage for food.
This summer they are staying much shallower than normal. We have been getting heavier fish in 5 to 8 feet of water on a variety of shallow running baits, such as Mepps spinners, Pop-R’s, and swim baits. I am feeling pretty good about the possibility of getting my personal best smallmouth this trip.
I have to run. The family wants to go bluegill fishing out on the lake, and there is not much better eating for dinner than fresh-caught bluegill. Until next time, keep a tight line.
Visit Dick at Hookedonfishing@comcasat.net.