Summer fishing gets into full swing with schools closing for the summer, graduation parties and the weather heating up on a regular basis.
Most of our favorite species have completed their spawn and have started to move to their summer locations where they will take residency until late August or early September. A look at several species may help locate fish now that fish and fishers have moved to warm water.
Bluegill, once they have spawned in the shallows, will move to the cover of the nearest weed beds to hide out from larger predators and feed on small fish and insects. Here is a place where float fishing really shines: Bait can be floated along the outer edge of weeds (usually 10-12 feet deep) or cast into a four-to-five-foot deep pocket in the weeds.
Really big bluegills, those called “bulls” will have moved to deep water, on the ledges and channel breaks. These big boys could be 20 to 30 feet deep.
Largemouth bass will tend to stay fairly shallow most of the summer. They will be looking for shade and cooler water.
Fishing around docks is always a good choice for bass. It is best to cast to the front of the dock first, then gradually work the way under the dock, section by section with subtle casts and swimming baits under the dock.
It should not be a surprise to catch some pretty good-sized bass way in the back of the dock/pier in what would appear to be no water at all. The same process of systematic fishing applies to fishing in downed timber or thick weed beds (the thicker the better), since they like hiding under that carpet of weeds.
A good start to family summer fishing is a trip to one of the many local area prime fishing spots. For the younger fisherman Lovelace Park is just awesome. More more advanced fisherman might enjoy heading out to Skokie Lagoons or Busse Lake.
No matter the place, just get out and fish. Until next time, keep a tight line.