I have been checking the bait shops where I’ll be this coming weekend. The weather has changed, and that affects fish movement and what I was going to talk about – the bait. The temperatures have been holding steady during the day near 80 degrees and that has raised the lake temperatures up almost 10 degrees. The results of the rise in water temperature have pushed a lot of the walleye population down deeper to the 28-30 foot level around the bases of the lake’s many underwater reefs, where the rock reefs meet the soft bottom. The bait of choice now becomes leeches rather than the nightcrawlers we were preparing to use two weeks ago.

The water temperature also pushed the large northern pike out of the weeds and down to deeper, cooler water. In the weeds I would have used large blade spinnerbaits, because the pike were in shallow chasing food. Now they will be cruising 20-30 feet deep, and I will switch over to trolling deep-diving crankbaits along the lake break lines, trying to track down the larger northern pike. I would really like to hook up with 15 lb. or larger, and this would be a good time of year for it.

The bass, neither the largemouth nor the smallmouth, would have moved much because of the water temperature, but my bait selection has changed a bit. With the water getting warmer, the shaded places in the weeds and around the docks or any structure will be prime locations for bass. With the weed beds I’ll be looking for the large matted areas. The big boys are under there. I’ll be using plastic frogs skipping along the surface to try and bring the bass out of hiding to think they are chasing a meal. Around the docks, the baits of choice are tube baits and plastic worms, either as a drop-shot rig or rigged “wacky” style and pitched under the docks.

Well this all sounds good. I’ll let you know how this all worked. My next article will be from the north woods of Minnesota. Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.