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Summer is starting to show itself, and the fishing is picking up. On many of our area lakes the bluegill are on the spawning beds and so are easy pickings. Bluegill spawning beds appear in fairly shallow water. The ‘gills like spawning with company, so they build their beds next to one another, and the spawning area looks like a bunch of tires lying on the lake bottom. This kind of activity will keep the largemouth bass and the northern pike in the shallow water region as well.

Here is a look at fishing in lakes in the area. The bluegills are going to be busy with their spawning so the presentation to them needs to be small jigs with wax worms under a small float. They will bite if the bait is just hanging in front of them.

With the bass, the story is different. Work edges – under docks, fallen trees, almost any object the bass can use to ambush its prey.

I would be using a 4-inch Senko worm rigged wacky-style in the middle of the worm with no weights. The fish go crazy as this bait drifts down with both ends wiggling. In clearer water I like to use a watermelon/red flake worm on 6-to-8-pound line. Be prepared, as the northern will also bite this same rig.

The reports from our area lakes are that Beck Lake is having a good year for largemouth bass, which are averaging 17-18 inches; Busse Lakes has been reporting very good “frog” fishing on the matted weeds for largemouth bass and the walleyes are biting as well; Lake Opeka this time is producing better catches of bass then in the past; and the Chain bite for walleye and muskie has been good to excellent, depending on the wind.

Skokie Lagoons are still producing good catches of crappie and bass both from shore as well as from a boat.

Finally, in my favorite spot, Lovelace Park, the bluegill are very active with a few crappies being caught. There are no bass as yet but we’re hoping. Until next time…keep a tight line.

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