As the summer comes to an end and fall begins, things begin to change in the underwater world. The amount of daylight has a direct effect on aquatic plants; as the days are getting shorter the plants begin to die off providing less cover for some of the fish who spend most of the summer in the weeds like the panfish. The migration out of the deep weeds creates schools of these panfish just off the deep edge of the dying weeds, depending on the lake, between 10’ and 14’ deep. These schools are easily located with a fish finder (sonar) by just scanning those areas where the weeds are beginning to die off in the deep water. If you haven’t tried drop shotting, this would be a good time to try this technique as it works really well on panfish as well as bass and walleyes. A 3/8 ounce weight can be used for the bottom of the drop line and set the hook so that it’s just above the weed edge. The best choice for bait would be half of a nightcrawler, or as a second option you could use a small Senko worm. The drop-shot rig will put the bait right in front of the fish, and don’t be surprised if you catch a bass of walleye while you’re fishing for the panfish.

Speaking of panfish, the reports from the Fox Chain are really good for panfish. They are reporting good catches of perch, striped bass, bluegills, and yellow bass. The reports are good from shore locations as well as from the boaters. Up on Lake Geneva the largemouth and smallmouth bass are being caught moving into the dying weeds and around docks looking for the panfish, with good catches being reported both during the day as well as from the night fishermen. Lake Delavan has been giving up some nice slab size bluegills the past two weeks, again just off the weed edge where the vegetation is dying back. Catches at Lovelace Park have been good for the past weeks with a variety of fish being caught and released. Great time of year to head out with the cooler weather making it more comfortable to fish, so why not plan a quick trip next weekend. Until next time…keep a tight line.

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