Autumn has arrived in the Midwest. In a couple of weeks the countryside will be alive in color and lots of outdoor enthusiasts will have departed the lakes for treestands...
Much of the time, lures are designed with a specific application in mind. But sometimes we discover that some baits are multi-purpose. I was reminded of that on a recent fishing trip. I was sharing a boat with fishing friend Mike Frisch in central Minnesota and walleyes were our target. Mike had been catchin 'em good on Puppet Minnows. Puppet Minnows were originally designed to be dropped through a hole in the ice, but for the past few years we've been using them for open water walleyes.
From now until autumn, one of the most productive ways to catch fish is with a live-bait rig. Live-bait rigs are simple set-ups, but they're so effective so much of the time. Whether you're after walleyes or crappies or smallmouth bass, pretty much anywhere in the Midwest, when nothing else will get the fish to open their mouth, live bait will. There are lots of things we can do to make our live bait presentation more appealing to fish: Following are some of those things.
We're into the summer season, and in the summer fishing changes a bit. So far this year our open water fishing in many situations has been taking place in fairly shallow water, often near where the fish spawned. Now that the fish are done spawning, they will be wherever their food is. If you're not fishing near their food, you're probably not fishing near the fish that you want to catch.
More and more, anglers are getting on and in the water. Some folks are fishing from boats, some are wading, and some are fishing from docks or shore. Some anglers are catching fish, some aren't catching too much. If you'll be fishing in the next couple of weeks, keep these fishing thoughts in mind.
Most open water anglers who fish from a boat wouldn't think of going out without a sonar unit, also known as a depth-finder. That same thought is true with most ice-anglers. A depth-finder will help you catch more fish, and they are also much more than just a depth-finder. Here's how.
First there's ice, then there isn't. I promise, ice is on the way. When it gets here, if you keep the following reminders in mind, you'll catch more fish through the ice. On early ice, it's very important to keep quiet, and also to keep movement to a minimum. Early ice will be thin, it will be clear, and there probably won't be much snow on it. This is especially important when fishing in shallow water. You're fishing straight down, so the fish will be within just a few feet of you. Fish in shallow water don't like movement from above, and they don't like noise.
Open water season in my part of the world is winding down. There might be a couple more trips in the boat, but I'm getting the ice-fishing stuff ready to go. It's at this time of year that I like to look back at the season just completed. Every year has trips that are more memorable than others, for one reason or another. Following are a couple of very memorable trips from this past open water fishing season. My first memorable experience of the year was also my first fishing trip of the year. I was on Sturgeon Bay fishing smallmouth bass with my friend Mike Gottheardt.
The cool weather we've been feeling in recent days reminds me that it's time to get the ice-fishing baits ready to go. However, I won't be using them for ice-fishing just yet. Many, many years ago, probably sometime in the late 80's or early 90's, a group of us started using spoons that were thought of as ice-fishing baits in open water in the fall. And we caught fish: Mostly walleyes, but when we got on a school of crappies, we caught them as well. Ice-fishing baits have come a long way in the past few years. More and more anglers are using ice-baits year 'round now.
It seems like summer just started, but it's already time to think about fall fishing. Nature has started providing us with the signs that remind us that autumn is closer than we think. Just like summer fishing is different in some ways than spring fishing, fishing in the fall can be different than fishing in the summer. Some small changes in our presentation and location will help us catch more fish in the fall. Following are some ideas for catching more fish this autumn. Location is always such an important consideration.