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Finding -- and consistantly catching -- fish in the summer

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Summer fishing is in full swing. Throughout the Midwest, spring-like fishing patterns held on longer than normal due to colder-than-usual weather. Largemouth bass and crappies were spawning later than they would in most years, and walleyes stayed shallow in many bodies of water farther into the summer. Now though, fishing is the way it should be in the summer. If you want to consistently catch fish in the summer, you've got to find them. And, regardless of what species of fish you're after, they can be in a variety of places. Here's how you can catch more fish in the next few weeks.

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Remember that gamefish, or predator fish, will be wherever their food is. In some bodies of water where walleyes are dominant, they will be near perch close to the bottom.

In other bodies of water they'll be suspended around alewives or shad or any other baitfish that suspends. In some lakes largemouth bass will be on the weedline, in other lakes they'll be in the shallow sloppy vegetation. In fact, you'll find largemouth in both places in the same lake sometimes.

You've gotta' find the fish if you want to catch them. A quality depth-finder will help you find the fish a lot faster. It used to be that we would use the depth-finder to find the underwater structures that we knew the fish, especially walleyes and crappies, used during the summer. We'd find the structure, then we'd drop lines in hopes that there were some fish on that structure.

With the advancement of depth-finders, much of the time now we'll find the underwater structures, and, instead of dropping lines in hopes of fish being down there, we'll look over the structure to see if any fish are there. When tuned properly, modern day depth-finders will reveal fish, even those hugging the bottom. Most of the time, if we don't see fish on the structure, we don't fish there. Oftentimes you'll find the majority of fish holding on one particular area of the structure. That's where you want to spend most of your time.

Humminbird has created a line-up of outstanding depth-finders. Whatever your needs, they have one that will do the job. The color units are particularly good at revealing bottom-hugging walleyes. Humminbird is the leader in Side Imaging, a feature that enables an angler to locate structure that's out to the side of the boat. Best of all Humminbird sonar units are easy to use and interpret.

Once you find the fish, you need to put a bait down there that they want to eat. Sometimes you've got to experiment with several different baits and presentations. In the summer, when the fish are hungry, a larger presentation will produce best.

When the fish get finicky, as they will sometimes in the summer, go with something smaller.

If you keep your bait where the fish are, and if you show them enough bait options, you're going to find something they'll eat. In the summer, fish want to eat, and fish that want to eat are what anglers are looking for.

(Watch all the 2009 episodes of Fishing the Midwest television on WalleyeCentral.com in the video section and on MyOutdoorTv.com.)

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