Try moonlight fishing for something new
We have just finished up our August full moon period. We had a couple of gorgeous nights that were perfect for late night fishing. The opportunities to take advantage of the good fishing during the full moon phase can be disrupted by clouds, storms, rain, wind, and even sometimes bugs.
If you didn't get out and take advantage of moonlight fishing this month, you will have at least two more open water opportunities. September and October are especially nice, as you don't have to contend with the bug problem. It can be chilly at night during these last couple of open water months, and October is known for having some wind and severe cold fronts, so pick your days to take full advantage of the full moon fishing.
The best time to fish during the moon period is the two days prior to the full moon, full moon, and the two days post full moon.
The two most popular techniques to fish during the late night full moon is pulling crank baits or fishing with slip bobbers. The main target is walleyes.
It is always fun to bobber fish for walleyes, but it is special to experience fishing with a lighted bobber at night and watching the glow disappear into the dark water at night.
Most bobber fisherman will anchor on the edge of a shallow rock pile and cast to the top and let the leech or minnow entice the fish.
It is best to anchor upwind of your structure and let the wind drift your offering over the top. It helps to try different depths and vary the distance off the bottom. Many times you will find success with your bait only inches off the bottom of the shallowest part of the structure.
Other good bobber spots include depressions or small rises on the flats, weed pockets, or clam beds. Crank bait fisherman usually find success trolling in four to 12 feet of water. Most will troll small shad bodied baits or stick type baits (many times referred to as minnow imitators). Speed can be critical for getting the fish to respond. It is a good rule of thumb to try the speed range from 1.8 to 3 mph. Putting turns in your trolling pattern can trigger bites, and pay attention to whether the inside or outside lines are taking the hits. This can be an indication to either speed up or slow down.
A trick that can help make a difference in triggering a reaction bite is to take the motor out of gear and put it back in gear to pause the baits and kick them forward again.
If you give "moonlighting" a try, make sure the running lights are working on your boat. Take flashlights and a spotlight to help with boat activities. I also have to make sure I take my close vision glasses. Enjoy the next two full moons.
(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)