The hottest new craze over the last few years for walleye fishing has been the use of an ice fishing lure in the summertime. The lure is a "jig rap" and it is fished very aggressively. There are other brands like the "shiver minnow" and puppet minnow" that are also very popular. They are all very similar in shape and action. They are reaction strike baits meant to trigger reaction and aggression. They are heavy and sink fast.
The Mille Lacs Lake drama continues. The walleye season was closed on July 21 this season after being open for catch and release only. It will be reopened to walleye fishing August 12 and remain open for catch and release only through the Labor Day weekend and be closed again starting September 5.
Live bait rigging (commonly referred to as "Roach rigging" or "Lindy rigging" and named after hall of fame anglers Gary Roach and Al Linder) is a technique that has been working for catching walleyes for decades. It can be fished and work from opening day until the lakes ice up. It is a simple set up that consists of a weight with a hole in it that can slide up and down the main line, a barrel swivel works as a stop that also has a length of leader line with a hook.
Summer fishing success can be improved for multiple species if you learn to fish in and around weed areas. Some fish are always relating to the weeds. Not all weeds are created equal when it comes to holding fish, and in my experience, cabbage weeds are the best fish producers. Weeds provide shade, higher oxygen levels, and most importantly, food. Because of these factors, predator fish like musky, bass, northern pike, and walleye will take advantage of what the weeds have to offer.
This week I will try to answer some questions that I get asked by customers frequently. It is amazing how many times the same questions come up from people with different background and walks of life, and different parts of the country.
We have made it through the busy Fourth of July holiday with just what you expect of a Minnesota holiday weather experience. We started the weekend with a severe cold front, followed by a heat wave with scorching sun and no wind, making for flat water fishing conditions. Always following a heat wave here, we are greeted with severe thunderstorms and high winds. We got it all last week.
The concept of selective harvest and catch and release have been around for many years now. The idea is to help develop a sporting habit to fishing, and have anglers actively participate in a voluntary way to management of the resource. There is no problem in keeping a few for the table, just be selective with the species you are keeping to eat.
Like most hobbies, fishing can be a drain on the finances.
Water temperatures jumped significantly this last week with the hot weather and bright sunshine. Warmer nights didn't cool the water off, and each consecutive day of the warm front raised surface temps a degree or more a day. We are now in the high 60s to low 70s all around the region. The warming lake and bright sun also triggered multiple bug hatches, but most significant to fishing was the mayfly hatch. The abundant food the mayfly hatch provides to fish makes fishing against mother nature more challenging.
This weekend is always one of the busiest of the season on area lakes. It was extremely busy on "opener" due to the low gas prices and beautiful weather. I expect the same (and more) this holiday weekend with the beautiful forecast again. The nicer weather will be welcome for fishing as the days from opener until now have been rainy, windy, cold, or a combination of all those factors. The fish have continued to cooperate. The warmer conditions for us will also be good for the fish and should make the bite even better.