It wasn’t all that long ago where we were in desperate need of rain. I think it is safe to say we are good to go now.
This last week’s weather has many local waters muddied up and high. Several inland lakes in Wisconsin have water covering dock and lakeshore beach areas.
The recent weather has certainly helped aquatic life with some re-oxygenation and bringing in food from feeder creeks and rivers. We have also noticed that water temperatures have taken a step back down, which is a good thing.
The only downfall is the fish have been slow to readjust to their regular routines — often the case when we have inconsistent weather patterns.
We have been able to adjust to new patterns, though, and have found some good success. One thing for sure is, you can't catch them sitting on the couch. Here is our weekly fishing report:
Lake Superior has been hit and miss this past week. The best reports have been coming from up the North Shore, especially in and around the Two Harbors area, as well as the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin. Trolling big flasher/fly combos and/or spoons continues to be a staple for getting fish to bite. But the tricky part is finding the active eaters.
The rivers on both the North Shore and South Shore are high and bringing in good volumes of fresh water to the lake. These areas should not be ignored when deciding on where to start trolling on the Gitch.
We are now back to a good mudline in some areas. Mudlines certainly help define a bit of structure when fishing Lake Superior. I like to target the edges of them. The South Shore walleye bite continues to be a big gamble. The best bet is to cover water with trolling patterns until you find active fish.
Stream fishing will now see an uptick of activity as well as many fish will migrate with the new fresh flows. Best baits to turn some nice brown and brook trout will be single hooks with favorite bug patterns.
The St. Louis River is still a good choice for active catfish and a few other willing biters that will eat live bait. River fishing will have somewhat of a slowdown with the recent rains turning up a good amount of mud and debris. With that said, in order to be successful in these types of conditions, it's best to use loud, obnoxious baits.
I like to troll or cast ripping raps or anything with some sort of buckshot integrated into the lure. With that said, there’s something about the scent of live bait that can always yield some fish.
As mentioned on previous reports, we are now entering the dog days of summer, which can be some of the trickiest fishing of the year. Muskie angling has been popular on the river as of late, but we’re not hearing of a lot of success. It is my understanding the local Muskies Inc. chapter had its annual tournament last weekend and only scored a handful of fish.
Most our inland lakes, reservoirs and flowages have water temperatures back into the mid 70s. The inland waters continue to produce the most productive fishing for numbers, if not necessarily size. We have seen some very nice bass come topside this last week.
Targeting creek and river mouths have been the best areas to key in on for nice multispecies bites. Similar to Lake Superior, but obviously on a smaller scale, these smaller feeder streams are bringing in fresh food and oxygen, which is attracting a plethora of species and different year classes. If you find yourself not seeing any action around these “mouths” give it time, or look to areas in close proximity.
Best baits this last week have included, but not been limited to, 1/16 or 1/8 oz. jig and 1/3 nightcrawler or minnow; small bodied hard baits; and smaller 2” boot tailed plastics. Don’t disregard the wind-blown shorelines or sunken reefs and islands to find active walleyes, pike and the occasional smallmouth.
Jarrid Houston of South Range is a fishing guide (houstonsguideservice.com) on Minnesota and Wisconsin inland waters, the St. Louis River and, in winter, on Lake Superior.