|Mom photos a curious loon at Central|
The transition to fall isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially when it comes to pike fishing. The seasonal shift triggers something in their brain that they need to fatten up quick for the impending winter. Generally, I have found northern start shrugging off the smaller baits and start looking towards something with some substance. Around the first week of August I'll begin throwing my larger lures and begin seeing more and more large fish take interest. Hellhound, Bulldawgs, Depth Raiders, large spoons and #8 bucktails all fight for room in my tackle box.
|36" deep water pike from Central caught on a tube jig|
The pike at several of the outposts are following similar patterns. Yesterday, after chatting with the group at West Lake, most fish have been caught on rocky shoals. The biggest was a fat 43" released right off the rock 100 yards in front of camp. However, don't totally count out the weeds. The bite has just been occurring early in the morning or late in the evening. Bucktails, top water baits, and silver minnows are the go to baits in foliage. #8 Orange or copper bladed bucktails with a black skirt are at the top of my list (see pic right), due to their quick retrieve. Bucktails allow you to cast a lot of water in a short period of time.
As mentioned before, walleye are dominant on any windblown point or deeper reef in about 12-20 ft of water. Trolling windy shorelines with Reef Runners or Shad Raps will produce good numbers. South, Central, Burnt and West all reported fish over 27" caught on deeper rock structures.
The majority of the fish have been boated on 3/8 oz jigs.
The water temps have received a huge boost jumping from 64 in the beginning of the week to 71 degrees this morning. Water levels are still ticking downward due to hot temperatures and lack of rain. As of right now 2015 is one of the driest summers we have experienced since 1990.
Good luck on the water everyone,