We are still fishing hard and catching fish. It’s no secret, this has been one of the better spring fishing seasons we have had in some time. The only downfall is how chilly the temperatures have been. Northeast winds off of Lake Superior continue to keep the Twin Ports temperatures on the low side. In conjunction with that, we have had our fair share of overcast and rainy days throughout this spring season.
Things should be changing in the very near future as we are on the cusp of July. We are now in the beginning of summer solstice. Daylight hours are the longest of the year and temperatures will be rising. For anglers, this means fishing patterns are going to be changing. We have already started to see some fish transition into summer patterns. One key tip I can share is that it may be a good idea to start utilizing a summer pattern now to pick off the first crop of big fish.
Lake Superior is still producing some great catches of salmon and lake trout. We are not hearing as many reports of chinook or browns in the Duluth/Superior areas. In the Bayfield areas, anglers are doing well with a mixed bag of splake, browns, lakers and cohos. Boats are now starting to move offshore a bit to deeper waters, but there are still lots of nearshore fishing opportunities. Flasher fly combos are picking up a few fish, but long-lining stick baits and spoons is still a good bet. Stream anglers are finding some good brook trout using small spinners.
The St. Louis River continues to have a hot bite in all sections. Crossing the Blatnik, you will notice many boats trolling near Park Point and other select areas of the harbor. Make no mistake, other areas of the estuary are still holding some very nice fish. We have had a blast this last week casting stick baits at shorelines and drop-offs finding a mixed bag of pike, bass and walleyes. Trolling is still taking good fish as well. Like always, the challenge is finding the right crank size and color combination. A good example: I only had one “right” crankbait the other day that was taking all the fish, even though we were trolling multiple lines with similar lures. Needless to say, a trip to the store happened the next morning.
Inland waters continue to turn some nice panfish in the shallow shorelines and back bay areas of most lakes. Small hair jigs fan casted into shallow vegetation is fairing well for most anglers. Walleyes are coming off the 10-foot breaks trolling, dragging or jigging live bait. Leeches are now starting to produce some fish. Have not heard a lot of reports of muskie success, but we have seen a few this last week while walleye fishing. We were even able to boat a nice muskie while walleye fishing. Bass are still being turned with soft plastics thrown into weedy areas. Some are starting to hit topwater baits, but it’s still a bit early — topwaters will produce better when the water warms.