Summer is here and things are about to get very busy on Northland lakes and rivers. Not that they weren’t busy enough as it is, but with the holiday weekend approaching, anglers should be cautious of others sharing the waters. People always ask, when is the best time to go fishing? My answer is always the same: There is never a bad time to go fishing.
With summer here, the best times to be on the waters will be mornings and later afternoons into and through the night. Mid-days, especially on the weekend, will host many recreational boaters, swimmers, kayakers, jet skiers, etc. So, the waters will be noisy. During the calm and silent parts of the day, fishing will be great. Keep that in mind when heading out.
Lake Superior lake trout continue to be caught on all areas of the Gitch. From the North Shore to the South Shore and over into Chequamegon Bay areas, anglers are finding good bites. Deeper waters are starting to be targeted more and more. This will continue to trend as we move further into warmer summer days.
The best tactic continues to be flasher fly combos, as well as stick baits. Like always, finding the right color is important. The Chequamegon Bay area is putting out some great smallmouth bass using several different approaches. The most popular seems to be casting soft plastics into the shallower waters near Ashland.
Stream fishing has minimal pressure as most big fish have moved out into Lake Superior. Make no mistake though, there is always the chance of a quality fish being caught. Most catches until later summer/fall will likely be resident brown trout, rainbow and brookies. My favorite way to catch them is with small spoons.
The St. Louis River bite is consistent with walleyes continuing to show up throughout the whole system. We actually had a nice return of bigger fish upriver this last week. There really is not a bad spot to target. Matter of fact, choosing a spot away from other anglers can pay off huge.
The best tactic continues to be trolling smaller cranks or worm rigs at 1.5-2 mph. Some are using planer boards, but we are finding more success without them, even getting fish in the prop wash often. The river is also giving up some nice catfish catches.
Inland lakes are becoming increasingly busy with other traffic. Finding untouched or vacant areas has been best. We are finding walleyes, pike and bass in the 7-12 foot areas with vegetation. A few nice panfish are showing up in similar areas. Jigging a small 1/16-ounce jig with a leech or worm has been great. Muskie anglers are turning a few fish as of recent, but mostly hooking up with nice sized pike.