Houston's Fishing Report: Summer warmth, bugs already impacting fishing
Summertime has arrived and it's time to start switching tactics to hook up with fish. Daylight hours are at the longest of the year and water temps will continue to rise.
As we move into July and further into summer be prepared for bug hatches on some waters. Our neighbors to the northwest have already had intense mayfly hatches. Some "bites" will be on the slow side and some on the fast side depending on where you are fishing. Lakes and rivers will also be getting busier with Fourth of July holiday boat traffic.
Some northern Wisconsin and the St. Louis River continue to be on the rebound from the floods of mid-June. The chocolate milk-colored water from flooded rivers flowing into Lake Superior will take time to settle. Anglers are encourage to continue to be careful if navigating these waters. Some lakes have instituted a no-wake regulation until waters get back to normal levels.
Lake Superior continues to put together nice catches of lake trout on the North Shore. Because of the mud-colored water, long travel distance may be required to get to clearerr water where fish will bite. While some fish are still coming on surface baits occasionally, it's a good idea to run some lines downs into the mid water column sections. Dipsey Divers, snap weights or lead line work well for finding the right depths. Best bite continues to be early mornings.
The St. Louis River is still muddy but is giving up a few walleyes. Proof from our recent guide trips and the TPWA tournament last weekend show fish can still be caught in these less than ideal conditions. Focusing on flats and channel edges while drifting a 1/3 crawler tagged on a butterfly spinner with a short snell and bullet sinker has been the ticket. Some fish are coming on large jigs tipped with high vis colored plastics as well. Let's cross our fingers that we stay dry and the river and its tributaries continue to clean up.
Inland lake fishing remains consistent. Especially for Smallmouth coming off of hard structure. Casting spinnerbaits in 6-12 feet of water has been good for both largemouth and smallmouth as well as a few pike. Panfish were hit and miss last week but a few are coming boat-side with small hair jigs under floats casted near dock shorelines and vegetation. Walleyes are have been concentrated over mid-lake humps and dragging a leech on a lindy rig has been a great way to catch them.
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.