Jarrid Houston, for the News Tribune
Fishing in the Twin Ports area was up and down last week. The warm temperatures we had were welcome. But the warmth came in the early stages of fall turnover and this made for some tough fishing in some places. We're still seeing average water temps between 65-75 degrees but fall colors are starting to show up on shorelines and, as days get shorter and evenings get cooler, autumn is on the way.
Thunderstorms rolled through last week putting somewhat of a halt to good fishing. Some waterways such as the St. Louis River and South Shore of Lake Superior are back to low visibility with mud and debris. Water temperatures have changed as well, slowing down the bite. Shorter daylight hours and cooler overnight temperatures are starting to lower water temperatures and fishing tactics in coming weeks will have to change.
In most years by this time in August you'd be hearing complaints of the fishing slowing down, but not this summer. The fishing has remained good, and it should just get better through September. Daytime temps last week were comfortable. Overnight temps are dropping into the lower 60's and even upper the 50's.
Warm temperatures are making for comfortable fish outings and there's really no excuse to not go fishing now — except maybe when the sun is blazing hot and there are no clouds. The only other bad part about this time of year is bugs. Ample rain in recent months has lead to lots of bug hatches, including mosquitoes, black flies, horse flies and deer flies. Most days we usually find ourselves cheering on the dragonflies hoping they eat all the other bugs. I know I have said it before but remember sunscreen and bug spray and water for hydration.
Fishing was good last week. Consistent weather, anchored with last weekend's full moon brought on a fun bite. We also experienced a lunar eclipse. I am not sure if that had a positive effect or not, but I am going to go with it. Now, August is here and we only have about six more weeks of official summer. Water temps continue to rise during the daytime hours. We are seeing area lakes anywhere from 72-82 degrees, with a few shallower, smaller bodies of water even warmer. However, we are starting to get cooler nights, which will affect fishing.
Wow is summer going fast or what? Never fails to amaze me how the years speed up the older you get. Fishing in the area has been on the slower side, yet productive this last week. We are catching the usual walleyes, pan-fish, pike and bass on inland waters. However, most fish have been on the smaller side of things, but keep in mind we have been grinding away for numbers and not chucking oversized baits for big Muskies. Nor have we been trolling Lake Superior for big trout. It's also a good time of year to get out and do some camping or other recreational activities.
"Sweating bullets" seems to be a common theme around the area lately. We have certainly been utilizing the canopy top on the Lund to keep the sun off our customers during the hot afternoon hours. Cooler clothing, hats, sunscreen and sunglasses have been very necessary along with drinking plenty of water.
Big fish season has started. Fishing for numbers can be fun, but fishing for trophy caliber fish takes the cake. After endless days of countless smaller fish it's nice to try and target one big fish.