August 2, 2015 Share

Fishing Strategies for the Weeks to Come

Originally Published on Aug 9, 2011 “From the Docks” NBC Sports

Karen turned off the air conditioner last night about 8:00. It was the first time in days we figured sleep was possible without it as we have been under a heat wave like other parts of the country. I never figured 80 degrees would ever feel cool, but it did.

Some call this the dog days of summer when it is so hot all you can do in hole up in the shade and wait it out. But I like this time of year, mostly because it’s one of the most stable times of the year weather-wise. Also, the fish tend to hole up in predictable places. Your fishing strategies need to change up. Unfortunately, many fish are deep right now, either suspended and roaming or holding over deep structure. Deep humps that well up from deep water and top out above the thermocline are a favorite to find not only smallmouth bass, but also walleye and the occasional giant pike.

When fishing these areas, trust your electronics, especially when fishing hard bottom areas. Generally, active fish are off bottom a foot or two and easily visible on sonar. That’s why it’s a good idea to run a potential area before fishing it to see if it’s holding good numbers of fish and, if so, where on the structure they are concentrated.

Today’s GPS map packages make it easy to search out these spots, even while sitting at the dock. Having multiple spots picked out a head of time makes it easies to make a move if the spot you are fishing isn’t panning out.

The are also ultra-shallow fish, particularly bass that use cover like docks, wood or heavy vegetation to offer relieve from the sun to hole as in water as shallow as a foot or two, though I find more in depths of 4-8 feet in the waters I fish most often. And shallow fish are fun to catch as anyone who fishes rats or frogs in the slop will attest.

The key when fishing any shallow cover now is to pay attention to the shadows. In fact, focus on them, particularly when the sun is high and intense. You stand a much better chance of getting bit when your bait is skipped into areas other anglers are simply afraid to fish.

What about the in-between fish? That’s the one’s I target when shallow and deep options are not working.