By Captain Josh Hagemeister
August Fishing. Hot sweaty days, high humidity, and fish that are going crazy everywhere. There are dozens of awesome fishing opportunities this time of the year, but here are 4 quick and easy fishing trips you can take advantage of.
Rainy Lake, Minnesota.
One of my personal favorite lakes to fish for walleyes (and smallmouth and huge pike) –a guy can’t beat Rainy Lake on the Minnesota Canada border during August. The norm is to fish the tops of the multiple mid lake reefs using a jig and minnow. Sorry, slow and boring. Dial it up a notch or ten and use bottom bouncers, increase the boat speed, throw on some cheap night crawlers and a spinner rig and you’re in business. An extremely effective and reliable spinner rig is a JB Lures Hot Flash series with a crawler harness. Look on the sides of the reefs—everyone fishes the tops of the reefs, so after a while those fish are pressured and “over fished”. Make sure to fish the sides the sides of the reefs or even the bottom near the lake basin sometimes as deep as 50 ft. Typical depths will range from 25-45 ft. Do not ignore the shallow bays filled with cabbage weeds in the 5-9 ft range, the biggest walleyes are waiting there! Bring a camp stove to enjoy a shore lunch at one of the many islands on the American side of the lake. Great lodging options can be found at Island View lodge just east of International Falls.
Alexandria Minnesota Bass Fishing
Perhaps some of the best concentrated largemouth bass fishing lakes in the state. For numbers and a good average size. Pick your poison—docks, pads, deep weed edges, inside weed edges, bulrushes, slop, weed flats–even flooded timber in some of the lakes. It’s the perfect area to learn new techniques or polish your favorite bass fishing skills. It’s hard to argue that one of the most consistent and versatile bass fishing presentations is the Texas rigged black plastic worm—using a 7” black Berkley Power Worm, or maybe a simple ½ oz. Northland spinner bait with a number 5 Colorado blade. Only three spinner bait colors are needed—white, black, or chartreuse. And don’t forget the crankbaits—I like the bill Lewis MR-6 in the bluegill pattern. The baits has a great wobble and a rattle sound the fish destroy! While numbers of bass can be schooled up on deep weed lines, weedy points or humps (good for the worm or cranks) the largest bass are usually in water shallower than 6 ft—or even 2 ft. Scum Froggin’ the “SLOP” is the hint. Lol.
Mississippi River Smallmouth Bass
It starts around Brainerd and gets even better as it flows south through St. Cloud and well beyond the town of Monticello. “It” refers to high caliber, high quality, high numbers, and big Smallmouth bass untouched by many hands due to the fact they are found in the mighty Mississippi River. It is amazing just how untapped the river is. And yes there is a ton of water for big fast boats. Not the stereo typical shallow canoe type stuff (but that is a fun way to fish the river). Awesome opportunities for top water fishing, timber, eddies, bridge pilings, deep holes, sand/gravel bars, riffles—you name it, it’s there. And don’t worry about the wind or waves ruining your trip—because it will not. All that is needed is an orange or black jig head tipped with a crawfish tube or craw body. Well maybe a crawfish bottom digging crankbait or maybe an in-line Blue Fox spinner. Ok, one more—a number 5 floating Rapala to “twitch” the surface.
Door County Wisconsin Salmon Fishing
Only around 6 hours from the Twin Cities is a great small boat salmon fishing opportunity. The Door County area north of Green Bay, WI. Is well suited for any watercraft. Unlike the more popular congested fishing ports of Algoma, Sheboygan, Port Washington etc., the Northern portion of Door County north of Sturgeon Bay has a ton of great salmon fishing only a couple miles off of shore. And being the northern portion of the “Door” is a peninsula, dodging any wind direction is easily done with a quick 15 minute drive to the other side which nearly extinguishes the threat of sitting on shore all day waiting for the wind to stop. It’s a classic bite—down riggers, dipsey divers, copper wire, and planer board rigged with spoons (hard to beat a Pro-King) or dodger/fly combos. Bring a speed/temp gauge to help find the thermocline and the cold water the big Kings look for—42 degrees for the big dudes and up to the 55/60 degrees for the others. Typical fishing depths are from 50-75 ft. at the lure over 100-180 ft of water bottom depth. Big browns and Steelhead are also on the prowl. Multiple low key towns dot the country side which offer many opportunities for fisherman/boat friendly lodging. No lines at the boat landings in the mornings and plenty of parking. Oh yeh, boat traffic?—nope. Big fish? Yup.
Lotsa Fish, Lotsa Fun!! Captain Josh Hagemeister, Minnesota Fishing Guide Service, www.minnesotaguideservice.com 320-291-0708, 218-732-9919