Lake life has been great this week with warm water temperatures and beautiful weather to enjoy boating, hiking, camping, and anything outdoors. The skies have been bright with a beautiful moon and plenty of stars to gaze at while enjoying a nearly bug-less campfire. Get outside, you won’t be sorry.
Fishing however has been tougher this week, at least in my boat. The walleyes have dropped in depth to escape the summer heat and are running at the first sign of danger. Once walleyes get into 20 to 30 feet of water, they become easier to target from a vertical position by hovering over the fish in a way that allows your baits to stay vertical.
Lately, the walleyes have been giving us a couple of bites, which may or may not result in a landed fish, before running away. Sometimes slip-bobbers will get a couple more bites, but it is a painstaking task to position the boat with two anchors correctly for just a few bites. When the fish get this finicky I prefer fishing with a “run and gun” style, moving as soon as the fish scatter and hitting a lot of spots in a day.
Walleyes get nervous every time they adapt to a new depth, and they could be changing their diet as they move to deeper water throughout the season. Leeches and night crawlers become less appetizing for walleyes feasting on minnows and that could cause them to scatter at the sight of unseasonal bait.
Leeches have been scarce for the past few weeks anywhere north of Duluth, but jigging spoons and jig heads tipped with half of a night crawler are a good substitute for leeches. I have not had much luck with the artificial leeches and crawlers, but they are supposed to out fish live-bait – I will believe it when I see it.