All of you fresh water fisherman and women out there, the late summer is arguably the best time to go fishing. The biggest reason is that by then, fish have had an entire season to feed, so that they are at their heaviest, longest and biggest. If you are looking for trophies, late summer is the time. If you are looking to fill up a frying pan with heavy filets, late summer can't be beat, and if you want the best fight for any rod or reel, late summer is the best time of the year.
As we head into fall, it's feeding time. This is the time when fish literally go on a feeding frenzy. It's their last time to put on weight before winter, so even the hardest to catch fish, like Muskies, are looking for an easy meal.
Any game fish you target, from bluegills to bass, walleye to pike, are on the lookout for food, and if you present it to them where they can get it, they will bite.
In every lake there are weed lines, the point where the shore or the deep water begins and the weeds flourish. These places are generally good all year, but by late summer the fish will school up at weed lines.
Any bait that sinks, from worms to crankbaits, that are thrown directly next to a weed line has a chance for a good fish. If you are casting a crankbait, cast it parallel to the weed line at the edge, and bring it back in. You will be amazed at the action you'll get.
Late summer is the time for surface baits which will get you some heavy top water action. Bass, Pike and Muskies will kill a surface bait, and these big fish coming out of the water to slam a top water plug is an adrenaline pumping thrill.
Throw top water baits over submerged weeds, next to brush, downed logs or adjacent to sand bars. Try pitching one next to lily pads or other floating vegetation and hang on!
If you like using live bait, this is the time for minnows. Big fish can't resist minnows, so fish them near holes or drop offs. Hook them "wacky," which is putting the hook beneath their dorsal fin and set up a slip bobber rig. You'll easily be able to adjust it and find the exact depth where the fish are. The minnow will move around naturally hooked this way, and it will become a prime target for a roving fish.
A lot can be said for getting up at the crack of dawn and getting out on the lake. But nothing beats fishing around dusk during late summer.
At dusk the lake is at its warmest, they feel safer as the sun goes down, and that means the fish are most active. During the day most fish are stationary and don't like to move. But at dusk, it's a different story. They begin to actively move about looking for prey. That means they will be more inclined to take surface and live baits more than at any other time, and many fish will take surface baits after dark, including walleyes, just by the sound that they are making.
Late Summer is Best
Many people love getting out on the water during the spring when the ice is gone and the fish are hitting. But truly, nothing beats late summer fishing for action, thrills and reeling in a trophy on any given cast. Late summer is the best!