Where Beauty & Nature intersect

Weekly Fishing Report – July 16, 2014

Smokey Hills Outdoor Store
Park Rapids Area Fishing Report
7/16/14

After a week-long cold spell in the Park Rapids area, Mother Nature is looking to give us temperatures more conducive to enjoying outdoor activities. The ten day forecast promises mid 80’s on the majority of the coming days and that will bring surface temps up a few degrees. We are crossing our fingers that the gentle warm front equates to a more active bite.

Mid-summer means warm water and aggressive evening/night time walleyes. Many of the walleye’s favorite foods are currently congregating suspended over deep water. The time of year and water temperature calls for the use of a Rapala™, Wally Diver™ or Reef Runner™ “shad-style” crankbait. If you know what habitat to look for, these lures will put more ‘eyes in the boat than live bait. Your electronics will give up the fish’s location, start looking on the edges of the long reefs and deep points. If your lake has a Secci Disk of 15 or more feet, look for the walleye to be suspended down 12 to 20 feet over 40 to 80 feet of water. Making a few passes at different depths will put your boat on fish. Troll at 1.4 to 2.2 mph and don’t be afraid to fish well after dark, they will feed throughout the night.

The recent cooler water temperatures have slowed the deep weed growth, which has kept many largemouth bass feeding in the reeds and lily pads. A Northland™ 3/8oz jig paired with a Papa’s “3.25 Chunk” imitates a crawfish and will almost always induce a strike in the shallows. As water temps get warmer and deep weed growth matures, more large bass will feed and gather on the deep weed edge. A Rapala™ “DT-20” crankbait will help you locate the fish, once found, switch to a Falcon™ “Weedless Wacky” hook paired with a Big Bite Bait’s™ 5 inch “Trick Stick” to dredge up a big dog. Let the wacky worm to sink down 10 to 14 feet. This combination is not for the impatient angler as it takes time for the gummy contraption to sink, but the results will reward you for your patience!

When pike get over the 5 pound mark they spend the majority of their time feeding in water 10 or more feet deep. They prefer cooler water temperatures and the trophy size pike will be found on points near the deepest water of the lake. Stop by Smokey Hills and buy a pole float, Windel’s™ steel leader, heavy sinker, Gamakatsu™ 4/0 circle hook and a dozen sucker minnows. You will need all of the previously mentioned components to have the best chance for a successful big pike hunt. Find a deep growing cabbage weed patch, cast out your set up, sit back and wait for the action to begin.

Most of the bluegill are coming off of their spawning season, this is good news for those that favor to catch ‘gills in open water. Yet again, deep growing weeds are the key to catching another species of fish. The large bluegills are drawn to the cabbage and coontail weed patches because their prey (minnows and aquatic insects) live in and around this habitat. As long as their food source and hiding spot exists, they can be caught relatively easily in that specific area. A Thill™ slip bobber paired with a small KenKatch™ panfish jig towing an angle worm is unbeatable in putting “slabs” in the livewell.

Stop by Smokey Hills Outdoor Store to see the largest Ice Castle inventory in Northern Minnesota, we now have over 70 units on our lot! Ask our expert staff about specific hot spots and hot techniques for your local lake. We remain grateful and thankful for your continued support, we are on track to set yet another sales record for the month of July. We hope to see you very soon!

Hendri Ernst pictured with his recently landed Toad Lake largemouth bass.
(Photo courtesy of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store.)
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