Where Beauty & Nature intersect

Weekly Fishing Report – July 30, 2014

Park Rapids Area Fishing Report
Courtesy of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store
7/30/2014

The fish in the Park Rapids area lakes are fat from feeding heavily on the abundant prey that summer provides. The weatherman promises a stable climate with temperatures averaging 80 degrees over the course of the next ten days. Not too hot, not too cold for the anglers and this stability will keep the fish active. When you hone in on what method is working, the same method will work until the weather makes a drastic change. We are now past mid-summer, check your line for nicks and deterioration, it may be time to spool up new line. You wouldn’t want to lose that trophy fish once you have finally hooked her!Your electronics are the key to locating and catching late July, early August walleyes. Deep sunken islands surrounded by even deeper water are good places to start on your search. The sunken islands that will hold fish may be 20 to 45 feet below the surface. You can also find ‘eyes feeding on most deep, hard bottom points throughout the lake. Jigging a Northland™ white glow jig, twister tail and leech over these areas will put fish in the boat. Deep diving Rapala™ Shad Raps will also put fish in the boat and help you cover more water if you prefer to troll. Be mindful of the various slot limits that may be in effect on your local lake.

If you are looking to catch big bass, point your boat to the cabbage and coontail stands growing in 8 to 20 feet of water. Tie on a 5/8oz Northland™ Jungle Jig™ and let it fall right into the mess of undergrowth. Once you feel bottom, just keep your line tight enough to shake the jig without actually moving it forward. If a bass is in the area, it will come over to investigate and attack. Pair the Jungle Jig™ with a Papa’s™ 2.75” or 3.25” crawfish trailer for the best results. A Big Bite Bait’s™ Trick Stick™ paired with a Gamakatsu™ 2/0, 1/4oz “lipstick hook” is also another great deep water choice. It has a slow rate of decent and patience is a necessary attribute when fishing a “wacky worm”. Large bass will come out of their hiding spots in the vegetation to eat the irresistible plastic worm.

It is not uncommon and usually easy to catch 2 to 4 pound northern pike. The smaller fish are easier to locate and catch because they do not feed on the same prey as large pike. Their larger 8 to 25 pound brethren prefer to feed on tulibee, dwarf cisco or rainbow trout in the cold, deep water. Tulibee, dwarf cisco and rainbow trout are all very oily, fatty and high in protein; which makes the esox lucius grow fast, fat, long and worthy of making a replica for your wall. Catching fish in these fish in vast expanses of deep water may prove more difficult than catching fish in the usual shallow weed patches, but the efforts will be rewarded with much larger fish in the boat. As with this week’s walleye report, using your electronics to locate fish on deep running bars and sunken islands is the key to catching. Tulibee, dwarf cisco and trout are all schooling fish and are easily distinguishable on a graph. They will take up 10 or more feet of the water column and show up as a massive “bait ball” on your screen. Drop down a sucker minnow on a large heavy jig to get them to respond.

“Eater sized” bluegills, crappies and perch have all made their mid to late summer homes 10 to 30 feet below the lake water’s crest. Small leeches affixed to a heavy 1/8oz FluFlu™ jig will urge them to open their mouths to eat. White or pink is a great color choice as it glows nicely well below the surface.

Smokey Hills Outdoor Store has had a sales record setting summer and we are so very thankful for your support. Our lot is as full as it has ever been with Ice Castles and the brand has dominated the Minnesota RV market, outselling the other top three RV makers for the 4th year in a row. Stop by the store for the more up to date and lake specific fishing tips and hot spots. See you soon!

Local youth fisherman Dylan showing off his caught and released bass and pike.
(Photo courtesy of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store)
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