Submitted by Smokey Hills Outdoor Store
The fish are obese and ready to eat in the Park Rapids area lakes. We are already entering the last days of August which means that the fish are fat from a long summer of feeding. The ten day weather forecast calls for some upheaval in our near perfect summer weather; promising rain and scattered thunderstorms on some of the coming days. We start off this fishing report with easterly winds for the next 72 hours. On day four, they turn westerly and that will turn up the fish activity.
The most recent “secret” to catching walleyes is to set your alarm to early ‘o clock. The water is coolest at the break of dawn in late August and the ‘eyes also make the best use of their excellent low light vision at that time. Don’t be afraid to snag a weed or two, walleyes will feed where there is the most prey available and that prey will be close to various weed beds throughout the lake. Early morning, you can find walleye feeding between the pencil reed edge and the inside edge of the submergent vegetation. The tall submergent vegetation usually starts growing at 8 feet. Being quiet is also of utmost importance as walleyes spook easily in the shallows. Shut down your electronics and only use your trolling motor when necessary. Make long casts with a KenKatch™ long-shank jig tipped with a leech or shiner minnow. This set up will help you introduce walleyes to the plush carpet on the bottom of your boat. If you prefer not to wake up with the roosters, trolling Rapala™ “Shad Raps” will still bring success later in the day.
Some nice northern pike have been recently caught by anglers targeting the deeper weed edges. Let a medium sized sucker minnow from Smokey Hills sacrifice its life for your angling pleasure. The northern pike’s preferred late summer habitat is on the deep growing cabbage weed points and sunken islands. Use your electronics to locate the thick, tall growing cabbage weeds. You will want to start your hunt in the deepest bay(s) of the lake as the water is slightly cooler and prey more readily available. Depths of 12 to 25 feet will produce results!
The largemouth bass remain active, eating everything that the lake provides in preparation for our long, frigid Minnesota winter. Take advantage of their need to store up fat reserves by plucking the “big dogs” out of the coon tail weeds in 10 to 15 feet of water. A Big Bite Bait’s™ “Trick Stick” affixed to a 2/0 Gamakatsu lipstick hook will out-fish most other configurations while fishing for bass from this particular habitat. The technique is slow and sometimes tedious, but the technique will pay off when you find the stash of bass. It’s also a great time of year to dust off your deep diving, fat crankbaits. The big bass are down there on the tips of the deep points just waiting to attack your crankbait!
The story on the panfish is still much the same as previous weeks. The majority of the crappie and bluegill will be found in and around deep growing cabbage weed stands. Any variation of FluFlu™, KenKatch™, or Northland™ 1/16th or 1/8th oz jigs tipped with wax worm will put fish in the boat.
|Cassidy Haggard pictured with her recently caught Park Rapids crappie.
(Photo courtesy of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store)