Fishing Report July 2018
July 13-17, 2018
The lovely weather has continued and water temperatures have reached the 77-78 degree range. That is about as warm as Woman Lake ever gets, so the dog days of summer are here for the next few weeks, until we get a gradual cool down in mid-August. The big smallmouth bass are quite active and we are catching fish up to 20" long. We have not seen a legitimate 6 pounder yet this summer, but we should before too long. The huge bluegills are also very active now both in the deep weeds and on deep rockpiles. Some of these bluegills are a thick as 2x4 board !!! Lots and fun but remember to put the real huge ones back in the lake to keep this fishery healthy, and there are plenty of fat 8 to 9 inch bluegill to fry up for dinner. We are still fishing live bait rigs with leeches and both the bass and bluegills just eat them up. The walleye bite remains slow during daytime, so you might want to try trolling Rapalas over the 7-10 foot sand flats in the late evening and even after dark. During the day I would suggest trolling a night crawler or leech on a spinner rig behind a bottom bouncer, so you can cover more water.
July 1-9, 2018
We have enjoyed some beautiful summer weather the last few weeks, except for a few days of exceptional heat and humidity, so it has been a great time to be on a lake in northern Minnesota. The traditional "hot" June walleye bite on Woman Lake never transpired, nor did it seem to happen on most lakes in the state. The late ice out this year and the early water warm up provided conditions for a very healthy and prolific spring fish hatch, which means there are literally millions and millions of bait fish swimming around in the lake. With food being exceptionally plentiful for the walleyes, it becomes much more of a challenge to get them interested in your bait. We have been catching walleyes every day, just not as many as we would normally expect. Water temperatures have now crept up to 74-75 degrees and the swimmers, water skiers, and tube riders are going strong during the holiday week.
We are catching some very nice smallmouth bass off the mid-lake rock structure, but the walleyes that typically sit just deeper than the bass, have been reluctant to bite. We get a few walleyes, and some 18-20" bass, and now the big bull bluegills are moving on top of these same rockpiles. We often see bluegills in the 10-11" range, which is absolutely huge, and they sometimes get bigger than that. When you hook a bluegill that takes the drag out on your walleye rod, you know you have a real dandy.