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Fishing Report July 2011

July 29-31, 2011

I finally found a bunch of nice active walleyes this week on Woman Lake, but not where I expected to find them.  I've been looking deeper and deeper for the walleyes recently, with only marginal results, so I wondered if maybe they had moved shallow.  Sure enough, I found them relating to shallow mid-lake rock structure (13-14 feet deep).  Work the shallow flats around the edges of rocky sunken islands using either live bait rigs or bobbers.  Both leeches are crawlers worked well when you can keep them away from the crayfish.  Most of the walleyes were perfect eating size, ranging from 14-17 inches, and seemed to be feeding aggressively.  We did not find any large walleyes in this pattern, but we did catch a few nice smallmouth bass (up to 4 lbs) working the rock piles.  Late afternoon and evenings clearly produced a more consistent bite than mornings.  The big bull bluegills are still quite active, too.  We found fat healthy panfish in the 9-10" size range, and you will be surprised with the fight they put up.  We friend a batch up for dinner Sunday night while listening to the loons at sunset.  We finally seem to have gotten a break from the unusually hot, humid weather making it quite enjoyable on the water.  As usual, you can find a few photos of these Woman Lake fish in the Catch Photos section.

July 23-25, 2011

The weather continues to be hot and the walleye fishing is still slower than normal on most lakes in the area.  Actually, the fish are feeding as much as ever right now, but they have moved into patterns that are more difficult to discover.  We are still catching some nice bigger fish (22"+) on Woman Lake, but not the eating size (14-17") we desired.  Deeper water and evenings has been the best.  Nice keeper size bluegills are still very active on mid-lake structure.  Look for them near the base of main lake breaks or near the tops of rock piles.

July 15-18, 2011

The heat and humidity has been brutal, and being on the water (or in it) is about the only place I could get comfortable.  The walleye bite has picked up somewhat, once you adapt to their new mid-summer patterns.  Deeper water (20+) and low light conditions have been important recently to get them to bite.  Normally throughout the year I catch most of my walleyes in the middle of the day on Woman Lake, but early morning and early evening seems to be the time to catch them right now.  One bonus I discovered this week was big bluegills hanging out on the deeper sides of my walleye locations.  25-26 feet deep, probably near the sand to mud bottom transition, is where I found them.  I didn't catch any of the monster bull bluegills Woman Lake is known to produce, but plenty of 8.5 - 9 inchers, which makes for a might tasty dinner.

July 1-9, 2011

The cool wet weather has finally turned into hot summer weather, but the fishing has cooled down.  Water temperatures that hung in the mid-60 degree range have quickly jumped to 73-74 degrees and the walleye patterns have definitely changed.  We caught a few nice large walleyes (22-25 inch range), but have not found keeping size walleyes in any quantities.  On the other hand, the bass and northern bite has been quite active.  The walleyes have been found in deeper water (22-26 feet) surrounding mid-lake structure.  The largemouth bass are hanging in the large weedbeds and shallow weedy bays.  Top water baits on a calm day seems to do the trick for the bass.  Northerns can be found most anywhere with a live minnow presentation.