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Fishing Report July 2020

July 31, 2020

Woman Lake walleyes are still hanging out on the mid-lake humps, sunken islands, and rock piles in the 15-19 foot depths, and they have been reasonably cooperative to us fisherman.  We didn't hook any big ones this week, but we are getting our share of 15-19 inch eaters.  The smallmouth bass have been quite aggressive and the big bluegills are biting non-stop.  Surface water temperatures are still hanging in the upper 70s degree range for now, but temperatures will start to gradually drop throughout August.  Our weather here has been just lovely the last half of July, exactly what you would hope for on a late summer northern Minnesota lake.

July 23, 2020

This past week we caught a few big walleyes (up to 27 inches), but the smallmouth bass and the big bluegills were easily the most active feeders.  Both smallmouth and largemouth bass are showing up on traditional walleye structures, and the big bluegills seem to be everywhere.  If you like to catch huge bluegills it is a good time to be on the water.  Water temperatures have cooled slightly to the mid-70s range, but they may jump back up a few degrees again based upon the weather forecast for the weekend.

July 13, 2020

Woman Lake walleyes have finally settled into their normal mid-summer locations and patterns, now that the heat waves, cold fronts, and big bug hatches seem to be behind us.  We have been catching our share of healthy, fat walleyes in the 15"-19" range on mid-lake humps, rockpiles, and sunken islands on days with decent weather.  We are catching most fish on live bait rigs using leeches in 14-17 of water, but night trolling of crankbaits over the sand flats is working well, especially for larger walleyes. We have not been catching as many larger walleyes (20-25") recently, as we did earlier in the year, but that is a typical seasonal pattern on this lake, and we try to release those larger fish unharmed when we can.

The big smallmouth bass (15-20") are equally active, especially on the rocky structures, and a few largemouth are mixed in with them. Catching and fighting a big smallmouth is easily one of the most exciting events you can experience in the sport of freshwater fishing (especially if you hook one of the many 19-22" pigs in here). Monster size bluegills are starting to show up on the mid-lake structures, too, often just a little shallower than the walleyes and smallmouth.  By "monster size", I mean big enough to take the drag out on your reel when you set the hook.  The big ones can inhale a full-size leech, but small-medium size leeches (or nightcrawlers) are best.  It is good for the lake to release the really big ones (over 10") when you can.  Surface water temps on the lake are in the 77-79 degree range depending upon the day, and that is about as warm as this lake ever gets.