Slab Seeker Fishing Report 7-13-18
By Garett Svir
Despite the hot weather this past week fishing has been on fire in Otter Tail Lakes Country. I get customers that message me all the time that worry about booking a late July or August trip because of the “dog days” or mid summer doldrums hitting the area lakes. This myth is absolutely not true when talking about bluegills and bass. These are warm water species and their metabolism is at an all time high right now. When you find them… they will bite. The problem this time of year is that fish are often spread out and you can fish a lot of different patterns and find a few fish on multiple different patterns all during the same day. In my experience during the heat of the summer it pays to be versatile and move, move. move. Pick off a few fish here and there and then try a different pattern. Let’s start with my specialty trophy caliber bluegills.
Doing the best fishing deep weedlines for those bigger fish. I’ve been using 1/32nd oz jigs with a split shot about 18″ above tipped a medium leech or half a night crawler. Cruising slowly along cabbage and coontail edges in that 12-15′ range. If you are catching smaller fish don’t be afraid to move deeper to find those giants. It seems like the fish on top of the weeds on the shorelines have been much smaller bluegills. For bass we’ve been using a one two punch. I’ve had the angler in the front of the boat fishing a swim jig and the angler in the back of the boat fishing an unweighted Senko style bait rigged wacky style. By using this method and covering water you won’t leave many fish behind. During the heat of the day fishing the edges and right up against clumps of matted coontail and around boat lifts and docks is a great pattern. Those fish will seek out that shade. We’ve also been finding lots of fish on those deep weeds edges and in the grass during low light periods.
As for walleyes a 3/8th oz worm weight above a Northland Fishing Tackle Butterfly Blade Rig tipped with a half a night crawler has been my confidence bait. The worm weight does a great job of cutting through those sparse weeds when trying to follow weed edges and doesn’t fowl up nearly as bad as a bottom bouncer, give it a try, I think you’ll really like it. Main lake humps are also holding walleyes. We fished a hump the other evening in 14′ and picked up a nice batch of 14-16″ walleyes and then moved to a hump that topped out at 30′ and had two fish over 20″ so be versatile and move around. Trust your electronics when searching for those deep walleyes this time of year. Keep in mind that a thermocline has now developed on some lakes and the walleyes may be related to weed edges rather than those deep humps and points if the lake doesn’t have dissolved oxygen in the depths. Spinner rigs like this with a half a night crawler do a great job of allowing you to move along edges picking off a fish here and there and putting together a great day on the water. I still have some remaining dates available if anyone is interested in getting out in the boat to chase trophy bluegills, check out my website at http://www.slabseekerfishing.com. Tight lines, Garett Svir