Summer Fishing in July & August
July and August - while not entirely the same, do share many of the same benefits and challenges when it comes to fishing.
Unless it's a particularly rainy year, the higher water of May and June give way to average to low lake levels in July and August. The current in the narrows becomes less pronounced allowing fishing in these channels with much greater ease. Weedbeds begin to pop up in earnest. The water temperature increases and many of the bigger fish go deep.
We have some groups that come multiple weeks each year, and, over time have fished all months - perhaps even all weeks - of the summer. I've asked them which months they prefer and they virtually all choose July and / or August.
With the warmer water, and the fish going deep, you would think that would affect the fishing in a negative manner. The truth is, once you learn how to fish in these summer months, it can be every bit as rewarding as the spring and early season fishing.
Come early July, the walleye have moved to their summer holes. You can still get them in the narrows, and in shallower water, but in the ledges on lakes in July and August look for 25' (give or take a few feet), and in many cases you'll find large schools of 'eyes and many nice ones. The most common technique is a jig with a minnow, leech or crawler. Lots vertical jig or bottom bounce with a drop shot. Others use live bait with a Lindy Rig with great success.
Don't discount artificial though - work the same areas - or narrows and especially with Wally Divers, Thundersticks, Rapala's, Lazy Ike's, Canadian Wigglers etc - can result in more of the elusive large summer walleye.
And when it's really hot, don't think you have to go even deeper for some walleye action. Check out weed beds around the system - often you'll find schools keeping cool under the weeds - in 5 or 6 feet of water!
For bass, you'll still see action working the shoreline - maybe not the numbers you see earlier in the season, but they're there and you can have a lot of fun working the shore all season long. Out of interest though, most of our really huge bass in the summer come from guys jigging for walleye on the 25' ledges. Use crawlers and leeches rather than minnows to increase your luck for bass while jigging deep in the heat of the summer.
With pike there'll be lots of hammerhandles along the shoreline - in the weed beds. They're a lot of fun to catch, but after a while it's time for some action from some larger fish. Again - many of our larger pike in the summer come from fishing the ledges - they're down there feeding on the walleye. Early in the morning you'll see the bigger ones laying in the weeds by the shore, but, like the walleye, you can often catch bigger pike by trolling artificial bait.
We don't have many people go for lake trout in mid to late summer as they're so deep you often need special equipment to get them. Groups with downriggers and stiff rods with heavy line will be successful, ditto anglers using Dipsy Divers (again, you'll need some heavier gear). But it's not impossible without all those gadgets. Check out our page explaining how to use a 3 way swivel set up to catch those deep summer, lakers.
Again, prepare for all types of weather, but we do see many days in the eighties and even nineties, so heat can be a factor. On the lake, you'll get burnt badly without even realizing it. Make sure you have a good hat, some light shirts to cover up and some sunscreen (we sell it as well if you forget it).
Generally come summer, the blackflies are USUALLY done, and the mosquitoes are directly dependent on how wet of a year it has been.