Now that summer is in full swing, let’s discuss hot weather fishing. While most anglers are waiting for the fall cool down, some are catching plenty of fish in August. But, even those who brave the heat, choose the times and places they fish in order to maximize their comfort and improve their catch rate. To help, here are a few reminders that might make it easier to catch a limit.
What types of fish are biting?
During the heat of the day, bream, perch and catfish are easy targets. Bream, (sunfish) love warm weather and can be found swimming along most shorelines that have a combination of shade and sunlight. Catfish cruise a little deeper, but are extremely active during the summer. White perch, the mainstay for family vacation fishing trips, gather in large schools and bite feverishly throughout the day.
What are the best times to fish?
Dawn, dusk and cloudy days are prime times to catch fish in August.
Those who fish after dark can try their luck for bass, hybrids, stripers and crappie. They are attracted to lights that shine directly into the water at night. Bass hybrid and striper fishermen look for lighted boat docks, and those targeting crappie, hang lanterns and LED Lights over the sides of their boats.
What are the best baits to use?
For bream, try bread/dough balls, worms, crickets, and popping bugs. Catfish will be interested in prepared stink baits, chicken parts, fresh cut fish and live bream. White perch like small minnows, jigs, spoons, and Sabiki rigs. Your best bet for bass might be large minnows, top water lures, soft plastics, or swim and crank baits. If you’re after stripers or hybrid striped bass, try live shad, herring, shiners, roadrunners, bucktails, jigging spoons and Alabama rigs. And the lowly but fine-eatin' crappie will go after crappie minnows (The canibals!) and small jigs.
What is the best tackle to use?
When fishing for bream, perch, channel catfish and crappie, a light action six-to-seven foot spinning outfit, loaded with six to ten pound test line, is perfect. Bass, stripers, blue and flathead catfish are larger and require stronger tackle and line.
Where are the best places to fish?
If you're after crappie, bass and stripers, drop your line near bridge pilings. Submerged brush and other deep-water attractors will harbor bass and crappie. Piers and boat houses attract all species and are a local favorite. You'll often find bass hanging around channel markers and boat basins. You’ll also find catfish and bream in those boat basins. Shorelines, fallen trees or overhanging limbs are favorite hang-outs for bass and bream. You’re likely to find white perch and spotted bass in deep coves and pockets.
Tip from Capt. Gus:
For those who want to catch something really big this summer and can only fish from the shore, give carp fishing a try. There are lots of ten to twenty pounders in the lake. Best baits are dough balls and kernels of canned corn fished on the bottom.
David Streng holds a spotted bass.
Photo courtesy of Captain Gus
Crappie photo: US Fish & Wildlife Service.