FINDING FISHING ACTION IN AUGUST   Leave a comment

058063-R1-77-77

Summer sunshine in August is often a sure sign that the fish will not bite during the day. Most anglers switch to night fishing or at least early morning and late evening. That is not the whole story.

Change your program and some nice fish will get caught.

In southern Illinois, fishing 90-degree water calls for a change of tactic. These southern lakes and pounds contain smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white bass, walleye, crappie, bluegill and some assorted sunfish. Focus on the channel and blue catfish in the daytime and the flatheads at night.

Lakes and rivers experience a thermocline effect in the water during the hot summer months. The water below that level lacks adequate oxygen for most species of fish. As a result most fish suspend above the thermocline usually at a depth of about 20 feet.

The thermocline is a band of water in which the temperature is 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the water above. Below this band the water is even cooler. The fish will be in the water above the thermocline all summer but tend to hang close to it.

Catfish are usually at about 20 foot depth and other species above them. They relate to any structure at those depths. For instance humps and sunken islands attract catfish. These fish are active in hot weather contrary to popular belief that they might be inactive in response to the lack of oxygen in the water.

The shad in a lake will be in the top section of the water column. White bass force them there. Seagulls fly over the shad breaking the surface. It is the bird’s presence that alerts fishermen to the presence of potential action. Below the white bass is where the catfish lurk.

All the traditional catfish baits and lures work in August just as they do the year around. Channel catfish will take almost anything but the blues and flatheads prefer live bait such as a sunfish or shad. It is important to place the bait/lure at the right depth. The slip bobber rig is the choice to keep the bait off the bottom. In the case of crankbaits one can count down to a desired depth before retrieving the lure. A deep diving crankbait trolled at 2 miles per hour should run at about 18 feet down.

Crankbaits in shad imitation shapes and colors work in clear water. In rivers work the slack water behind structure as well as hollowed out holes in the bottom. There is more current above them and less deep in the hole. In river situations you probably will have to travel more to find schools of fish.

As for color in the use of crankbaits adjust according to water clarity. Murky water calls for orange, chartreuse or yellow fire tiger baits. In clear water blue or the more natural colors including brown and black are good.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: