by Bob Jensen
People go fishing for several reasons. Some want to spend time outside. Others consider fishing a good way to spend time with family or friends. A good number are looking for a meal of fresh fish. No matter why we go fishing, there is one common thread: We want to catch a fish. Throughout the Midwest there are lots of different places to go fishing, and each of those bodies of water have some individual characteristics. If we consider those different characteristics, we will increase our chances for catching a few or a lot of fish.
Keep in mind that during the summer, the sun is more directly overhead than at other times of the year. This increased and more direct light is something that should be considered when you're trying to decide where to go fishing.
If you can get away early or late in the day, clear bodies of water will often be best. Oftentimes fish in clear lakes will bite best when the light penetration is low. Early or late in the day is when the light is lowest, so that's when action is often best in clear water. Overcast or windy days will also usually be better on clear lakes.
If it is a bright day, lots of sunshine, bodies of water that have limited visibility will be best. I've seen many, many situations, while fishing on lakes where visibility was just a foot or two, where the fishing was best at mid-day under cloudless skies. I've also seen days on stained lakes when cloud cover was scattered. When the sun peeked out from around the clouds, the fish went on a good bite. When the sun went back behind the clouds, the bite stopped.
When fishing conditions are tough in the summer, a river will often provide the best action. It seems like current will frequently override the effects of a bright sky. Also, rivers often have lots of shade from trees and the river bank, and fish that are in that shade will be susceptible to a bait.
Additionally, river fish seem to be hungrier and more opportunistic than their lake-dwelling cousins. River fish are constantly fighting the current, so they expend more energy. Therefore, they need to eat more often. River fish are just more likely to eat in a river if they see something to eat.
A great bait for pretty much anything that swims in a river is a Thumper Jig tipped with a three inch Power Grub. The Thumper Jig has a small blade that attracts the fish, and the Power Grub provides the tail action that makes them bite.
Summer is a great time to be on the water. Keep these ideas in mind when deciding where to go fishing and you'll be more successful.
For more fish-catching information, visit www.fishingthemidwest.com.