Here in Upstate New York, July is the month Summer REALLY kicks in, especially if you ply our numerous lakes, bays and other waterways. This is a great time to toss out a line and enjoy our sport, while basking in nice balmy weather.
Well, it WOULD BE, except anglers share the waterways with non-fishermen too. Skiers, tubers, personal watercraft operators, all are part of the “Wheee” people, that endlessly tear up the waters’ surface. They are oblivious to the ecosystem that exists beneath, or the disruption of their “fun,” imparts upon it. Of course, this lack of consideration is applied to fishermen, too, as we are simply IN THE WAY of their ANTICS.
WHEW, got THAT off my chest!!! That being said, a smart angler knows trying to pursue our quarry amidst all this noise and nonsense, is pretty much a losing proposition. Oh, yeah, maybe we can find a little corner of the water to ply our craft, but being forced to do so, can be maddening as well as just unfair.
So, what to do? Well, most fish that have strong lateral lines, like large mouth bass and walleye, will tuck into the weed edges, or the depths, until darkness brings relief from the noisy surface disruption. The last hour of daylight, into night, can be a BONANZA of angling opportunities!!
As fish that have been pushed out of their comfort and feeding zones during the day, re-enter these areas; they actively feed now that the pressure, overhead, is eased.
I often head out around 5 p.m. or so, while boat traffic is still moderate. I map weed edges, pancake shoals and shallow “flats” that border deeper water, with steep drop offs.
Trolling along weed edges, will produce fish as they emerge as the sun goes down. Still fishing on the flats with live bait, will catch those leaving the depths to feed. Noisy baits, like those that sputter or rattle, will help fish to ZONE IN to your offering. A jig, tipped with a lively minnow or leech, suspended under a lighted float, can be deadly for both “eyes” and bucket mouths. Catfish, too, are often found along the flats and will gladly glom a bait at this time.
Make sure your running lights work, while under power, and keep that back light on, while anchored or drifting.
When using GLO baits, wait a minute or so after FLASHING with a light source. Too much brightness can actually turn the fish OFF your bait. I carry a portable air horn in case some daylight zoomer doesn’t see my boat light(s). I’ve caught my biggest fish on the full moon and new moon cycles.
So, plan and plot your areas you want to fish BEFORE it gets dark, then settle in for some great fishing!!! It will be like CHRISTMAS IN JULY!
Have fun and fish safely,