While we have been stuck in the dog days of summer, the fishing has not shut down this summer as you would expect for a normal year! We maintained much cooler water temperatures through the summer, and we haven't seen the fish come down with a nasty case of summer lock-jaw.
Walleye have scattered on most lakes making you need to cover water and find them, but if you can get on them and drop a jig on their head the success rate is high! Leeches are a top producer along with redtails or creek chubs, and don't rule out the artificials like jigging raps which can be a great way to trigger the bites. Moving toward September we are thinking we might see a earlier onset of the good fall fishing that is typically reserved for later September - it could be a good Labor Day week for fishing and shortly after.
Crappie fishing has been fantastic this year with a great class of fish coming out of the area crappie holes. 8"-12" fish have been in good supply. Finding the deeper cabbage and coontail in 12-18 FOW has been the best, but shallower in the evening as they rise up to feed more aggressively. Crappie action should keep up as we move into the fall.
Smallmouth fishing has been very good as well on the usual lakes in the area like Ten Mile, Portage, Baby, and Stony. Early mornings are most productive, but they are there to be caught during the day and evenings as well. Hair Jigs, swim baits, and drop shots have all worked along with topwater and crankbaits. Some real dandy fish have been caught over the last month.
Muskie fishing continues to heat up on Leech Lake with fish mostly holding in the usual rock areas now. Burning bucktails has been the top choice primarily for covering water, but if you're dialed in on the location of a bruiser, you may be better throwing a jerkbait or even topwater to trigger a bite. Should only get better from here!