Midsummer fishing can be a hit-or-miss proposition, and that has certainly been the case in the last week or so. 

The hot weather has brought the water temperatures up into the 80s in some cases and that is just too warm for this area. The weeds this year are still a mystery, as there are some areas that normally have weeds (and cover) that are just bare. 

Both walleye and crappie populations seem to be moving around a lot, so it is hard to predict from day to day how the fishing will be. There is a lot of traffic on the water during the daytime, so you might have better luck trying some low-light times for your fishing. Landings, especially on the Eagle River Chain, will be busy throughout July.

Walleye fishing has been better since the end of the mayfly hatch, but as we said, the fish have been moving around. You’ll find them in the holes one day and near or in cover the next day. In addition, they have been hitting different live bait from day to day. Take a few minnows and an alternative bait such as crawlers. You might also want to just drift some mud flats in the middle of the day with crawlers to find some bigger fish. On the big deep lakes, the weeds in the 8- to 13-foot range are holding fish if you can find the weeds. Minnows or leeches seem to be best on these lakes. Evenings are the best time of the day for these lakes right into dark.

Bass fishing has been great all year, with both smallies and largemouths hitting very well. The smallies have for the most part moved deeper and are near hard bottoms, although we have had reports of a few working the weeds to feed. They are feeding on crayfish, so any crayfish imitation will work well. The largemouths are mostly shallower and near cover of some kind. They are very aggressive and will hit just about anything, so all types of artificial baits will work.

Northerns are hitting well, as usual. These fish are generally weed-related because that is where their target bait is located. Try some larger sucker minnows for live bait, and any flashy or noisy artificial baits.

Muskie action has been very hit-and-miss also. This is the time for night fishing for the biggest fish, with bucktails or surface baits. If you are going to night fish, stay out until at least 11:30 p.m. or so. Daytime fishing is good on some days in the weeds with surface baits and bucktails, and in deeper water with crankbaits or plastics.

Panfish action has been good, with bluegills being the most consistent actors.The ’gills are in the weeds and will hit worms 99% of the time. Perch action is also in the weeds, but deeper weeds with leeches or worms. Crappies are moving around, but you can generally find some in weeds with smaller plastics. If you can find some deeper cribs, you’ll also have some great action at times on these pieces of structure.

Enjoy the cooler weather this week and the fishing.

Good luck and good fishin’.