Mid- to late-summer fishing patterns dominate the fishing report this week.

A cold front moved through last week, dropping the water temperatures 5 degrees or so on the surface. What a summer! We now have temps back in the low 70s on most lakes. 

Meanwhile, water levels again have been going up on all lakes with all that rain last week. When we get to this time of the year, we start to see some weeds starting to turn brown, especially in shallow water.

It hasn’t been a normal summer for fishing in any way because of the inconsistency of the weather. As we head toward fall, it will be interesting to see if September is warm or cold or somewhere in between.

Walleye fishing has in general been pretty good. The fish have been hitting well in the holes on some days on the Chain, with some good fishing reported in those holes for both numbers and size. You can also catch walleyes in the weeds, especially in several weeks as the boating traffic lessens. Leeches and crawlers have been better than minnows as bait on the Chain. On the larger lakes, anglers can still get fish on the 12- to 15-foot edges, with weeds in the 12-foot range on these lakes. Minnows and crawlers are working well on these lakes, and evenings are best in the clear water.

Bass fishing has been spectacular throughout the area, with both smallies and largemouths hitting on plastics. Anglers will find the largemouths in the weeds and utilizing any cover for ambush spots. These fish will hit plastics, surface baits, spinnerbaits and crawlers. Smallies in general tend to be deeper and closer to hard-bottom areas.

Northerns are still hitting in the weeds everywhere. In general, the deeper the weeds the better. These fish will hit all artificials including surface baits with abandon. For live bait, use either large sucker minnows or pike chubs in those weeds up to 18 feet.

Muskie action has been pretty good, but a little inconsistent with this goofy weather. All bait types are working, but it is not effective to use suckers at this time. Anglers will have difficulty keeping those suckers alive at this time of year. In general, surface baits and bucktails are working well over the weed areas. The night fishermen are experiencing some success in the warmer weather periods.

Panfish, especially bluegills, are in the weeds, as usual. Worms work well, and you can get these ’gills in the weeds on any day. Crappie action has been a little more varied, as they have been both deeper on some lakes and in the weeds on others. Small plastics such as Mini Mites or Twister Tails on 1/32-ounce jigs work well for these fish, along with crappie minnows. Perch have been in the deeper weeds and hitting on worms and small leeches well.

Enjoy the rest of summer — it is going faster than we realize. Soon we will be in fall fishing.

Good luck and good fishin’.