Ah, summer. What would the July Fourth week be if we didn’t have hot, humid weather and thunderstorms? This warm weather has significantly raised the water temperatures and brought about midsummer conditions on the lakes. 

Water temperatures are in the 70s now and even the high 70s on the dark-water lakes. This is good for the other water users such as the tubers and the waterskiers. There will be a lot of boaters on the lakes for a number of weeks, so anglers might think of fishing in the early morning and later in the evening, especially on the Chain.

Water levels are high and the weeds are now growing toward the surface. This is great for fishing. You’ll see green in the water, but it is not algae yet. It is pollen from the pine trees.

Walleye fishing is good at this point, with the fish spread out somewhat. Anglers can find fish in the weeds, especially early and late in the day. There are also a lot of fish in the holes on the Chain. All live bait types are working now. There are also some mayfly hatches going on at times, so if you find that, switch to leeches in those areas. On the larger lakes, weed areas from 6 to 14 feet are the best areas. Half-crawlers on jigs have been working well in these. Also try in the drop-off areas right off the weeds with crawlers or try the deeper rock bars in the evening. North Twin and Big Sand have been producing some decent fish, especially in the evenings.

Bass fishing remains in the very good range, especially for largemouths. As the weeds have grown, these fish are occupying the weeds very actively. They are hitting all types of baits well, though plastics seem to be working best. Look for the largemouths anywhere from 2 to 12 feet in the weeds. Smallies are also hitting well, but not as weed-related. Fish the 8- to 15-foot hard-bottom areas for these fish.

Northern are also hitting well, as usual. These fish are in the weeds, searching for panfish and for minnows. For live bait, larger minnows work best. For artificials, Mepps or Daredevils work consistently well. Try Anvil Lake for a real sleeper northern lake.

Muskie action is improving from a very slow start this year, with the weeds growing and providing cover for their prey. The rising water temps are causing these fish to move well now. The Eagle River Chain is now providing better muskie action, and don’t forget to try some surface baits. When you see ducklings, that’s time for surface baits. There has been some action for the deeper water anglers, with fish suspending especially during the daytime out over deeper water. Try some Bulldawgs or Medussas for this fishing.

Panfish action remains good, as always. The bluegills are in the weeds and will be there for the summer. Worms work best. Crappies also are in the weeds, but hitting a little more sporadically. They seem to be moving more than the ’gills. Perch are in the deeper weeds now. Also, look for perch in soft-bottom areas.

The weather is nice. Get out and enjoy it.

Good luck and good fishin’.