Dick Herfindahl: Hot days and cool nights make for good fishing

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, July 29, 2017

Woods & Water by Dick Herfindahl

There is a lot to be said for August fishing and, contrary to what you might think, it’s not all bad. This is the time of year when the heat of the day can still be pretty intense but it gives way to the cool of the night. I’d have to say that in all reality, we can possibly have the best of both worlds (weather-wise) in August.

Although the fishing may slow, there are still plenty of fish to be had. I was fishing Lake Tetonka this same time of year a few years back and the fish were still very active. In fact, the next couple of months on that particular lake used to and still can be very productive.

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Bass fishing can be very productive in early morning at this time of the year. Try fishing top water lures over open pockets in weed beds. It may surprise you. I don’t think there is a better feeling than having a fish hit a top water lure. I actually favor muskie fishing when it comes to the utter thrill of getting a strike on top water lures. I’ve even had them jump out of the water to take my lure when it was on the downfall and it hadn’t even touched the water yet.

Once on Spider Lake I was casting to this open pocket that was surrounded by some real heavy cover. As my lure was on the downfall the water just exploded and this large muskie came straight out of the water and hammered it. The tip of the tail must have cleared the surface of the water by almost a foot. I’ll never forget the feeling as that big fish shook its head with my lure in its mouth. When I look back and think of that experience it is still as vivid in my mind as the day that it had happened. That is another one of those memories that I’ll always be able to re-live. Speaking of that thrill, it was quickly replaced by the onset of sudden panic and the speed reeling as I frantically tried to get the slack out of my line.

Bass and northern can also offer the same kind of excitement when fishing top water lures. I was fishing a little bay on Spider one fall and was thinking that I should cast a Suick into this little pocket that I had spotted fairly close to shore. This was one of those times when an area just looks like it should be holding fish. The lure had barely hit the water when a nice northern hammered it and exploding out of the water with my lure in tow. What a feeling!

I guess that’s the part of fishing that really gets the old adrenaline flowing. I put fishing in two categories. There’s the relaxation part where you can put on a bobber and let the wind move it gently along while you watch, mesmerized by the moment. Then there is the other part of fishing where you feel the challenge to find that “lunker” lurking around the next point or just off the next drop-off and the satisfaction you get from finding out you were right. I do like casting the best and if you are in a boat and move slowly along the weed line try casting parallel to the edge of it or look for small open pockets in the weeds. You can cover a good amount of lakeshore thoroughly with this technique and sooner or later it will trigger a strike.

Now shore fishing can be a little different challenge, especially if you have kids or grandkids. I used to take my boys fishing around Fountain Lake quite a bit when they were growing up and the one thing that has been passed on from me to them and now to their sons is the art of fishing in trees.

The rule states (I haven’t seen it written anywhere but it has to be written on a stone somewhere) that if there’s a kid and a tree in the same area they will eventually get together on opposite ends of the fishing pole. I have removed many a lure from a tree branch over the years and sometimes you’re not lucky enough to get them back. Kids can catch a tree from shore, from a dock or from a boat. It doesn’t really matter.

About the time that I would start lecturing them on not getting tangled in the trees I have a little accident myself and then the shoe is on the other foot. I never had to wait very long to hear the little laughs and they made sure that they reminded me of what Dad and then Grandpa did! Whenever I’d make a mistake I’m sure their little sides were hurting from laughing and they wouldn’t let it go. That’s the way my boys were and they definitely did pass that one on to their boys.

That’s part of what makes family fishing fun. Make it fun for the kids and make sure that they have a chance to catch fish and they will be hooked on it. They may not all become avid fishermen but they will always remember the fun that they had.

Until next time: There is still plenty of summer left so get out and enjoy it! You can enjoy one of our many parks with a picnic, go for a walk by the lake or just sit on the shore with a fishing pole and soak a worm. Good luck and good fishing!

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