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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Thursday, 26 June 2014 22:01

Warm water fishing tactics and tips

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Warm water fishing brings out an abundance of Bait

With the holiday of our independence and the warming trend in temperatures across the country we felt it was a good time to start talking about warmer water fishing tactics.  Warm temperatures and an abundance of bait fish in the water makes the summer time a little more difficult for fishing.  However, they are there and still catchable.  Some might just need to switch their tactics a little.

As water temperatures warm different species of fish will move seeking cooler water temperatures at whatever the comfort level is for that particular species. Oxygen supply is also a factor since the warmer water typically holds less oxygen that fish need.

Facts about Pike and Trout Movements

People used to believe that northern pike lost their teeth in summer since they were difficult to catch. Now we know that this is not true. The pike just move to different locations such as much deeper and colder water where there may be openings in the weed beds for them to ambush baitfish.
In streams the trout will seek cover, cool water, and oxygen. This typically will be deep riffles or rapids or maybe a deep, shaded pool with a riffle at the head. These riffles provide aeration and trout typically will be in or just below the oxygenated water.

Warm water Stresses Fish Habits

Something we should be aware of is the effect of stress on fish in warm water. A trout that has fought for a long time in warm water often will not survive, no matter how carefully you handle and release it. At the very least, put away those darn ultra light rods – or better yet give them to some kids.
Many trout anglers avoid fishing and stressing out trout in small or medium streams. Instead they concentrate on larger waters like West Canada Creek which may be cooler and more oxygenated. Many fishermen do not bother to fish for native trout under these conditions, but concentrate on the waters where much of the fishing is put and take anyway.

Bass will also seek cooler water. For smallmouth bass this usually means deep water along some rocky structure where they move up in evening to feed. Deep water tactics such as live bait, jigs, or jigging spoons are usually best.

Largemouth bass will move deeper for cooler water, although they tolerate warmer water than smallmouths. They will usually seek shade from the bright sun by holding deep in cover such as dense weeds during the daylight. Plastic worms rigged weedless, sinking worms, or drop shot rigs with Berkley “Gulp” minnows may be your best bet. Top water lures in the evening are effective and fun.

Even though bass are hardy fish that are used to warmer waters, their chances for survival are greatly diminished when kept out of water for long in this warm weather. Fight the fish quickly, and if at all possible unhook it while it is still in the water. Using circle hooks which tend to hook a fish in the edge of the lip makes it easier to quickly release a bass.

Of course anglers are still taking some nice salmon, steelhead, and brown trout on Lake Ontario. But it is easy for salmon and trout to move a little bit deeper or further from shore and be in colder water. Check fishing reports on FishNY.com or lakeontariooutdoors.com for the latest depths, lures, etc.
For increased fishing action try fishing during periods of low light or even at night. Trout fishing at dawn or twilight is your best bet. Fishing for big brown trout at night can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Trout fishing on a rainy day is usually good.

Night Fishing can Increase Success for Predatory Species

Night fishing for bass is great since the action is often at its best and you can take them using surface or shallow water lures and tactics. Instead of battling weeds, try fishing after dark with poppers, chuggers, and other top-water lures. Know your waters and fish over relatively shallow weed beds.
The fish usually are not where you found them in May and regardless they are wary or lethargic. But adjust your tactics and you can still find fun and action. It sure beats the alternative of watching “reality shows” on TV.