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Gary Howey

” IN 2017

It’s Hot and They’re Deep By Gary Howey

Entered by Gary Howey

Former tournament angler, hunting and fishing guide. Inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing "Hall of Fame" in 2017. Active member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW), Past Executive Director (AGLOW). Howey has been an outdoor communicator since 1980 with his award winning syndicated "Of the Outdoors" columns appearing in magazine, newspapers, and tabloids throughout he upper Midwest and nationally.

June 30, 2017

  There have been days when I wondered if the warmer weather would ever get here. Not here right now, but have no fear when it arrives, it will be with a vengeance.

  When it does arrive, it warms up quickly. This along with the higher humidity we get in our area will be the perfect combination for nasty weather and of course, tougher fishing conditions.

  This is the time of the year, when fish need to adjust to numerous conditions, which includes low water, high water, rising water temperatures, rising or falling barometric pressure and the summer’s bright sunlight all making walleye fishing during this time of the year, tough.

  We anglers will need to adjust, heading to be fishing  deeper water and water where there’s  less sunlight penetration as this is where the fish ware going to be once temperatures start to rise.

  With these hotter temperatures, walleyes and other species of fish will go deep, searching for comfortable water temperatures.

  These deep-water haunts provide the cooler water temperature the fish need to survive when things heat up.

  Another reason is that their food source, the baitfish have moved down, bringing the predator fish with them.

  There are several methods where you can take these Deep-Water fish; those that have worked well for me in the past include leadcore line, snap weights or downriggers pulling crankbaits.

  During this time of the year, the movement of the fish can vary drastically, especially just prior to a sever weather change.

  Fish detect a change of weather well before it happens feeling it in their lateral line, which is a series of sensitive nerve endings extending from behind the gills out to their tail.

Team Outdoorsmen Adventures Member Larry Myhre, Sioux City, IA. with a walleye taken out of shallow water on a windy day.

  Since they know a severe weather change is about to occur, walleyes and other species of fish will go on a feeding binge prior to the arrival of the storm, then move deep, lying dormant on the bottom until weather conditions stabilize.

  If you are unfortunate to have to fish these dormant fish after a storm passes through, you will need a lot of patience and a precise bait presentation, such as a Lindy rig or small split shot and a single hook.

  I’ve had my best luck on these inactive fish by presenting my bait right in front of the walleyes nose and staying there until I make them mad enough to bite.

  Since the sun is at its highest point this time of the year and walleyes are very light sensitive, they’re going to be more active in periods where sunlight penetration is minimal.

  These periods include early morning, late evening, when the sun is at its lowest point, with less sunlight penetration.

  Not all walleyes stay deep throughout the day, as there are times when conditions are right, walleyes are caught shallow.

  One of these is on those very windy days as there is a good chance walleyes will move up shallow to feed in the on top of humps rock piles and sandbars.

   Because the surface of the water is rippled by the wind, reducing the sunlight’s penetration, it makes the shallow water areas more comfortable and walleyes will move up from the deep water to feed.

  Another time you’ll find walleyes shallow during the day would be when heavy winds are pounding into a point or shoreline.

  With the wind hammering against a shoreline, a mud line will develop, dramatically cutting light penetration along the shoreline.

  It may seem hard to believe that even walleyes would be able to find bait in the muddy coming back off a shoreline.

  Just because it is muddy on the first couple of inches does not mean it’s that way clear to the bottom.

  In many cases, the water a foot or so below this mud line isn’t as muddy cloudy or even clear allowing walleyes the opportunity to move up during the day and feed.

  In a river, fish are in the deepest holes or in shallower areas where there is heavier current as heavy current cools and oxygenates the water making it a more hospitable environment for walleyes.

  During the heat of the summer in a river, an increase or decrease in water will cause fish to make sudden location changes.

  With a drop in water levels, fish are forced into the remaining deep holes, concentrating them in smaller areas.

  If there is an increase in water flow, fish will move up stream, up against the sandbars and shallower to feed, taking advantage of the new influx of baitfish and other aquatic creatures being flushed into the system.

The hot of summer usually mean deep-water presentations, but under the right conditions, walleyes can be shallow giving anglers the opportunity to fish them with bottom bouncers and spinners, Lindy Rigs or by pitching jigs and crankbaits.


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