Thursday, July 5, 2012

Houghton Lake Fishing Report: July 5,2012

Crappie while trolling at Reedsburg Dam
Fishing conditions have been less than optimal (to say the least) over the past few weeks. High winds have made the waters murky as well as making it difficult to stay in one spot even when using two anchors. The temperatures have been very high lately causing the fishing to be erratic especially during the day.

In these conditions I have one word "trolling". Trolling is simply moving your bait through the water behind a boat at a slow speed, using a specialized electric or small gas motor. This works two fold in that the fish tend to be agitated by the moving bait, much the same as casting and retrieving, and you can cover a large area increasing your chances of success.

Largemouth trolling at Reedsburg Dam
If you have never tried it or tried it unsuccessfully I would give it a try. I do not recommend using a   regular boat engine, at least not for an extended period of time. The engine uses a shaft driven water pump and at very slow speeds may not pump enough water to keep the engine cool and could cause engine damage. Possibly even seize the engine. Nothing can ruin a day on the lake like hoping for someone to give you a tow back to the boat launch or dock. I know this from personal experience.

Rock Bass at Backus lake
Best fishing: late evening (an hour before sunset) or, in the early morning after the water has had a chance to cool. If your set on fishing during the day try the deeper water off the south DNR boat launch (site of the Tip Up Town USA). The south weed bed runs along this area and usually produces walleye, perch, bluegill and northern pike.

Best bait: anything that works. I've caught bluegill, bass, crappie and perch on nightcrawlers and on plastics. I had a fellow next me on the Cut river catch a 16" largemouth using a chub (think very large minnow). Some swear by leeches for walleye especially trolling in the summer.

There's a new bait shop in town, Angelo's on old 27 (formerly Dead Stream Party Store). Actually they're a party store with bait. They have snacks and hope to have a beer license soon. Just a short ride from the Reedsburg Dam campground and boat launch. If you need some bait or some goodies  you don't have to drive into town.

That's all for now. Hope to see you on the lake.

Ken S

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