Summer is winding down

Growing up I always did pretty decent in school and once it got going I didn’t hate school but I always hated this week of the year when it was time to end the two months of summer fun to head back to class.
We would have to move from camp back into town and instead of waking up and jumping in the boat, it was wake up, pack a lunch and hike to school.
Because our summers are so beautiful and we have such a long winters, this time of year is depressing for all of us in one way or another.
The good news if you like the outdoors is that the fall season offers some of the best fishing of the year and of course we have some excellent hunting opportunities.
After such a late spring it seemed like the walleyes across Northwest Ontario stayed shallower much later in the summer than they normally do. Even at the end of July I was still catching walleyes in six to 12 feet of water, in bays and coves that are always productive in May.
They have finally settled down on the main lake humps and reefs where they usually spend the summer.
Walleye fishing was great when I got out last week for an afternoon outing.
We used ¼ ounce jigs tips with soft plastics and caught a bunch. After being on the road for a few weeks it was nice to have some walleye for dinner.
Walleye fishing stays pretty good throughout the fall but look for them to move to mud flats in the coming weeks as well as continued action on the main lake humps.
Walleyes show up on mud flats in 25 to 35 feet of water on most waters where they feed on small minnows as well as invertebrates that pop up out of the bottom.
These locations are also where you’ll find tasty perch and crappies as well. Keep your eyes on your electronics to spot fish on these flat bottom areas.
Over the past few years some of the best fishing I have experienced in September has been for pike and lake trout. Both of these fish make predictable moves and you can catch big fish of both species that will surprise you.
When most people think of where to catch a pike they think of those shallow weed-filled bays and throughout the summer that is the place to look for action.
If you want to catch a trophy sized pike now, you want to start fishing around rocky points and reefs in main lake areas.
These fish will stay relatively shallow, think six to 12 feet in prime spots to feed on larger baitfish and the rocks seem to be where it happens.
Casting or trolling with oversized bass jerkbaits and crankbaits is the best way to connect with these aggressive fish. On lakes that have muskies, you’ll have a good chance at running in them as well.
After spending much of the summer in super deep water, lake trout will start moving shallower as water temperatures start to fall.
Fishing is excellent right up until the season closes at the end of the month.
I like to concentrate my efforts in 40 to 60 feet of water, around points and reefs that are close to the super deep stuff.
You’ll notice a bunch of fish around these locations on your electronics as well as the presence of baitfish like cisco and smelt.
Once I find some fish with my Humminbirds, I’ll drop jigs tipped with five inch soft plastic jerk shads to them, like the Z-Man Scented Jerk Shad and they seldom pass up biting it.
Lake trout are in the mood to eat as they prepare for their annual spawning routine in October.
The bass tournament scene picks up again this weekend in Sioux Narrows with the 24th-annual “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament on Lake of the Woods.
The three-day event runs Friday through Sunday from the government dock. Mike Reid and I have fished the tournament together every year since it started back in 1996 so it’s always a weekend we look forward to.
The cooler weather this week should actually help the bass fishing so I would expect to see plenty of big largemouth and smallmouth bass cross the scales in Sioux Narrows this weekend.
The weigh-in starts are 3:30 each day for anyone looking to come and check it out.