Temps in southwest Iowa are running in the upper 90s and into 100+ on some days. It is so hot the fire hydrants are chasing the dogs. There was a picture in the local paper of a person cooking an egg on the pavement. The humidity is absolutely oppressive. My neighbor went outside and shot an arrow into the air. It stuck. The yards are all burning up and the Japanese beetles have appeared to eat all the yellow roses. The corn in some parts of Iowa is showing signs of stress due to the heat. Rain is needed. This is July in Iowa. This winter when the snow is flying, everyone will miss the hot days.
What is a person to do? I checked the weather up at Webster, South Dakota. The temps during the day were running in the mid 80s and at night in the low 60s. Humidity? The people up there do not even discuss it. It is so low. The thing to do is to get out of town and go fishing. I headed north. Fishing reports from Bitter Lake south of Waubay were outstanding with daily limits being reported. Bitter produces really quality walleye.
The next morning with a south wind, I was on the lake and running a spinner. Hitting a couple of spots initially produced nothing. Then after I headed over to the dairy farm that is partially submerged by the lake, the walleye started to bite. Not hard, but they showed some aggression. The bite called for some patience. The wind picked up straight out of the south. I moved the boat out from the tree line and allowed it to drift back. The drift started in 20 feet of water, then ended at 10 feet. The hits all took place in the 12 to 16 foot range. The walleye were not big, but in the 15 to 16 inch range.
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Wham, something hit the spinner, and off it went. It had to be a northern and one of decent size. I reeled him toward the boat. I tried to lift it's head but the fish wanted no part of that and off it went peeling out line as it went under the boat. Working to the opposite side of the boat, it went back under again and I tried to lift it up. Off it went with line peeling out. Fishing with an ultra-light was becoming a handful. Slowly the fish was pulled to the surface, netted and landed. At about 4-5 pounds, it was nice and plump and was really healthy. It was not as long as expected or as big, but the thrill of it all was the best part of the catch. When it comes to northern, the smaller fish provide the most fun.
|Nice size northern. They filet out really nice and make a great meal. Notice the dairy farm in the background and the tree line to my left. You want to move to about 10 to 12 feet of depth along the tree line and out to 20 feet.|
The boat was then steered over to the islands. A roadbed runs north and south on the edge. There are pieces of timber sticking up, and the area held eleven boats. My arrival made 12, all within an area of about 200 yards. Wherever you see a group of boats, that is where the fish are located. It did not take long and a nice walleye was landed. That filled my limit for the day.
|Look how flat the lake became when the breeze went down. I tried to get a picture of all the boats in the same area, but they are off at a distance.|
In the meantime, the wind went down and the lake went totally flat. This was a new experience for me. With a cloudless sky and no wind, it got hot on the lake.
This was a good day. I started at 6 AM and was off the lake by 3 PM with a daily limit of small walleye and one nice northern. It was time to clean fish and head to the Purple Cow Ice Cream Parlor for some treats.
Tomorrow I am fishing Pickerel and Antelope lakes.
Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck. Hank
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