Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pike, largemouth bass & walleyes remain active into Dog Days

Roger Stack is the owner of R&R Sports, aka fishin' hole, and he's been in business for decades. His large, current store is at 3115 E. Layton Ave., Cudahy, WI 53110, (414) 481-6888.

My favorite St. Croix panfish rod had suffered a life-ending blow, so I'd retired it to tomato plant stick status. Of almost 70 ready-to-go rod and reel set-ups, this had been my most productive set-up. It was light, and so was the sturdy metal, black Browning spinning reel.

I was replaceing the St. Croix with a longer version, as I had done in the past. I toss light, plastic-bodied Dick Smith Panfish Grubs, so I wanted additional casting distance while having excellent feel of even the lightest bites. I place the line in the crease of my index finger, so as to feel bites that finger tip callouses would not notice. 4# Fireline Crystal line went onto the reel. The line that had been on it when the reel was bought had been the worst line I'd ever had regarding coiling and coming off en masse' from the reel spool. The line had more memory than could a herd of elephants.

At the other end of the spectrum was the South Bend musky rod that had decided to break rather than be bent to fit into a smaller space than was possible. The panfish rod was needed for Friday of the same week, and Saturday required the musky rod.

This time, I asked Stack's advice. I wanted to go into the 7' to 7'-6" range, as current musky pros were using longer rods in place of the old broom stick models. Besides my brass Shimano Calcutta looked awful sad and lonely mounted to the reel seat of the old, broken rod. Not knowing how I'd react to my cancer treatments and with professional fishing rod suggestions from Stack, I again went with a St. Croix rod. It was longer and lighter than the previous rod, and it had excellent backbone. The Shimano reel and this rod were a perfect match. I added some off white crankbaits because new lures always help motivate.

The Fishin' Hole is known for its accurate, over-the-phone, fishing reports. You'll get plenty of fishing related advertising, but the reports are excellent. Stack covers effective baits, depths, active species and lots more.

Roger told me the bass were coming from along drop-offs, and anglers have been catching these fish on dropshots with 7" plastic worms along weedlines during the day. My success had been on black Chatterbaits.

As he has for a few decades, Roger uses the Diving B's, by Berkley, along weedlines in 20-35 feet of water. This is where big pike and muskies suspend and watch for dinner to swim past. Smaller pike and muskies tend to inhabit the weed jungles. As the bottoms of the aquatic plants drop their leaves, pike and muskies have little trouble cruising in search of food.

With the welcomed normal summer weather consistancy, panfish are found in traditional locations including along drop-off and suspended off of drop-offs. Panfish anglers have had excellent success when using ice fishing jigs and Gulp.

By: L.A. Van Veghel - Milwaukee Fishing Examiner

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