As we head into late summer fishing, it’s a good idea to adjust the size of bait you’re using.
In the spring, I offered tips for bait sizes for early season fishing. I talked about the importance of matching your bait to the size of bait you see in the lake. Bait fish and other forage grow steadily throughout the season. Predator fish like pike will rarely stray too far from what they feed on. Other species like bass keep a close eye on their food sources. In late summer, anglers who adjust their bait size increase the odds of catching fish.
A great tip – when you catch a fish and it spits up something it recently ate, look carefully. This doesn’t happen on every outing, so take note. It will help you figure out what bait to use that day. Experiment with different sizes of bait. Try 10 to 20 casts with any given bait in one area. If the fish don’t react, it’s safe to say that you should try something else.
Island Lake Conservation Area has many fish species. Smaller species like perch, sunfish and crappie are food sources for larger species like largemouth bass and pike. Many bait fish that made it through last season have grown significantly and are biggest right now. New fry are still quite small. They start out less than one inch long in early spring and grow a few inches through the summer. This is why you will want to match the current size of bait as best you can to what the larger species are eating.
Longer, thinner style baits range from four to six inches and have different body thicknesses. They’re best used in earlier months. Now that we’re in August, the fish in Island Lake have started feeding more frequently to pack on weight for the long winter. Broader, thicker body baits are good choices now. Using a chunkier body style in these later months can be a great way to catch your biggest fish on end-of-season outings. Adjust accordingly and you’ll increase the number and quality of fish you catch!
The same applies when using live bait. Instead of grabbing two dozen minnows of the same size, pick up at least two different sizes: two-inch and the largest available. This also applies to worms. Many anglers will often use half a worm, but in late summer try using the whole worm. The fish will have a nice big meal that is hard to pass up, and you’ll enjoy the pride of showing off your bigger catch.
Best of luck out there during this tail-end of fishing season. Tight lines!
Learn more here: www.amfish.ca