This past weekend was really described by the title above, and for once I’m not describing the weather.
Speaking of the weather, it absolutely impacted our plan. My buddy Steve and I fished a walleye tournament at Elwood Reservoir this past Sunday, and saying it was brutal is a real understatement. The water temp the previous week had been all the way up to 60, but when the 30 degree nights came along during the week, the water dropped all the way back to the low 50s. Prefishing was not good for us as we managed to get only two fish in the boat in 3 days, which never looks promising. During the tournament, the wind increased steadily all day until it was gusting over 40 mph at times. Obviously this made boat control tough, thus catching sluggish fish even tougher. Long story short, we did not catch any fish. We had a series of unfortunate events that took certain techniques away, the main one being anchoring. Of 12 teams, only 3 fish were caught, and those being one from each team. The worst part is, the next day was nearly 90 degrees, which surely turned some of those sluggish fish around to being cooperative. We saw lots of baitfish and fish on our screens, but with our week of weather, it really made things tough.
This could really be a pivotal year for Elwood. The water is slowly dropping with no plans to have any water put in this year or next. The boat dock is at its lowest point, and we may not be able to get larger boats into the lake this fall. I have been told that there are no plans to install a temporary boat ramp either, like there was the last time the lake went below the concrete ramp. While bait fish and decent amounts of fish have been spotted on our graphs, only so much good fishing can last as the water drops. Get out and enjoy this great reservoir while we still have it.
On the flip side of that, local sandpits are heating up and action is hot. I found time to visit a few favorite areas that never get fished, and it was rewarding. The first day was decent, as I caught 10 largemouth bass with the biggest being 18” and a northern pike that came undone after a strong fight. These fish are starting to get aggressive as they were mainly caught on crankbaits. Some of my favorites to throw in these pits are Bomber Square A squarebill cranks and Rapala X Raps. If I’m not throwing those, I like to use a jig-n-pig in all kinds of areas. The second day they favored the jigs, and I lost a really nice bass that was likely a Master Angler. That fish busted the surface, and my worst fear came true when the jig came flying right at me. These fish were destroying the jig as they would pick it up and run with it. I thought my rod would break my hook sets were so vicious, and I still managed to lose that pig and 5 other fish in the same area. I managed only 4 fish, and wouldn’t you know, I believe I caught that same northern pike again, only this time I was able to get it in and remove my Bomber and let him go. The best part about these fish are that while some of them weren’t real long, they were all certainly chunky, which says a lot about these pits. There is apparently good quality water with plenty of food for these critters. I also saw some emerging weed growth, so I expect fishing to stay strong in the coming months.
Get out and try some of these tactics, as well as some of your own, at your area sand pits and reservoirs and I do believe you’ll also be rewarded. The water temp will only climb for the next couple of months, so the fish will finally start showing some regular summer patterns. It has taken a while, but we’re finally on a roll now.