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Has anyone experienced a much tougher season than last year, or do you think it’s just because summer is generally tough?


Ohioguy25

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It’s been significantly tougher this year than last, I’m not sure if it’s pressure, if they have grown wise to my presentations or if summer really is as tough as they say?

 

Last year I had no problem finding active and inactive fish, and every trip was catching dozens with ease. Most of them were under 17 but always managed to find at least one good one each trip.

 

This summer started off with incessant rain and weekly blowouts for months, it was horrible.  But once things finally settled it was like the fish had vanished. I still catch but nothing like it was.  
 

The strangest part is, I am a much better fisherman than I was last year. I have learned so much and adopted many new techniques, including perhaps the most important ace in the hole that is finesse. I was really looking forward to scooping up all of the less active giants I was missing, and I’ve still found several but for as hard as I’ve been fishing it should have been much more productive. I have worked my rear end off off to catch an 18 or 19 here or there, and the 10-15” gimmes I pulled out of riffles with ease last year seem few and far between. 
 

People say “that’s fishing” or “it’s not called catching” but this goes well beyond an off day or two. What would you guess is at stake here?

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There are a lot of reasons a body of water can be on fire one year and tough the next.  Weather, aquatic vegetation growth, pressure, different class of spawned fish, and finally, it’s pretty accepted that bodies of water go through natural cycles and fluctuations that affect angling.  You just have to keep at it.  

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I'm having a bit of an off year compared to last, but last year was the best year ever soo... I'll feel better about it if I can boat a 5+.

5 hours ago, Ohioguy25 said:

The strangest part is, I am a much better fisherman than I was last year. I have learned so much and adopted many new techniques

I sometimes spin myself out focusing too much on new things. When this happens, I pick up my flippin stick and get to grinding. Soon all is right with the world again.

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14 hours ago, T-Billy said:

I'm having a bit of an off year compared to last, but last year was the best year ever soo... I'll feel better about it if I can boat a 5+.

Overall my season this year has been more consistent than last year.  We had the worst drought since 1988 last year with weeks of endless hot, dry weather with high pressure that definitely played a role.

 

The "fall bite" never really materialized for me last year either.  Usually there is a period of time in October when the bite really turns on, and it never occurred.  It may have happened after I stopped fishing for the season at the end of October though, because it was still pretty warm into November when I started hunting.

 

I had my best season ever in 2020, 25 years of fishing.  So there was really only one direction to go after that season anyways...

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This summer I feel has been somewhat tougher. But higher than normal temps or longer spans of these temps and a real lack of rain has thrown it off. 
 

I retired recently and I’ve been making it a point to fish areas and sections of my home river and lake that I’ve never fished. So I’ve had a live and learn summer also. But no complaints on that, that’s been fun. And recently a few nice smallies and greenies being caught. 
 

We are getting some heavy rain right now. Hopefully won’t mess the river up too bad or for that long. The lake level is down also. I’ll take the new water. 

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What is the water level on the rivers you fish? I have found during the summer with water levels down the fish are more spread out. I have caught gobs of small ones this summer but the quality fish are rare. With the onset of wetter weather the increased current tends to push fish into the more likely spots. With that said I had a pretty good day yesterday on the Tennessee River with 28 fish hooked. Only four were 15" or over but this is an improvement over recent outings. Hang in there. Fishing will get better by the end of this month. Don't miss it!

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26 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

What is the water level on the rivers you fish? I have found during the summer with water levels down the fish are more spread out. I have caught gobs of small ones this summer but the quality fish are rare. With the onset of wetter weather the increased current tends to push fish into the more likely spots. With that said I had a pretty good day yesterday on the Tennessee River with 28 fish hooked. Only four were 15" or over but this is an improvement over recent outings. Hang in there. Fishing will get better by the end of this month. Don't miss it!

 That's great news!  I am ready for cooler weather like everyone else.

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34 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

What is the water level on the rivers you fish? I have found during the summer with water levels down the fish are more spread out. I have caught gobs of small ones this summer but the quality fish are rare. With the onset of wetter weather the increased current tends to push fish into the more likely spots. With that said I had a pretty good day yesterday on the Tennessee River with 28 fish hooked. Only four were 15" or over but this is an improvement over recent outings. Hang in there. Fishing will get better by the end of this month. Don't miss it!

Even with river level down I’m still able to fish bank drop off and points that taper to 8 feet or so. Toward dam breast 11+. Some Bridge piling 9-10 ft. My biggest problem is at boat ramp. Shallow and silted. But been able to get in and out. Just not easy. Major floods last September caused this issue. State gonna correct it? I don’t know. 
 

Like you I’m picking up a few decent fish recently. Both smallies and greenies. Been having some dink feasts also. It’s all ok. Dinks, runts and respectable are healthy looking fish. Strong with fight in them. I like catching those green fish in with those smallies. 

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I've been catching a lot of fish but not much size.  Had a great day about 3 weeks ago on Lake Michigan and would have had a top 5 in the high teens with one almost 5 lbs.  But the last 3 times out I haven't been able to top 18".  I'm catching 25 or so fish each outing but a lot of small ones.  

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Ohio, it’s not your skill level. Don’t carry that and let it effect your confidence out there on the water. The bass could clearly be feeding more at night. 

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Last year 2021 the drought in minnesota dried up some of my wading and banking lakes but also made some low lakes great for lmb by wading.

2022 with the lakes that i fish by wading and bank now being full again have ruined my lmb fishing due to massive weed growth that makes one lake look like a golf course.

The lily pads i so loved to fish while wading and walking amongst them have been overtaken by heavy weeds makin it impossible to wade the pads. 

 

Last year 2021 drought lake very minimal weeds in the pads, great fishing as i could get way out there and wade.

1335204252_punchingbass018.thumb.jpg.e82962930f2d998781228fa0159c6b1b.jpg

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46 minutes ago, Skunkmaster-k said:

Summer always sucks but this summer has been suckier than I can remember it sucking before. 

See I thought summer was the easiest time to locate them, no?

4 hours ago, Spankey said:

Ohio, it’s not your skill level. Don’t carry that and let it effect your confidence out there on the water. The bass could clearly be feeding more at night. 

What do you suppose is at stake?

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8 minutes ago, Ohioguy25 said:

See I thought summer was the easiest time to locate them, no?

What do you suppose is at stake?

This summer has been a constant grind. The lake I fish has been pounded since the whole covid thing. I talk to a lot of the good local fishermen and they’ve noticed it too. 

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Results have been ok, but I've had to work very hard for them. Lots of days of hyper-picky bites, days of what amounts to junk fishing ie out of ten fish only a few on the same lure or pattern. Like digging in the winter box in the summer kind of picky. Only one or two days the whole summer that a big worm was the deal.

 

I think the grind @Skunkmaster-k mentioned above is pretty spot on. 

 

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8 hours ago, txchaser said:

Results have been ok, but I've had to work very hard for them. Lots of days of hyper-picky bites, days of what amounts to junk fishing ie out of ten fish only a few on the same lure or pattern. Like digging in the winter box in the summer kind of picky. Only one or two days the whole summer that a big worm was the deal.

 

I think the grind @Skunkmaster-k mentioned above is pretty spot on. 

 

It’s really aggravating 

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11 hours ago, Skunkmaster-k said:

Summer always sucks but this summer has been suckier than I can remember it sucking before. 

I can see where you are coming from from the dog days of summer in relation to lake fishing and a pressured lake fishing. 
 

The river sections I fish generally the dog days don’t have much effect. Water temps are somewhat lower, current May have deminished but still exists. It’s been off for me. Not like I’m getting skunked just not setting the world on fire at the river. 
 

I’m gonna blame the lack of rain. We basically have had none. For months. Creeks and ditches are not active. Storm drains are not even a trickle. 
 

I’m not gonna overthink it, certainly not going to question what I’m throwing. Been using my baits for years. As a change up I have been throwing a few different colors/patterns. 
 

I’m sticking to rain fall amounts (none). Mother Nature I can’t control. We have been getting some showers and downpours that let up this afternoon. I’ll check the river conditions later, if not fishable I’ll hit the lake. I’m anxious to fish some new water conditions. 

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6 hours ago, Spankey said:

I can see where you are coming from from the dog days of summer in relation to lake fishing and a pressured lake fishing. 
 

The river sections I fish generally the dog days don’t have much effect. Water temps are somewhat lower, current May have deminished but still exists. It’s been off for me. Not like I’m getting skunked just not setting the world on fire at the river. 
 

I’m gonna blame the lack of rain. We basically have had none. For months. Creeks and ditches are not active. Storm drains are not even a trickle. 
 

I’m not gonna overthink it, certainly not going to question what I’m throwing. Been using my baits for years. As a change up I have been throwing a few different colors/patterns. 
 

I’m sticking to rain fall amounts (none). Mother Nature I can’t control. We have been getting some showers and downpours that let up this afternoon. I’ll check the river conditions later, if not fishable I’ll hit the lake. I’m anxious to fish some new water conditions. 

From the sound of things the last 4-5 years, I think y’all needed a drought or two up that way 

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4 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

From the sound of things the last 4-5 years, I think y’all needed a drought or two up that way 

I know I don’t have a scientific explanation or have an answer to Mother Natures plan. You just have to deal with you have. What other option do you have? Stay home? I can’t see doing that.  I see fishing through it, keep giving it heck, things can change in just one bite. Having a little hope with an upcoming seasonal change might spark things. 

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19 hours ago, throttleplate said:

Last year 2021 drought lake very minimal weeds in the pads, great fishing as i could get way out there and wade.

No offense, but I hope we don't go back to that anytime soon.  2021 was the worst drought I've experienced in my lifetime.

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It has been off in the south also. Low water, fishing pressure more heat has resulted in a rollercoaster of results. I also believe that the fish have gotten used to our regular baits and presentations. I found a lot of success in changing up my baits and tactics. Hopefully it resets for next season.

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6 hours ago, gimruis said:

No offense, but I hope we don't go back to that anytime soon.  2021 was the worst drought I've experienced in my lifetime.

One big thing the drought did for me was led me to try river fishing around the dams and wading along the banks.

I actually now prefer the river over the lake because the variety of fish i catch has increased.

I am bored of lmb and prefer smallies which are very abundant in the rivers in minnesota and north dakota along with big pike and muskie in the baldhill dam in N.D.

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