As we enter into the early summer, things are changing. The biggest change is the beginning of the extensive weed growth that is starting to emerge on mid-lake flats.
These mid-lake flats are comprised of shallow water on top, coupled with fresh weed growth creating a smorgasbord of food options for predator fish.
These flats are often located in the middle of a lake and are always unique and different. Weeds such as cabbage, coon tail and milfoil usually emerge on the top of the flats where predator fish attack baitfish, larvae and insects through the summer months. One thing is for sure, when the walleyes and pike are on the top they are actively feeding and not loafing around. These are the most active fish in the lake and are there for one thing only – food.
My favorite presentation is the hair jig or buck tail jig that has been around since the turn of the century but still is as effective as ever.
I like it because you are not fumbling around with live bait and the hair jig rips through the weeds with ease. Every game fish in the lake will hit a hair jig. I prefer the 1/16th ounce size because it drops slowly on the retrieve and is awesome from shallow depths to around 12 feet.
If you have some wind, upsize to an eight-ounce size for best results.
Very early mornings and late evenings are best for fishing mid-lake flats. Walleyes especially have a tendency to rise to the very top of these flats during low light periods. Don’t be afraid to cast right on the top of the flats. Most anglers have no clue these fish are that shallow but they are because the food is there.
Steve Carney is an outdoors columnist for Sun Newspapers