This week’s Grand Rapids Fishing Report brought to you by Tom Neustrom, owner of professional fishing guide service, MN Fishing Connections.
It has been a long event of warm weather and one species seems to flourish in this type of weather. Bass and many times panfish will be specific advantage type species that can be beneficial in the warm weather conditions. AS many anglers have found, summer patterns for bass, especially largemouth are many times determined by weed growth and different kinds of weeds and associated types. Cabbage, coontail, and lily pads are the most common types of weeds that harbor bass, especially largemouth. Smallmouth can be a whole different location especially because of food choices. Largemouth and smallmouth will seek out similar food sources but largemouth are particularly fond of small bluegills when available. Both are always looking for crayfish and smallmouth in particular love crayfish as a main diet. Certain kinds of patterns on crankbaits and other type lures can be the best choices when selecting the proper presentations for both species of bass. One thing is for sure, top water type baits that create a commotion on the surface is an exciting way to catch bass of both species. Most often early and late in the day seem to be the best times because of calm water conditions. The popping, slurping, chugging sound of a topwater bait can be like ringing a dinner bell to bass. A couple baits that have been go to types for both species are the Rapala Skitter Pop and the Rebel Pop R. Both have been mainstays in fishing top water baits for bass. Some of the top bass lakes in the Grand Rapids area for bass are Pokegama, Loon, Wabana, Trout, Big Rice, and the back water areas of the Mississippi River.
Panfish have been especially active and with the weed growth at its optimum, the inside and outside edges of weeds seem to be the prime locations. A small chunk of worm or a couple wax worms on a small jig beneath a bobber is still one of the best ways to locate hungry schools of panfish. Plastic tubes jigs or plastics with action tails fished slowly through and over the tops of weeds are always a sure bet of finding panfish. Many times you will be surprised to catch a largemouth on these small baits at the same time. Most lakes in the Grand Rapids area are prime spots to catch nice panfish. Pokegama Lake, Little Moose, Bass Lake in Cohasset, Big Rice, and many of the small lakes located right in Grand Rapids hold good numbers of bluegill and sunfish. They are always willing to bite and are great action fish for youngsters.