For those anglers who fish year around, most know that August is not everybody’s favorite time to fish. It is hot on the water, traffic on the lakes, plus the fish just do not seem as active. At times the fishing lives up to the name “The Dog Days of Summer”.
The dog days do not apply to every lake. The loved and hated amazing eating machine known as Northern Pike has changed my August!! The maximum amount of weeds and high water temps usually mean tough Pike fishing but not this year. The water has warmed but remains near the 68F that Pike prefer most. This water temp brings out the ambush predator side of these fish so strikes while casting come fast and hard.
The dropping water levels leads to fish holing up on the edges of weed pockets, weed lines, and weed flats to wait until forage comes near. With your lure in front of them the big Pike dart out of the slop and take an easy meal. The forage in Colorado includes Suckers, Perch, Rainbow Trout, Kokanee or any other swimming snack. These thick weeds are in 20 feet of water or less and I tend to focus on 6 to 12 foot depths.
This bite depends on the sunlight. Large Pike eat very efficiently and eat mainly during low light periods early or late in the day. Smaller Pike will feed throughout the day but sleeping in makes you miss the big ones. If early mornings are not your thing then go out in the afternoon and catch the last bits of daylight when the big fish return to the weeds to eat. I would say that the average Pike is getting a full belly in about 30 minutes of hunting so build a pattern, find some favorite spots, and fish them hard twice a day. To stay motivated imagine that every weed line and every good spot holds a big fish, which is pretty close to the truth!
The key factors for Pike are depth control and staying weed-free. For fish near the bottom soft plastics rigged weedless like worms , tubes, and craws have been working great. I fish these in the deeper pockets in the weeds as well as pull them over the top of the weeds. Other options include topwater baits above high surface weeds, spinnerbaits in the weeds, and jerk baits along the open weed lines. This pattern requires perfect casting and lure control as the Pike have a small strike window and will not chase a lure while they sit in the weeds.
Once you accomplish this task, please think about the quality of fish we have in these lakes and practice Catch and Release. If you want to eat fish that is fine, please just do so on small Pike less than 25 inches. We in Colorado are so lucky to have such quality Pike but yet every year or Pike population seems to go down due to anglers killing all the Pike they catch. Again, please respect the quality fisheries we have and release the mature Pike. Thank You!
Back To School Savings. So everywhere I go lately I see back to School deals so Tightline is jumping in. Whether you looking to take the family out for a last trip or just want to take advantage of this hot bite, we are offering a special price on all of our guided trips. The cost for up to 4 anglers for a 6 hour trip will be $350. That is $150 off on a group of 4. This special price is available from August 12th to September 1st. If you would like to take advantage of this please email or text for availability. Thanks and I wish everyone good luck on the water.