Target Current in July

The days are long and water temps have peaked with dissolved oxygen at its lowest level this month. Moving water, whether natural flow, tidal-influenced or wind-generated, makes for consistently improved odds of finding active fish. Contrary to popular belief, deeper is not necessarily better, either. Unless the water is truly being mixed from top to bottom, there is less oxygen on the bottom. Deeper ponds and lakes that stratify in summer are nearly devoid of oxygen after reaching a particular depth below the thermocline, where there is a significant drop in temperature. This depth can be easily discerned with even the simplest of depthfinders by recognizing the depth where you no longer see baitfish. Fishing from the bottom of this range up to the surface eliminates a lot of dead water. Shallow ponds, lakes, creeks and rivers that don’t stratify may still have active fish in somewhat deeper water, but generally, with photosynthesis occurring, any surface ripple from wind and current striking emergent and shallow submerged objects, there is more  oxygen and therefore there are more active fish in the upper third of the water column, as a general rule. The fish may be relating to the bottom, but on the bottom in four feet of water rather than eight feet, for instance.

Bait selection is nearly unlimited this month, from topwater plugs to bottom-bouncing jigs and everything in between, whether you are targeting bass, bream, redfish or trout.  Experiment with different lures, retrieve speeds, cadence and weights to determine the activity level of the fish, and which works best to generate more strikes or bigger fish. Some techniques will lend themselves to more bites from smaller fish versus fewer bites from larger fish. Then choose whichever suits your fancy for the day. The ideal situation would be to figure out how to generate lots of strikes from larger fish and I suppose that’s what we all are striving for, but it doesn’t always work out that way! Nevertheless, it’s fun to try and it keeps us coming back for more. So put on plenty of sunscreen, drink lots of water and go catch some fish!7_2013_William P of FayettevilleLR_Bass_Yak