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The Struggle Continues

In what has been a summer of fishing struggles, the trend continues. Most of the summer months this year have been tough fishing-wise. The combination of high, cloudy water thanks to large amounts of rain earlier in the summer combined with unsettled fishing patterns has made this one of my toughest summers yet since I moved to the Black Hills. It's about the only pattern that has been consistent this season and it continues.

On my most recent trip, I felt like giving Stockade a try since I hadn't been out on it in a couple of months (which was, no surprise, a zero fish day) and wanted to see if the bass and pike were around.

As the waters have been warm, the weeds had grown a lot since my last time out on the pontoon, but the craft provides me with the ability to get into the weeds without a lot of problems.

Topwater lures were the name of the game and I always like using Northland Tackle Tandem Reed Runner spinnerbaits and Buzzard Buzzer baits in open areas in between tall weeds.

They've been my go-to bass and pike lures for a few years now for covering the upper water column. Frogs haven't been my strength, but I keep trying. Well, it was another tough morning on the water, but at least some fish came out to play, though nothing of large size. It's tough not to give Stockade a try often because I know what's under the water there. The tough part is finding them mixed in with their smaller brethren.

But despite the trouble getting into fish this year, I'll be back like always. Cooler weather at the end of last week has got me hoping for the return of fall weather and a hopeful uptick in fish feeding patterns going into the next couple of months.

Fall can be a great time to find fish that are getting ready to feed heavily as they prepare for winter. Anything would be better than current conditions, but there's no giving up, no matter the conditions. Persistence usually pays off in the end and I'm hopeful it'll be a good fall season coming up!

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