How To Make The Most Of Memorial Day Weekend

First and foremost, Memorial Day is for honoring the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. Military. While we gather, grill out, soak in the sun, and hopefully fish this weekend, it’s important to remember what it’s about. 

While it’s a day of remembrance, Memorial Day is also the unofficial kickoff to summer. Wafts of charcoal will float through the air as families sit comfortably in lawn chairs waiting for the American staples like brats, burgers, hotdogs, ribs, and chicken to come off the grill. 

In addition to backyard barbeques, the 3-day weekend grants anglers the extra opportunity to hit the water and do what we do best. Vacation towns will be buzzing, and boat launches are likely to see more traffic this weekend than any other. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and have a good time.

Make a plan, fish early, and venture off the beaten path are all general rules of thumb but, we won’t leave you there – we’ll dive in a little deeper with Karl’s Tips for making the most of your Memorial Day Weekend

Take Stock And Organize Tackle

Take a good look at your inventory before you head out for this weekend’s fishing trip. Do you have enough hooks, jig heads, slip bobbers, or jerkbaits? Maybe you’re low on fishing line? Whatever it is, get it done now and make sure your gear is ready to rock and roll for the weekend. Fixing stuff now will set you up for success.

Here is a quick rundown on the top summer baits and techniques for targeting our favorite species. 

Bass

As water temperatures continue to rise, fish will respond by eating more aggressively and often. This is the time of year when burning buzz baits, chucking hollow body frogs, or throwing magnum-sized crankbaits will do the trick for hungry bass.

5 Bass Lures You Can Rely On All Summer Long

Walleye 

Anglers who rely on the classic minnow or leech will have no problem catching fish this time of year, but artificial hard baits, spoons, and soft plastics will also do the trick. Slowly winding a swimbait, stroking a lipless crankbait, or snap jigging with a Jigging Rap are all effective techniques you can apply this weekend.

Walleye Fishing In Summertime: How To Catch Walleye In The Heat

Panfish

Panfish anglers living up north should expect to see bluegill pushing to shallow water gearing up for the spawn. Bobber fishing in shallow water will be at its best over the next few weeks, and anglers eyeing for a fish fry should look no further. Use a light-powered rod rigged with a bobber, split shot weight, and small Aberdeen hook. Bait those hooks with minnows, worms, corn, or soft plastic baits with the bobber suspended 1-3 feet above the hook. Your split shot weight should be attached about 6 inches above the hook. 

Summer Panfish Tips: How To Catch Slabs In The Heat

Catfish 

Catfish in the south might be spawning while they’re still staging for the spawn later this summer in most other places. Regardless of what phase into the pattern the catfish are in, they should be biting. With warmer weather ahead, the catfish will be putting on the feedbag, and anglers should take advantage of this by casting out bottom rigs this weekend.

Using simple slip sinker rigs, you can target channel catfish with stink bait, nightcrawlers, cut bait, or even the leftover chicken breast from the weekend cookout. Target the typical spots like deep holes, dams, channel swings in the river. But pay close attention to the confluence of two rivers. This can be a creek flowing into a river, a river flowing into a larger river, or a river flowing into a lake. Catfish will often run up a river, creek, or tributary to spawn, so anglers targeting these areas can catch fish while they’re making their way to spawning grounds. 

The 7 Best Species To Target In The Summertime

Bonus Tips

As summer sets in, fish will adjust to their seasonal patterns. This can include fish moving to deep water, areas with current, or even underneath the canopy of thick vegetation growing along shallow shorelines.

Anglers can beat the heat this summer by fishing early in the morning or later into the evening. It’s not uncommon for anglers in the south to opt for night fishing when the temperatures become unbearable during the day.  

Karl’s Top Picks For This Memorial Day Weekend

Bass

Walleye

Trout/Panfish

Saltwater

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