Most lakes in the Bemidji area have surface water temperatures in the mid 70s, so walleye fishing remains tough during the day on most lakes.

Lake of the Woods has been the hotspot for walleyes in Minnesota. Devil’s Lake in North Dakota has also been very good for walleyes recently, despite the hot weather.

July and August are typically excellent months for walleyes, smallmouth bass and muskies in Canada. The weed beds are fully developed and surface water temperatures are seldom more than 75 degrees.

Most Canadian lakes have good oxygen levels in all depths during the summer, with the lakes are at their peak during July and August, while most lakes around Bemidji are going through the “dog days” of summer.

Unfortunately, 2020 will be remembered as the summer where people from the United States were banned from entering Canada and most of Europe because of uncontrolled COVID-19 across much of the U.S.

Anglers can bring an open mind to the lakeTullibees by bringing tackle for more than one species of fish when they go fishing. That way if the walleyes are stubborn, they can switch to another species.

Walleye anglers have been using many different presentations trying to get walleyes to bite. The tactics change depending on where the walleyes are located.

Some anglers are using jigs and plastics for walleyes located close to the weeds. Safety pin spinner rigs are another option with plastics or live bait.

Spinner rigs with nightcrawlers or leeches have been working for anglers who want to search for active walleyes in moderate depths.

There are also anglers using lead core, snap weights or down-riggers with crankbaits for walleyes located in deep water.

Trolling artificial baits works best for walleyes over the basin, whether they are suspended or near the bottom. Anglers just need to get their baits in the right part of the water column to catch fish.

Anglers can also use heavier jigs with minnows when walleyes are deep. Winter style jigging minnows or spoons in the larger sizes are another option for fishing deep summer walleyes.

It’s a question of where the fish are located and what conditions anglers are facing. Most walleye anglers stick to the standard presentations, but there is always a chance of finding something new that will turn on the fish when other presentations are not working.

Anglers often find fish on sonar that won’t bite. It is only a guess what species of fish they are seeing unless they can catch one or if they can see them with an underwater camera.

Anglers can get clues from the shapes and sizes of the fish. It can help to see how the fish are schooled, how far they are from the bottom and if all the fish are the same size or if there are different sizes of fish.

Baitfish are another key to figuring out if the “mystery fish” are walleyes or some other species. Anglers often see minnows close to schools of walleyes, while there may not be any baitfish near tullibees, whitefish or suckers, which are the species most commonly mistaken for walleyes.

Walleyes and whitefish tend to school closer to the bottom. Schools of suckers are often all larger fish and school tightly three to five feet off the bottom. Tullibees travel in loose schools with different size fish that suspend further from the bottom than most walleyes.

Sometimes you can’t tell what they are without catching one of the fish. Some underwater cameras have longer cords, but nobody likes rewinding a camera after letting out more than 50 feet of cable.

Sunlight can penetrate into the water deeper than many anglers realize. When the sun is high in the sky on a clear water lake, anglers can often see the bottom and any fish in water deeper than 60 feet on an underwater camera.

If anglers want more bites and walleyes are not biting, try switching to bass or sunfish, which are both more active than walleyes during the day when water temperatures are high.

Paul A. Nelson runs the Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service. Guided trips for 2020 can be booked by calling or texting (218) 760-7751 or by email at panelsonbemidji@gmail.com.