DINNERTIME! We’re feeling July, but not overly hot as a couple average-type summer days settle in for the middle of the week Midsummer is the start of the feeding season, and while young-of-the-year perch and panfish make up a portion of many predators’ summertime buffet, a trio of other forage species of note come to mind in today’s Three Things.
(Feature Photo: A whitetail doe takes a lick off a mineral rock on the edge of a wooded field. Simonson Photo.)
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Tue 7/25 – Moderating temps, partly cloudy. Hi 85, Lo 65, Winds N @ 10 mph.
Tomorrow: Wed 7/26 – More of the same, but less clouds. Hi 86, Lo 60, Winds N @ 10 mph.
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 6:16AM Sunset: 9:23PM
Moonrise: 8:57AM Moonset: 10:54PM
Overhead: 4:01PM Underfoot: 3:35AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent (7% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 9:30 – 10:30PM. Finish out your day on a hot bite as sunset and moonset share some overlapping time. With additional cloud cover and light winds, fish should be on the rise and the bite will be rolling into late evening.
SMELL IT? Do ya smell what mother nature is cooking? While popular for people in smelt fry events, the rainbow smelt is a primary forage fish in Lake Sakakawea, and at a distance, the Great Lakes where it has been introduced. In total, the rainbow smelt is found in 30 states, and its oily, protein-and-fat rich body serves as a great food source for walleye, pike, salmon and other predators.
SUCK ON THAT. The white sucker is also a bigtime food source for bigger game fish. Apex predators like pike and muskies dine on suckers up to a pound or two and sometimes larger. Their roe also is consumed by all kinds of smaller fish, including trout.
FATHEAD FEAST. Finally, the ubiquitous fathead minnow is a staple at baitshops throughout North Dakota, and provides an easily-stockable forage base for many developing lakes. In various sizes (smaller versions known more frequently as “crappie minnows”), the fathead is easily identified by males of the species, who develop purple heads with tiny protuberances when courting females. As the story goes, the sporting males are less desirable to gamefish, but the walleyes we’ve caught on them haven’t seemed to mind.