Got to spend some time at the lake in the Poconos this summer. It’s the usual pattern this time of year. May — caught some nice pickerel. Late June — same. Late July and early August — low water, warm temps, the fish are nowhere to be found during the day since they are hanging out DEEP and literally chillin’. Had two bumps this past weekend but no hookups. I even abandoned the fly rod and went with the spinning rod and a Ratt-L-Trap… and everything else in the bag. Only thing left to do was 1) put on a strip of pork rind (I’m not too proud) and 2) get up early. We were having too much fun in the evenings to make (2) workable, and (1) just never happened.
As far as the brook trout, I’ve left them alone recently. It’s just too hot. I think fishing for them when the water temps are in the high 60’s is worse in many ways than catching them when they’re spawning in the fall. Plus, they are so spooky that the two hour round trip hike in the heat and humidity to maybe catch a fish or two also put me off.
The smallmouth are willing, though, if you go very early or at the other end of the day, around sunset. During the heat of the day you can try, but it’s usually (but not always) tough going.